After Friedrich Nerly’s The Piazzetta di San Marco by Moonlight was sold for a record price at our spring auction, we received the marvelous Winter on the Canal Grande with Santa Maria della Salute from Italy which was bought for € 223,000.
With a result of 58.3 million euro (not including Private Sales), Lempertz can look back on a successful year. The various departments realised diverse national and international record prices and the experts gained new collectors, in particular online bidders from overseas, in addition to the long-standing clients.
The season is traditionally opened with Old Masters and Decorative Arts, which brought in around 7 million euro, with many lots providing surprises: One such example was a late Gothic stained glass window of St. Elisabeth, which rose from 3,000 – 4,000 to change hands at 82,000 euro (see ill.), and a Ducal bracelet in red gold, silver and diamonds which more than tripled its estimate and was sold for 51,000 euro. Consigned at the last minure, one painting was cautiously attributed to a Flemish Master with an estimate of 5,000 – 6,000. It eventually sold for an icredible 390,600 euro. It had already been auctioned at Lempertz in 1975 for 2,200 DM and then given back by the heirs. Equally noteworthy was the jump from 70,000 – 80,000 euro up to 322,400 euro for the Passion Christi by a Lower Rhenish Master around from 1490/1500.
Late Gothic stained glass window of St. Elisabeth
Result: € 82,000.
The Photography, Modern Art and Contemporary Art auctions realised a total of 12.2 million euro, making this their most successful year at Lempertz in a long time. Without a doubt, the highlights of the Classical Modern art was Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Mädchen in Südwester with 1.58 million euro (see ill.). A further top lot came from Georg Grosz, with one of his most important sheets, Soirée, which sold for 446,000 euro. The long undetected work was discovered in a Belgian collection by one of our experts.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Mädchen in Südwester.
Result: € 1,580,000.
In the Contemporary Art, our department with the highest turnover, Josef Albers’ canvas Homage to the Square achieved a German record price of 676,000 euro (see ill.).
International record prices were made by a sculpture by Frith Koenig with 568,000 euro, two cushion pictures by Gotthard Graubner which combined made just over 1 million euro, whilst a canvas by Zdeněk Sýkora sold for 446,000 euro.
Fernando Botero’s Niño con un pájaro reached 248,000 euro, and a work consisting of 48 watercolours by Günther Uecker brought 211,000 euro.
Josef Albers Homage to the Square. Result: € 676,000.
This year’s autumn auction of Asian Art was crowned by many private collections, and reached a total of over 2 million euro, which together with the top result in the spring, represents one of the most successful years for Asian art in Lempertz’ history.
Estimated at 30,000 – 40,000 euro, a fire gilt Buddha Shakyamuni (Ming dynasty) from the collection of Emilfranz Maurer doubled its estimate to sell for 86,800 euro (see ill.).
Buddha Shakyamuni. Result: € 86,800.
In addition, a further Buddha Shakyamuni with a vrajra, this time from 15th century Tibet and from the private collection of Johann and Ursula Strebel, valued at 5,000 – 8,000 euro, eventually changed hands for 49,600 euro.