The successful kick-off of the spring auction season at Ketterer Kunst
in Munich on May 18 was marked by the 19th Century Art Auction yielding total proceeds of almost 800,000. The attractiveness of this section is underlined by 36% first time buyers, a sales quota of around 75% by lots and an average price increase per of around 60% per sold lot. The star of the auction was Hermann Pleuers atmospheric train station scene Stuttgarter Westbahnhof, which was reopened in 1896 after just three years of reconstruction.
We have been facing a situation in which it was extremely difficult to acquire interesting high-quality artworks to be offered at appealing prices, says Robert Ketterer with regards to 19th Century Art. The auctioneer and company owner continues to explain: While sellers were very reserved this spring, buyers were acting ever more actively, which our excellent sales quota and the sharp price increases deliver proof of. It is very delightful that a change of trend can be observed on the consignors side for the autumn season, as we have already been entrusted with top objects with estimates in six-digit realms for our November auction.
Accordingly, the second half of the year is expected to continue just the way this term ended for Hermann Pleuers Stuttgarter Westbahnhof in der Abenddämmerung (lot 65). The oil painting from 1899 realized a new world record for a work by the artist after an exciting bidding fight between three phone bidders from different parts of Germany.
Eventually a very tenacious collector from Northern Germany and his bid of 56,250, which is more than a twelve-fold of the starting price, curbed the bidding frenzy.
The auctions most expensive work is an oil painting by Leo Putz from 1908. His Gusti, seated Auf dem Sofa (On the Couch, lot 72), nude and with great self-confidence, captured the heart of a Southern German collector and was sold for 65,625.
A collector from Northern Italy honored a rural idyll from Stefano Bruzzi with a result of 38,750. While he more than doubled the calling price, he also stood his ground against a fellow countryman on another phone in a nip-and-tuck race. Eventually, he made the oil painting Die Schafschur (lot 44) from around 1885 sure for himself.
Three works by Franz von Stuck also were at the top of the list of desired objects, first and foremost the bronze Amazone (lot 67). With a result of 35,000 - that is three and a half times the calling price the saleroom was filled with amazement. Even though almost half a dozen registered phone bidders were a sign of big interest, the final price offered by a museum excelled all expectations and relegated competitors from Germany and France to places second and beyond.
Franz von Stuck shares fourth place in the auction with Willem Koekkoek, whose Holländische Stadtansicht im Sommer (lot 47) also saw a remarkable increase and was eventually sold to an English trader who had to face fierce competition from Germany first.
Place five is occupied by three works that all realized a result of 30,000. While Edward Theodore Comptons Hoher Göll vom Watzmann-Hocheck (lot 66) was sold to a Swiss private collection against the wills of a collector from Baden-Württemberg and a British trader, both Adolf Heinrich Liers Der Starnberger See von Pöcking aus gesehen (lot 16) and Joseph Karl Stielers Auguste Amalie Prinzessin von Bayern, Herzogin von Leuchtenberg (lot 1) will remain in Germany.