By now a fixed appointment in the Hermann Historica program, the online auction that will take place from December 7 to 11, 2020, is the crackling end of a far from exciting year. The auction will take place on nine different online platforms, as well as on the German auction house's website, with a catalog including 3641 lots from all areas of interest.
Headed by a wheellock rifle with a magnificent staghorn stock and first-rate, original wheellock, the procession of antique firearms includes pieces that collectors may otherwise only dream of. With a starting price of 3800 euros, the rifle is dated 1720 and has a finely engraved lock depicting a hunter at rest in the forest, while the lavishly inlaid stock with deer horn and bone gives the whole a quite original and distinguished appearance. Then comes a pair of flintlock pistols embellished with silver tendril inlays and manufactured around 1760 by the gunmaker Joseph Prolich of Bamberg. They are an interesting example of guns with barrels featuring lightening fluting, today so popular on large caliber shooting rifles. Evidently, Prolich had already thought about this 260 years ago. Surely this lot will receive a warm reception, given the attractive starting price of 1400 euros. Also interesting is the price of the next lot, a percussion rifle by L.H. Damm, with silver engravings and inlays, manufactured in Elberfeld around 1840 – the asking price is only 1200 euros.
Collectors of modern firearms will find many interesting items among the 1115 lots up for auction in that section. Just to mention a few examples: a Parabellum carbine, cal. 9mm Luger, serial number 2170 made by DWM (Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabrik), complete with its original case is opening at 2500 euros. Always very sought after, a Mauser C 96 in 7.63mm caliber, serial no. 402168 with detachable stock and complete with accessories, which you can buy starting from 1300 euros. As far as the American production firearms are concerned, in the catalog we find a nice New Model Army percussion revolver by Remington Arms Company Inc. chambered in .44 caliber, serial number 110862 – i.e. made during the US Civil War – with a reserve of 1200 euros.
Antique arms and armor
The third day of the auction is dedicated to antique arms and armor. We will find for sale a German knightly sword from the mid-14th century. With a double-edged, conically tapering blade and a surprisingly large disc pommel, this impressive sword is over one meter long and comes with a reserve of 1400 euros.
The changes in battle tactics in the early High Middle Ages meant that knightly armor had to be adapted as well. This led to the development of the large, almost cylindrical, extremely heavy helmet with its markedly archaic appearance. With the characteristic eye slots and breathing holes, a particularly well made collector's reproduction in 13th century style is listed in the catalog at 1000 euros.
Collectors' items for military history enthusiasts
The fourth day of the auction will present numerous pieces of recent military equipment. Among them, a very rare full-dress uniform worn by Japanese Imperial Army staff officers during World War 2, complete not just with visor cap, jacket, belt and pants, but also with a matching case. The entire set is offered starting from 1500 euros. Enthusiasts will have to pay at least 1500 euros to take home the personal items and memorabilia of U-boot commander Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen, which provide insight into the military and public persona, as well as the private life of a highly decorated navy officer. In addition, starting from 1250 euros, Hermann Historica will accept offers for a photo album with over 200 snapshots of biplanes, group photos, the mission to Verdun and other war scenes, which reveal the living conditions of members of a German air force division during World War 1.