Bidders charge art auction

  • MUNICH, Germany
  • /
  • December 15, 2009

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Fall auctions at Ketterer Kunst, Munich, realized € 11 million overall, including strong price results for works by Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, and Alexej von Jawlensky.

"It was an extremely successful end of the auction season and quite an effort to put up with the heavy rush of some 450 commissions (not including bidders in the auction room) that were placed on the 271 works in last Saturday’s auction", said Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst. He continued: "Each sold object saw an average increase of 61% percent. Our autumn auctions** thus made for overall proceeds of € 11 million*. This way we did not only manage to top last year’s sensational autumn auctions, we are even reaching heights again that we last had in the record year 2007".

Top 5
€ 780 000* € 500 000
€ 290 000* € 80 000
€ 240 000* € 70 000
€ 215 000* € 90 000
€ 200 000* € 80 000

The thematic focal points were on:
1. Modern Art
2. Post War/Contemporary Art
3. Old Masters and Art of the 19th Century

on 1: Modern Art

As expected, the December auction was headed by Otto Mueller‘s "Artistenpaar" (lot 123), which was made during his heydays with the "Brücke" in 1910/11. A collector from New York honored the work’s outstanding quality with € 780 000*. A German collector managed to get hold of the other two works by the artist. While he was able to acquire the glue-bound distemper on burlap landscape painting "Wald mit Fluss" (lot 136) for € 110 000*, he had to go to greater expenses for the watercolor "Stehender weiblichen Akt..." (lot 165) at some € 183 000*, however, he was able to leave five competitors in the room and on the phones behind him.

Another top lot was Emil Nolde‘s "Tänzerin (lot 133), which a private collector from southern Germany was able to purchase for € 290 000* by means of a written bid. He asserted himself against four phone bidders and a number of competitors in the auction room. This result made for a triplication of the estimate. Nolde‘s other four works in this auction were also quite popular with the audience, as they were all sold with excellent increases. The watercolor in a small format "Pferd und Füllen" (lot 131), called up at € 8 500, made for a result of € 39 000*.

Alexej von Jawlensky‘s "Abstrakter Kopf" (lot 162) climbed from € 80 000 to a result of € 200 000*, and is now in possession of a German private collection.

Albert Bloch‘s expressive "Stilleben XI" (lot 164A) went to northern Germany, however, not before the result of € 165 000* had been attained. An intense international bidding skirmish, in which participants from the USA and Greece drew the short straw, led to a result of an eightfold of the calling price.

Other works more than just worthwhile mentioning:

on 2. Post War/Contemporary Art
This section is led by Günther Uecker‘s nail work "Field (Feld)" (lot 347) from 1977, with an estimate of € 80 000-120 000. Despite numerous orders in writing and a packed auction hall, the hammer eventually went down for a phone bidder. With a result of € 240 000*, the intense work is now in possession of a southern German collector.

Three works by Horst Antes, which were all sold, are proof of the artist’s popularity, particularly with the German part of the audience. An exceptional highlight was the "Große Blaue Bild" (lot 331), which definitely lives up to its name. The aquatec work with museum qualities was honored by a German collector with a result of € 215 000*, while the "Ocker-Figur mit Wunde..." (lot 350, estimate: € 40 000-60 000) was acquired for € 90 000*.

Another excellent increase was realized by Martin Kippenberger‘s oil painting "Ohne Titel (Aus: Uno di voi, un Tedesco in Firenze)" (lot 369), which soared from an initial € 30 000 to an incredible height of € 183 000*. A Greek bidder stood up to international competitors. As the bidding skirmish‘s winner, he made sure that the work achieved a sixfold of its calling price.

Another lot that provided excitement in the auction room was Jörg Immendorff‘s bronze "Sieger" (lot 395). A collector from Hesse celebrated the victory and can call the works his own for some € 135 000*.

The artist’s extraordinarily charming gang of monkeys had already caused a furor in the October auction. 18 bronze figures with an estimate of € 6 000-8 000 each in the end achieved a result of € 177 000* thus leading the auction together with several erotic works by George Grosz .

Besides Gerhard Hoehme‘s oil painting "Wohin? (Hommage à Fautrier)" (lot 303, estimate: € 20 000, result: € 115 000*), another great increase in the December auction was accomplished by George Mathieu‘s "L'anarchie italienne" (lot 327). On top of numerous written bids and a clearly visible interest in the auction room, the phones were all engaged by some 14 bidders. A new customer from Italy managed to get hold of the much sought-after work at a result of € 95 000*.

Other works more than just worthwhile mentioning:

on 3: Old Masters and Art of the 19th Century
"Bambina ridente - Laughing Child"Medardo Rosso

Carl Spitzweg"Im Studierzimmer"

Timoleon von Neff"Bildnis einer jungen Frau"

Eduard von GrütznerNicolò della Casa


Ketterer Kunst
About Ketterer Kunst

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, with its headquarters in Munich and a branch in Hamburg. Gallery rooms in Berlin as well as representatives in Heidelberg and Krefeld have contributed substantially to the company's success. Ketterer Kunst has further rounded off its portfolio by acquiring the prestigious Ernest Rathenau Verlag, New York/Munich. In addition, exhibitions, special theme auctions and benefit auctions for charity as well as online auctions are regular events at Ketterer Kunst.

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