Dead Hares Bring Auction Room to Life
A330 - Robert Ketterer
Hamburg, 7 April 2008, (kk) - €2 700,000* were achieved at the Ketterer Kunst spring Modern Art & Post War and Old Masters & Art of the 19th Century/Marine Art auctions held on 4 and 5 April 2008. Old Masters proceeds amounted to €900,000*, not only nearly doubling the proceeds for the same timespan last year but also providing very impressive rises, in some cases up to twenty times estimate prices.
The Top 5 at the Auction

€ 122,000*
Adriaen van Utrecht - "Kitchen Still Life ..."
Estimate: € 50,000

€ 70,000*
Carl Spitzweg - "Gnome Watching a Train"
Estimate: € 30,000

€ 62,000*
Sebald Bopp - "The Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit"
Estimate: € 18,000

€ 59,000*
after Bernardo Bellotto - "Neumarkt in Dresden..."
Estimate: € 3,000

€ 55,000*
after Bernardo Bellotto - "Dresden ..."
Estimate: € 3,000

The roll of top sale prices achieved is headed by Adriaen van Utrecht’s "Küchenstillleben mit erlegtem Wild, Früchten und Gemüse" ["Kitchen Still Life with Game, Fruits and Vegetables"]. This museum-quality work dates from 1646 and was acquired by a southern European bidder on the telephone for €122,000.*
Since it achieved €70,000*, Carl Spitzweg’s "Gnom, Eisenbahn betrachtend" ["Gnome Watching a Train"], which was on the catalogue cover, more than doubled the estimate. Even though the ZEIT magazine Leben had hoped to achieve a rapprochement between former Bavarian premier Edmund Stoiber, whose favourite painter is Carl Spitzweg, because of the relevant motif of this extraordinarily skilfully painted and composed work, this gem measuring 24 x 14.7 cm was ultimately secured by a Franconian collector. To acquire it, he outbid a packed auction room, a well-filled book of orders on commission and four rivals on the telephone.
A work in remarkably good condition dating from the 1490s that might have been expected to go to Franconia, "Ausgiessung des Heiligen Geistes" ["The Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit"] by the Bamberg painter Sebald Bopp, did spark off lively bidding from that region but nonetheless went for €62,000* across the Atlantic to New York.
The estimates were most notably exceeded in the case of two oil paintings after Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto, dating from c. 1800 and carrying estimates of € 3,000-4000 each. Whereas "Dresden vom rechten Elbufer unterhalb der Augustenbrücke" ["Dresden from the Right Bank of the Elbe below August Bridge"] was bid up to a dizzying € 55,000*, "Der Neumarkt in Dresden vom Jüdenhof aus" ["Neumarkt in Dresden from the Jüdenhof"] fetched a resounding €59,000*. Such was the interest from all sides that English, French and Italian were spoken on the telephones, with half a dozen bidders from other European countries on the line. To no avail; both works remained in Germany. A north German dealer in the auction room knew exactly what he wanted. With the persistence of the true professional, he hung on until he had both works for himself and his clientele.
"Christus und Heilige" ["Christ and Saints"], a masterly representation of the saints in tempera from Catalonia, featuring some punch-decorated robes, touched off such a storm of bidding that the estimate of €15,000 was more than trebled. A south German collector finally stopped the bidding skirmish with an offer of €50,000* .
Ottmar Elliger’s "Fruchtgehänge mit zahlreichen Insekten" ["Swags of Fruit Swarming with Insects"] was also an exciting call. Bidding for this 1660s/70s oil painting on panel raged until it was finally sold to a British collector for €49,000*, nearly trebling the estimate of € 18,000.
Also deserving more than a mention in passing in the Modern Art division:
Artist Title Estimate Sale Price Buyer from
Lady Laura Alma-Tadema (oil) Satisfaction € 15,000 € 30,000* Britain
Joachim v. Sandrart the Younger (drawing) Pluto € 8,000 € 21,000* Germany
Ernst Eitner (oil) Tree-lined Road past a Meadow € 7,000 € 16,000* Germany
Carl Spitzweg (oil) Summery Franconian Landscape € 18,000 € 19,000* Germany
The Modern Art & Post War division was headed by an expressive Christian Rohlfs. "Alter Mann und junges Mädchen" ["Old Man and Young Girl"]; carrying an estimate of € 25,000, it was soon snapped up by a connoisseur from Greece, who paid € 43,000* for it.
The same bidder was equally successful in courting the Franz von Stuck the princely painter’s "Tochter Mary als Spanierin" ["Daughter Mary as a Spanish Lady"] in pastels. He outbid rivals calling in from abroad for her by parting with € 42,000*.
Another lot that caused a stir in the auction room at the very beginning was Catalogue No. 19: the Max Beckmann oil painting "Kaninchendiebe im Hermsdorfer Wald (Hühnerdiebe)" ["Hare Poachers in Hermsdorf Wood (Chicken Thieves)"]. The order book and telephone bidders from Germany and abroad fought over it until another client from Greece succeeded in nearly doubling the estimate of €20,000 to take it home for €38,000*.
Also attracted positive notice in the Post War division:
Artist Title Estimate Sale Price Buyer from
Fritz Winter (oil) "Before White" € 18,000 € 30,000* Germany
Rolf Nesch(material picture) "St. Peter" € 24,000 € 29,000* Germany
Jörg Immendorff (linocut) "Café de Flore" € 20,000 € 24,000* Germany
Post-auction sales of objects unsold at the Ketterer Kunst auctions held on 4 and 5 April 2008 at Meßberg 1, Hamburg, continue until 16 May 2007. Auction results lists are available: please call +49(0)40-374961-0. More information also at online.
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. Whereas the Ketterer Kunst headquarters in the Prinz Alfons Palais is responsible for the two traditional annual Modern Art & Post War auctions, two yearly auctions are held at the Meßberghof in Hamburg in each of the following fields: Old Masters & 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.
*) Sale price equals hammer price + 20 per cent surcharge.