Russian rarities lead Künker auction Feb. 6 in Berlin

World Money Fair auction realizes about $10 million U.S.
Published : 03/13/14
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Berlin has become the ideal gathering place between East and West, bringing collectors of Russian coins together for auctions.

Fritz Rudolph Künker’s Feb. 6 auction, No. 244, was a prelude to the World Money Fair in Berlin that opened the following day. The auction realized total hammer prices realized of 7.4 million euros (about $10 million U.S.) in a single day.

During the auction, five Russian rarities reached hammer prices in excess of 100,000 euros ($135,191 U.S.). 

The firm reports that strong attendance from dealers and collectors from Russia helped push prices upward.

Five rarities stand out from the 129 Russian pieces offered, including an “extremely rare” test strike of an 1801 rouble of Czar Alexander I struck at the St. Petersburg Mint. Described in the catalog as being slightly cleaned in Very Fine condition, the coin hammered for 100,000 euros against an estimate of 75,000 euros ($101,393 U.S.).

Hammer prices are reported here because the buyer’s fee for each coin varies, from 15 to 23 percent, depending on bidder location and lot type. In addition, some items are subject to a value-added tax; the VAT is added after the addition of the buyer’s fee to the hammer price.

Another star of the auction was the 1837 platinum 12-ruble coin of Nicholas I. One of only 53 examples made, the Proof coin was struck at the St. Petersburg Mint. It realized 100,000 euros against a 40,000 euro ($54,076 U.S.) estimate. 

A pair of gold medals each realized hammer prices of 180,000 euros ($243,344 U.S.).

Nicholas I issued a gold medal of 60-ducat weight to mark the death of his mother, Czarina Maria Feodorovna in 1828. The example sold in the auction is graded “About Mint State,” the firm reported.

The other medal, also issued under Nicholas I, was released in 1829. With a weight equal to 50 ducats, the medal celebrated the Treaty of Adrianople with Turkey. It is recorded as grading Very Fine to Extremely Fine. 

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