First Evening Book Auction at Ketterer Kunst
Hamburg (kk) - For the first time Ketterer Kunst is presenting highlights of the Rare Books - Manuscripts - Autographs - Decorative Prints division at an evening auction accompanied by a separate, newly designed catalogue. Of the roughly 2000 objects to be sold at auction at Meßberg 1 in Hamburg on November 13/14 , 2006, a representative cross-section of approx. 100 objects is to go under the hammer as an evening event at 6 pm on the first day of the auction. This special selection includes the "Hortus Sanitatis". Carrying an estimate of € 45,000, it is one of the most beautiful and comprehensive herbals and medical books of the 15th century.
The first Strasbourg edition, printed by Johann Prüss, explained for the first time the therapeutic effects attributed to every plant, every animal and every stone and was, therefore, seminal for later works on medicine. This complete exemplar, which is in good condition, boasts roughly 1600 woodcut illustrations in the text and two large decorative initials in red and blue.
In the Old Prints section, the star attraction is Ulrich von Richenthal's "Concilium zu Konstantz" ["Council of Constance"]. The sole incunabulum edition of the first printed book of heraldry, it describes the events at the Council of Constance, one of the paramount Church assemblies of the Middle Ages. More than six hundred theologians and just as many temporal princes from all over Europe met there from November 1414 to April 1418 to discuss the restoration of unity in the Church. Over 1000 original colored woodcuts show, inter alia, the election of Cardinal Colonna as Pope and Jan Hus being burnt at the stake. The estimate is € 24,000.
The same estimate applies to the enlarged edition of Sebastian Brant's "Narrenschiff" ["Ship of Fools"] in the Latin translation by Jacob Locher. The text of this verse satire on the foolishness and weaknesses of man is illustrated with 119 woodcuts, some of them attributed to Albrecht Dürer, and was one of the most popular books of the Early Modern Age.
The tension is also sure to mount in the auction room when the "Legenda aurea" of Jacobus de Voragine" (estimate: € 14,000) is called. Printed in Antwerp, his book is notable for woodcuts by J. Jacobssoen van der Meer and C. Snellaert showing scenes from the Bible and representations from the lives of the Saints and Martyrs.
The Science section also has some highlights in store. The more than 90 colored copperplates in Georg Wolfgang Knorr's "Deliciae naturae selectae" depicting minerals, shells, sea urchins and starfish, fish, birds, reptiles and terrestrial mammals provide an excellent cross-section of the collector’s items in German naturalia cabinets of the day. This unusually fine exemplar of the first and only Dutch translation of this monumental work carries an estimate of € 16,000.
Somewhat higher, at € 20,000, is the estimate for John A. Latham's "A general synopsis of birds" in ten volumes. A first edition, this first scientific description of hundreds of bird species is captivating indeed, not least for the brilliant colors displayed in over 450 copperplates.
Another work devoted to ornithology is Conrad Gesner's "Vogelbuch" ["Bird Book"]. Carrying an estimate of € 7000, this work, published in Zurich in 1557, deals with bird habitats, their origins, organs, diseases and their uses for mankind. In addition, it includes extremely entertaining fables and anecdotes.
Horse lovers will eagerly await Antoine de Pluvinel's "L'instruction du Roy en l'exercice de monter à cheval" to be called. The magnificent copperplates by Crispin de Passe the Younger, drawing instructor to Louis XIII’s equerry will definitely surpass its estimate of only € 8000.
Lovers of that most beautiful of flowers, the rose, will greatly appreciate Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s "Les Roses" (published in 1824). This octavo edition contains 160 splendid plates devoted to roses. It carries an estimate of € 14,000.
A supreme achievement of Jugendstil book-making is the Hugo von Hofmannsthal one-act play, "Der Kaiser und die Hexe" ["The Emperor and the Witch"]. With a double cover in color and lavishly decorated by Heinrich Vogeler, this work will be launched with an estimate of € 3000.
A compendious collection of illustrations, bindings and other book decoration by Emil Preetorius carries an overall estimate of roughly € 15,000. It includes, for example, Jean Paul's "Leben des vergnügten Schulmeisterlein Maria Wuz in Auenthal" ["Life of Maria Wuz, a Contented Schoolmistress"] (estimate: € 1000) and Ernst Elias Niebergall's "Datterich" (estimate: € 800).
In addition, this auction features a really special catalogue on "Tournaesiana", in which about 100 books, printed by the celebrated de Tournes family, are listed. The overall estimate for these works, most of them published in Lyon between 1530 and 1590 is approximately € 50,000.
Pre-sale viewings of all books are scheduled for the following dates and times at Ketterer Kunst, Am Messberg 1, Hamburg:
November 1-3: 11 am-5 pm
November 6-10: 11 am-5 pm
and on November 12 by appointment.
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, October 23,2006