New record hammer price for a Medieval coin at Künker’s: the portrait denarius of Charlemagne, that had been estimated at 30,000 euros, was sold for 160,000 euros. The winner was an anonymous bidder by telephone. That result was the outright highlight of the spring auction held from March 12 to 16 in Osnabrück. The silver pfennig, weighing 1.52 grams, with the bust and the imperial title of the great Carolingian ranges amongst the absolute rarities in numismatics and is described in greater detail in catalog 205 under no. 1405 (www.kuenker.de). Scholars assume that only 15 to 35 specimens had been minted at the maximum, either on the occasion of the imperial coronation in 800 or on the Byzantine acknowledgement of KARLVS IMP(erator) AVG(ustus) in 812.
The auction was possibly record-breaking in itself: half a dozen catalogs, almost 8,000 lots, and a total hammer price more than 11 million euros. The result exceeded the estimates by more than 60 percent. Only 181 numbers went into re-sale, which is already indicative of a lively auction process. The ancient coins (in sum more than 76 percent above the estimates) and part three of the Hagander Collection (a plus of 102 percent!) greatly contributed to the overall result. The crucial factor with Künker once again were the exquisite conditions which yielded more than one surprise on Monday in catalog 204. An aureus of Vespasian from 72 from Lugdunum, estimated at 12,500 euros, obtained 135,000 euros, the same denomination of Postumus, 266, Colonia, the sum of 110,000 euros against its estimate of 75,000. A solidus of Procopius from Constantinopolis 365/366 brought 60,000 euros instead of the estimated 40,000 euros.
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