Author Topic: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?  (Read 12928 times)

Offline Haarmann

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What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« on: April 13, 2013, 09:44:01 PM »
Anyone have insights into the miraculous resurrection of these Goetz dies and hubs?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 12:29:56 PM by Haarmann »

Offline Nosferatu

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 09:49:16 PM »
I've been hearing through the grapevine that these dies and hubs might have been created by Karl's son, Guido, after Karl died in 1950.  Could it be that this really happened?  Where do you think they've been all this time?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 10:57:28 PM by Nosferatu »

Offline Barber25

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 11:44:41 PM »
Has anyone been in contact with Gunter Kienast?  He should have known all about these as he worked closely with Guido.  Heritage seems to be very tight-lipped about the source of these items.

Offline Haarmann

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 12:03:36 AM »
I haven't been in touch with Gunter for a number of years.  He's getting up in age, I think in his late 80's.  Last I heard he was living in the Midwest. 

As I recall, he began translating the Gorny&Mosch 68 catalog for me.  He claimed that something happened that resulted in the Goetz material being pulled at the last minute from the auction.  He claimed he didn't know why.  All of the material was missing until the Hirsch auction 272 in May 2011.  This auction and its Goetz material was greeted with little fanfare and even less bidding.  I believe one or two German companies picked up the largest portion of the material at bargain basement prices.  I know a member here bought a number of pieces and was surprised at their overall poor condition.

I still have a funny feeling about this entire lot.  Granted, there were some rare and authentic pieces but the majority of material did not appear right.  Could a lot of this material been recreated by Guido?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 07:45:39 AM by Haarmann »

Offline Haarmann

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 02:56:31 PM »
There is, at least for the time being, a more spirited discussion about this auction over at Coin People.  Here is the link: http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php?/topic/33694-karl-goetz-dies-are-being-sold-on-heritage/

Bill H.  Writes:
 
"I have no objection to collecting dies and hubs and have a few in my own collection. I believe they are legitimate collectibles. I have no doubt that the ownership or title to these pieces is legitimate. But, given that the items were in the Bavarian Mint, I assume the property or intellectual property of Karl Goetz and his heirs, and were reported to have been destroyed, it is a legitimate question to ask if they were legally "liberated" from the mint. Did the Goetz family lose ownership rights through their agreement or did time separate them from their rights? I don't know the answer to these questions and they may well have sold or surrendered their rights. At some point, the material becomes too old and the history lost. In this instance, the provenience of the pieces is of historical interest, even if we do not know the identity of the current owner. Where they go when sold is also problematic given there are so many of them. Will their existance cast doubt on future appearances of rare medals? Unidentified restrikes from original dies are problems in other collecting areas, either depressing the value of originals or bilking the unsuspecting purchaser who does not know better (think Unlisted metal variety, rare!). I think in this instance it is the magnitude (1200 dies and hubs) that raises concerns and suggests something more systematic than a simple case of someone picking up a die or two as war booty. It took some planning and effort to remove a ton or so of metal from the mint.

On the plus side, they are being sold in a documented fashion in a well known auction house. The world will know they exist and will be on guard if rare medals start appearing with unexpected frequency. Maybe someone will issue restrikes, appropriately marked and identified, and re-invigorate an art medal market for originals. Only time will tell."


And Bill writes additionally;

"I had a nice conversation last night with the Goetzdude who is writing is own thoughts on the dies. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. But, that conversation covered a number of topics and sent me back to my Kienast to reread the work after a number of years.

Why make hubs to make dies for medals that will likely never require more than one die? You can go from the model to the die in one operation, no hub required. In fact the hub is an extra step and expense. Kienast covers that question. Goetz went from his model to a hub when he thought the medal might have a greater demand than he could fill with cast medals (a time consuming process in itself). His first step was making the hub so he could hand finish the detail as he wanted it. A die was then made and some elements were added directly to the die. So it seems he could work on the die, but prefered the positive image that the hub provided.

The fact that Goetz hand finished each hub and die makes originals really interesting pieces. And that fact led me to a really big problem. If you go to the sale catalog, look at lot 27035, a reverse hub for a 36mm medal. It is rusted and the outer rim is broken off in several locations. This is obviously an old hub that saw the ravages of time? Since Goetz finished the hubs personally and then hand finished the die made from the hub, this has to be the original hub after use given its condition. Right? Well, if that is the case, then how does on explain lot 27042, a 36mm splash die made from the broken hub. A second 36mm die made for use with a collar is offered as lot 27041. A splash die is used for striking medals without a collar, something usually done for larger medals that have to be struck mutiple times to bring up the detail and with too much force to use with a collar (the force needed for high relief, large medals would break a collar). Medals struck with splash dies are usually finished by turning them on a lathe. Regardless of whether Goetz relied on a splash die or a collar die, he would never have made a die from a broken hub. If he finished the hubs and dies by hand to ensure the quality desired, why would he fool with a broken hub?

There is more to the story of these hubs and dies than meets the eye."
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 12:07:06 PM by Haarmann »

Offline Nosferatu

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 12:23:21 PM »
Supposedly there is to be a Heritage explanation concerning the Goetz material in tonight's issue of the E-Sylum.  This could prove interesting, particularly regarding Bill's comments above.

Offline Sgt.Schultz

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 11:25:33 AM »
I read the Heritage explanation.  There is no question there is some "Hanky Panky" going on....Heritage may very well be telling the truth as best as they know it (just going by what they've been told)....my sources tell me that the Goetz family knows nothing of this massive horde.  The secrecy and "misdirection" of an anonymous consignor just having bought the entire collection "smells" worse than a slab of limberger cheese in the hot sun.  It makes sense to me that these would have been part of the Guido collection related to the ill-fated Gorny Sale of 1994.  I would bet my Pickelhaube that these hubs/dies were  part of the Laib collection, and held off the market til the rest of the collection was sold.  Then again,  perhaps I know nothing!

Offline Haarmann

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 11:57:30 AM »
Correct you are SS, or close methinks.

Mr. Peplinski of Heritage states in the E-sylum "The dies and hubs were purchased recently from the Goetz family by an anonymous consignor who wished for Heritage Auctions to present them over the course of the next year."  I know this to be untrue with 99% certainty.  How?  I have been in contact with the Goetz family since April 2005 when I was first approached by Karl's grandson, Florian.  My most recent contact with family was last week when I provided information to them regarding this hub and die sale.  They responded with only their knowledge of the material their mother sold to the ill-fated Gorny&Mosch 68 sale in 1994.  The remaining 1% is the possibility that the family chose not to mention this transaction to me which, by my known trusting relationship with them. is unlikely.

I no longer question the authenticity of the material, even with questionable pieces, but I do question whether Heritage does a thorough vetting job on material they consign.  I also can't help but wonder why this material wasn't sold in Germany rather than here.  I believe the consignor knows why. and it's not because they wanted to ship three tons of metal to the U.S..
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 12:32:58 PM by Haarmann »

Offline Bill

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 06:48:48 PM »
Same Bill here as quoted above from CoinPeople. I remain bothered by the damaged hub and the die made from the damaged hub as quoted above. It makes me wonder if there are a mix of original pieces here and items made following the war using original hubs. All in all, the collection is worthy of careful study and comparison with known "original" medals to see if the dies do match. It is really hard to do these comparisons from photographs since the angle of the light and the camera in relation to the item can distort small details making comparisons difficult at best.

If I were the consignor, I would be worried about diluting the value of the material by releasing it all with a year. It would seem to me the market for esoteric items such as hubs and dies would be rather limited in comparison to the medals themselves.

Offline Sgt.Schultz

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 10:45:43 PM »
Did anyone here ever hear the rumor/theory that the Russians stole a quantity of  hubs/dies after WW2? 
Another question I have is this....didnt Guido, or "someone" strike up a bunch of patterns/mules/etc in Platinum/Gold/silver for Farouk in the fifties?  Why wouldnt Guido, IF HE HAD THE HUBS/DIES THEN, go to town and create all types of medals for the King? In fact, he probably could have have had them struck WITH the edge lettering.  In fact, he could have struck medals all day long for collectors everywhere.  But I am sure it would have been very profitable to create for the King.  This situation makes me think that maybe Guido DIDNT have the hubs/dies..and they were somehow squirreled away for a long time, elsewhere.  Just bringing up for discussion.

Offline Haarmann

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 11:03:15 PM »
Same Bill here as quoted above from CoinPeople. I remain bothered by the damaged hub and the die made from the damaged hub as quoted above. It makes me wonder if there are a mix of original pieces here and items made following the war using original hubs.

If I were the consignor, I would be worried about diluting the value of the material by releasing it all with a year. It would seem to me the market for esoteric items such as hubs and dies would be rather limited in comparison to the medals themselves.

So Bill, when you say "items made following the war" are you implying Guido began making dies and hubs?  Karl was active for a year or two after the war but his stroke pretty much removed him from further physically demanding work...he relied on Guido to help him until he died in 1950. And when did they retrieve the dies and hubs from the mint?  I don't think there was any incentive to remove them until someone decided they might make a little money on the side.

I don't believe the consignor gives a damn about diluting the market.  I think they want the money and to get the hot potato out of their hands before the 4th Reich comes down on them....many, many Germans are unhappy about this auction taking place.

Offline Sgt.Schultz

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 05:30:40 PM »
Made some inquiries of my German collectors and vest pocket dealers....one wag said he heard whispers a German dealer(s) were the secret consigner.... :-X      hmmmm...why wouldnt they sell the hoard over there?  If this is true, and like a previous poster said "the Germans are not happy about this" I wonder if there would be a backlash?

Offline Haarmann

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2013, 10:02:27 PM »
If you aren't aware yet, we are trying to create a clearinghouse for comments here from across the numismatic and exonumic worlds.  You do not need to be a collector of medals to still share your concerns.

We were awarded permission, by the writers, to display several more comments that they submitted to the E-sylum on 4/14/13:

Jorg Lueke writes:

I am a little perplexed by the sudden appearance by so many of the Goetz
dies. One imagines if the dies had been acquired legitimately at some point
in the past the manner of acquisition and their sudden appearance would be
better documented. While I don't collect these particular medal I would
greet with some dismay news that the Monnaie de Paris suddenly released the
dies of all the works of Daniel Dupuis.


Howard A. Daniel III writes:

The auctioning of the original Karl Goetz dies is a disaster for
numismatics. They should be defaced, even in a minor way, so anything struck
from them will be easily seen. And it appears the ownership trail is in
question and this needs to be resolved before the dies are auctioned! And
will known Chinese minters be banned from the auction?


Jorg Lueke writes:

There's still a big gap in information that may never get reported after
this dispersal. How did this many dies leave the mint, who owned them and
why are they being sold? Is it a museum deaccessioning? The Goetz family
selling? Some other private owner? I understand that providing those details
can easily negate the anonymity of the seller which is unfortunate since it
leaves us with a potentially permanent gap in knowledge.


We will produce comments as they occur.  We continue to try and get answers for the Goetz collector base.  If you would like to comment it is easy to register, anonymously if you'd like.  Or as an alternative you may contact me at : admin@secessionistmedals.com with your comments and I will place them into the thread.

Don't forget, only the first phase of this tainted auction has occurred, two more auctions containing 700 more 'Karl' dies/hubs are scheduled for September13 and April14.  We certainly hope to have more answers by then.

Collectors...knowledge is power!





Offline gregburns

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 05:29:28 PM »
Definitely worthy of watching. Some of the pricing for the more popular medals' dies were remarkable (many thousands). It will interesting to see if subsequent sessions have any different approach to the market... GB

Offline Bill

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Re: What's going on with the Heritage 4/23/13 Goetz Auction?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2013, 03:00:26 PM »
So Bill, when you say "items made following the war" are you implying Guido began making dies and hubs?  Karl was active for a year or two after the war but his stroke pretty much removed him from further physically demanding work...he relied on Guido to help him until he died in 1950. And when did they retrieve the dies and hubs from the mint?  I don't think there was any incentive to remove them until someone decided they might make a little money on the side.

I don't believe the consignor gives a damn about diluting the market.  I think they want the money and to get the hot potato out of their hands before the 4th Reich comes down on them....many, many Germans are unhappy about this auction taking place.

I won't speculate on who might have made dies and/or hubs after the war as there are others here who know more than I do about the period. I just know that there were two hubs for one medal in the lots that just sold. One hub was damaged and it was used to make one of the dies in the sale after it was damaged. The other hub was also used to make a die in the sale. Both were listed as 36mm. So, if you damaged the hub while finishing it, why would you use it to make a die? If the damaged die is the original and the damage is post use, who made the second hub and die?

The Bavarian mint was damaged on several occasions and then in the hands of the Allies in 1949. Assuming the dies and hubs were in the mint and survived, did the Allies hand them over to Goetz? Did they remain in the mint until control passed back to Germany in 1950 and then the dies released to the family?

So much more to this story, but the material does suggest that not all the pieces are original to when the pieces were first produced by Goetz.