Prices Set World Record at Ketterer Kunst - 70% Sold
Munich (kk) - Previous world record price for Bechteyeff quadrupled
*** Sales quota 70% *** Robert Ketterer: "Auction as packed as in the best of times!"
€ 475,000(1) was the astonishing price paid at Ketterer Kunst for Vladimir Georgievich Bechteyeff’s "Die Kurtisane" ["The Courtesan"]. Interested bidders from Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland as well as the Ukraine and Canada competed fiercely for this glowing painting by the Moscow artist. A collector from the Ukraine bidding by telephone finally won what had boiled down to a duel with a dealer pacing up and down in the auction room.
He was certainly taken with Russian art for he went on to acquire the two works by Natalia Sergeyevna Goncharova and Alexandra Exter, ensuring exceptionally high increases over the estimates. Whereas he boosted "Blumenstillleben mit blauer Vase" ["Flower Still Life with Blue Vase"] to almost five times the estimate by paying € 74,000(2) for it, he more than doubled the estimate of € 30,000 carried by "Stilleben mit Krug" ["Still Life with Jug"] to acquire it for € 68,000(2). He thus contributed substantially to ensuring the overall proceeds of the auction amounted to € 4.2 million.
Another hot item was the quirky Albert Birkle portrait in tempera of "Der Akrobat Schulz V" ["Acrobat Schulz V"], which a Greek collector bidding on the telephone honoured with € 145,000(2), positioning it at second place in the world ranking list for paintings by this artist, leaving Ketterer Kunst to compete against itself since all three top lots had already been occupied.(3) Albert Birkle’s "Kronprinzenbrücke II", on the other hand, remained at home in Germany. Carrying an estimate of € 25,000, the 1931 oil painting fetched a handsome € 48,000. (2)
The Emil Nolde watercolour "Blumen" ["Flowers"] rose effortlessly to € 107,000(2), which a Viennese dealer bid (estimate: € 60,000), outstripping the auction room, bids in writing and a bidder on the telephone.
A south German collector bid successfully on the telephone for another Emil Nolde: the 1918/20 "Frauenkopf (Profil nach rechts)" ["Head of a Woman (Profile, Turned to the Right"] was worth paying € 65,000(2) for, which meant doubling the estimate.
Excellent prices were also chalked up in the Modern Art division by Hans Purrmann’s "Hafen von Porto d’Ischia ["The Harbour at Porto d’Ischia"] (sale price: € 65,000(2)), Erich Heckel’s "Felsen bei Biarritz" ["Cliffs at Biarritz"] (sale price: € 60,000(2)) and Max Beckmann’s "Der Jahrmarkt" ["Fair"] (sale price: € 60,000(2)), not to mention works by Lesser Ury, Karl Hofer, Leo Putz and Ewald Mataré, whose "Kleine liegende Kuh II..." ["Small Cow Lying down II …"] (estimate: € 25,000) induced a new client to bid € 48,000(2) for it.
Before the main event, the Side lines of the German Avant-garde auction, a special auction that has been held for the third time, also ensured exciting bidding skirmishes and a stunning sales quota of over 90 per cent:
Elisabeth Ivanovna Epstein’s "Komposition mit Pokal und Vase" ["Composition with Trophy and Vase"], a drawing in oil and chalks which started out at an estimate of only € 4,000, was bid up to surprising heights. A dealer from Switzerland made it appreciate considerably by acquiring it for € 23,000(2)
Heinrich Schlief’s "Baum vor hügeliger Landschaft" ["Tree against a Hilly Landscape"] also sparked off fierce bidding. Almost a dozen bidders competed in writing and over the telephone wires for it. A south German collector carried the day when it fetched € 15,000(2) (estimate: € 2000).
Other artists whose works aroused enormous enthusiasm were August Babberger, Fritz Fuhrken, Carl Christoph Hartig, Paul Kother, Rudolf Levy and Walther Wahlstedt.
The third catalogue of the evening, entitled Post War, was headed by Pierre Soulages’ "Bronze I", which went to a south German collector for € 165.000(2).
The bidder from Greece, who had already succeeded in capturing a Birkle, also acquired the Neo Rauch 1987 "Selbstbildnis" ["Self-Portrait"] for € 80,000.(2)
While Emil Schumacher’s "Kabul" changed hands for € 72,000, (2) going to north Germany, the Franz Kline India ink and brush drawing "Untitled" travelled across the Atlantic to the US West Coast for about € 60,000. (2)
A Swiss client paid € 45,000(2) for Imi Knoebel’s "Chicago Gelb" in a large format while Gerhard Richter’s "Rot-Blau-Gelb" ["Red-Blue-Yellow"] was bought for € 44,000(2) by an Austrian collector, who also succeeded in taking home Richter’s "Vermalung (braun)", which he acquired for € 24,000(2) (estimate: € 9000).
Called at € 18,000, the Jörg Immendorff oil painting "Selbst mit Muse" ["Self with Muse"] climbed to dizzying heights before the bidding was finally stopped at € 43,000(2) by the above mentioned collector from Greece.
A German collector paid the same amount to secure the Fritz Winter oil painting "Mit Rot" ["With Red"]. The Tom Wesselmann colour silk-screen print "Still Life with Liz" astounded the field by more than trebling the estimate of € 12,000 to fetch € 39,000. (2)
Measuring 200 x 160 cm, Günther Uecker’s "Nagelobjekt" ["Nail Object"] (estimate: € 20,000), which went to Switzerland, and Lucio Fontana’s "Concetto spaziale" (estimate: € 10,000) both handsomely exceeded their estimates, going for € 31,000(2) each.
Post-auction sales of objects not sold at the auction held at the HVB Forum in Munich on December 5, 2006, will run until January 5, 2007. Auction results lists are available; please call +49 (0)89-55244-444. For more information, visit us online at
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-Alphons 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 & Art of the 19th-Century Art /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 and benefit auctions for charity as well as live auctions online are regular events at Ketterer Kunst.
Munich, December 6, 2006
(1) Sale price = Hammer price plus surcharge (+17 %)
(2) Sale price = Hammer price plus surcharge (+19 %)
(3) "Portrait of Kath the Painter" Result: € 150,000
"Postman HÄusler Result: € 96,000
"Man Wearing a Fur Cap"Result: € 80,000