€ 120,000* for the whole world
Schedel World Chronicle realises top price at Ketterer evening auction of Rare Books
Hamburg, 21 May 2008, (kk) - The two-day auction marathon at Ketterer Kunst paid off with excellent results. The evening auction alone made € 560,000*. The overall proceeds from the auction of Rare Books - Manuscripts - Autographs - Decorative Prints on 19 & 20 May 2008 amounted to € 1 200,000*.

€ 120,000*
Hartmann Schedel - "Liber chronicarum"
Estimate: € 80,000

€ 35,000*
Latin Book of Hours on vellum. Paris 1498.
Estimate: € 20,000

€ 32,000*
Literary Magazine Pan
Estimate: € 24,000

"I am delighted that our evening auction concept has become so well established and is appreciated by both clients of long standing and newcomers interested in the field. It is particularly gratifying that we have been able to attract a clientele that has hitherto been committed mainly to fine art by imbuing them with a fascination for books," thus Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.
An exemplar of Hartmann Schedel’s "Liber chronicarum" (estimate: € 80,000) hand-coloured by the Westphalian humanist Johannes Cincinnius fetched top price at the auction. Published in 1493, this book, which came from Cincinnius’ library, was one of the most comprehensive book projects of its day and is probably the most richly illustrated incunabulum in existence. "Schedel’s World Chronicle" features the earliest authentic views of German cities - before it ideal views of cities reigned supreme - went to a south German private collection whose owner was present in the auction room for € 120,000*. He outbid numerous private bidders as well as art dealers to acquire this legendary chronicle.
The telephone wires were also jangling from abroad during the bidding skirmish for the Book of Hours of Philippe Pigouchet, written in Latin on vellum. With its decorative metalcut borders, this extremely rare incunabulum published in Paris in 1498 attracted bidders from southern Europe. However, the hammer went down for a bidder from Switzerland, who found this work so irresistible that he offered € 35,000* for it.
Unfortunately, Swiss bidders lost out on a complete edition in 10 volumes of the art and literary magazine PAN (1895-1900). Carrying an estimate of € 24,000, this lot, which also boasted the Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec coloured lithograph of "Mademoiselle Marcelle Lender", which is so often missing, went to a German private collection for € 32,000.
Another lot that certainly exceeded the estimate was the "Biblia sacra", illustrated with 105 colour prints after gouaches by Salvador Dalí. Outbidding stiff competition from the US, a collector from Germany honoured this five-volume de luxe edition of the Holy Bible with € 34,000*, almost three times the estimate of € 12,000.
A Dutchman in the auction room ensured that the estimate of € 15,000 for the Star Atlas by Johann Elert Bode was nearly doubled. He outstripped competition from Russia, France, Germany and Italy to be able to take home the so-called "Uronographia" by the self-taught Hamburg astronomer for € 28,000*.
Another great success was the Caspar Danckwerth atlas "Newe Landesbeschreibung der zwey Herzogthümer Schleswich und Holstein", which nearly trebled the estimate of € 8,000 to go to Sweden for € 23,000*.
A work that was meant to stay in Germany, the home of the genre, was Friedrich Justin Bertuch’s "Bilderbuch für Kinder ..." Carrying an estimate of € 16,000, this complete exemplar of the celebrated children’s encyclopaedia in 24 volumes illustrated with 1186 copperplates went to a private collection in western Germany for over € 20,000*.
A French dealer finally succeeded in securing Pierre Corneille’s twelve-volume "Théatre avec des commentaires (par Voltaire)" for € 18,000* to the great disappointment of a round dozen bidders from all over the world. Bids poured in on the telephone and in writing for this splendid work that had carried the temptingly low estimate of € 2000.
The approximately 80 objects from the Heinrich Zille collection had also been awaited on tenterhooks. Here more than 70 per cent were sold, including the delightful India ink and watercolour-wash drawing of a "Baby im Steckkissen" ["Baby in Swaddling-Bands on a Baby Pillow"], which changed hands for € 8,000*.
Post-auction sales continue through 18 July 2008: there are still some exciting objects to snap up.
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.