1821 George IV coronation medal by Benedetto Pistrucci, estimated at €4000 at Künker.

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The 4700-lot auction series at Künker in Osnabrück from September 25-October 1 is headed by a 1300-lot collection of gold coins, dormant for 60 years, formed by the publisher Hermann Schwarz (1880-1961).

He bought coins throughout his life with a large part of the collection – its theme world gold coinage from ancient to modern times – assembled between the tumultuous years from 1929-58. Many elements were bought through the Munich coin dealer Julius Jenke (1882-1957) – a business that in later incarnations became the house of Künker.

Among the British coins is this ‘uncirculated’ example of the 1821 George IV coronation medal (above) by Benedetto Pistrucci estimated at €4000.

The king and Pistrucci came into conflict over the medal, with George objecting to being placed on the same level as the allegorical representations of his kingdoms. Pistrucci adapted the die and elevated his subject a fraction with the addition of a platform for his throne.

Elephant and castle


William III five guineas, estimated at €200,000 at MDC.

Issued in 1699, the William III (1694-1702) five guineas with the ‘first bust’ portrait and an elephant and castle motif is among the rarest coins from his reign. The elephant and castle is the badge of the African company that supplied gold bullion to make the coinage. This, the finest graded copy known, comes for sale at the MDC Monnaies de Collection auction in Monte Carlo on October 20-21, with a guide of €200,000.