First Ketterer Evening Auction of Rare Books a Great Success
Hamburg (kk) - Overall proceeds from the Ketterer Kunst auction of Rare Books - Manuscripts - Autographs - Decorative Prints amounting to nearly € 550,000* for just the 112 objects sold at the first evening auction on November 13, 2006 at Meßberg 1, Hamburg. The breakdown shows that 88 per cent of lots were sold and that sales prices exceeded estimates per lot by 66 per cent. Taking two days, the entire auction, at which 1900 lots were sold, fetched € 1.3 million.
"I am really delighted that our new concept has been so positively received and that clients who have hitherto been interested mainly in art have now discovered the fascination of rare books," hus Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and managing director of Ketterer Kunst.. "Certainly, producing the extremely elaborate catalogues entailed a hefty additional investment but I am equally concerned with giving something back and re-investing some of the earnings from what is a currently buoyant art market," he goes on to add.
That evening the auction room was packed - not a seat was left empty - with old friends and familiar faces but there were many new ones among them. Some seventy clients were bidding by telephone and over three hundred took advantage of the opportunity for sending in bids in writing in advance.
More than five times surpassing its estimate of € 10,000, the Piter van den Kaerius atlas "Germania Inferior" was catapulted to the head of the auction lots to go to a Belgian dealer for the top price of € 55,000*.
The same bidder, who would enliven the auction proceedings on several occasions, also took home the "Hortus Sanitatis", which had carried the highest estimate of the whole auction. For it he had to part with another € 42,000*.
Joan Blaeu’s first section of the 1649 Netherlands City Books "Toonneel der Steden ..." went for approximately € 35,000*, more than tripling the estimate of € 10,000, with six bidders on the telephone and six more bids in writing competing against the auction room.
The auction got off to a propitious start indeed with Ulrich von Richenthal’s "Concilium zu Kontanz". The sole incunabulum of this first printed book of heraldry was secured by a south German collector for some € 33,000*, which more than tripled the estimate of € 9000.
Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon’s celebrated "Histoire naturelle" more than doubled the estimate of € 12,000. A French dealer outbid international competition to take it back with him for € 30,000*.
A compatriot of his acquired three more rare works: Elisabeth Blackwell’s "Herbarium Blackwellianum" (sale price: € 23,000*) and Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s "Les Roses" (1824), which went for € 19,000*. Each book had carried an estimate of € 14,000 whereas an album with more than 1400 textile patterns had been expected to fetch only € 1000. The same bidder had to outstrip eleven others to acquire this unusual work for eighteen times the original estimate at € 18,000*.
The first edition of the Georg Agricola "De re metallica", a Renaissance book on mining, made nerves tingle in the auction room. Carrying an estimate of € 10,000, it went to an Israeli private collection for nearly € 15,000*.
A collection of some six hundred original photographs taken by Richard Fleischhut and other photographers on board the North German Lloyd luxury liner "Bremen" also proved irresistible. It almost tripled the estimate of € 5000 to go to a German collector for more than € 14,000*.
If that were not enough, the auction also featured a special catalogue Tournaesiana , in which 93 books were offered from the programme of the celebrated de Tournes family of printers. Almost all were sold, with hammer prices far exceding estimates totalling € 50,000 to the tune of nearly € 90,000*.
Post auction sales run through December 14, 2006.
Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books. While the Munich headquarters in the Prinz-Alfons-Palais is responsible for the two traditional annual auctions of Modern Art & Post War, the Meßberghof in Hamburg is the venue for two auctions a year, each based on the following fields: Old Masters and Art of the 19th Century / Marine Art and Rare Books - Autographs - Manuscripts - Decorative Prints as well as Modern Art & Post War, with a focus on works on paper. In addition, exhibitions, special auctions and benefit auctions for charity are regular events at Ketterer Kunst.
Hamburg, November 14, 2006

* Sale proceeds represent the hammer price + 19%