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Vincent van Gogh and Albert Anker dominate the Swiss Spring Auctions at Koller
Vincent van Gogh, (Groot-Zundert 1853-1890 Auvers sur Oise) Pont de Clichy. 1887. Oil on canvas. 55x46 cm. Sold for CHF 6.6 million.

ZURICH.- Koller Auctions in Zurich concluded its June auctions of 2013 having clearly exceeded expectations. At the Swiss Art auction Koller made a new world record price of 7.5 million Swiss Francs for „Turnstunde in Ins“, a painting by the Swiss artist Albert Anker. The second highest price of the auction series was delivered at the Modern Art auction by Vincent Van Gogh’s „Pont de Clichy“ with a price of CHF 6.6 million. In total, Koller sold eight paintings at over a million Swiss Francs. Other departments also delivered good results. So, for example the Patek Philippe „World Time“ made a price of CHF 733 300 at the Jewellery and Watches auction. The total turnover of this auction week was more than CHF 37 million.

Swiss Art
A new world record for Albert Anker

With a final price of CHF 7.5 million Koller established a new world record for a painting by Albert Anker at the Swiss Art auction on 21 June 2013. Koller Auctions thus exceeded their previous record for Anker which they themselves had established in December 2011 for the painting “Die ältere Schwester”. Albert Anker painted “Die Turnstunde in Ins” (lot 3012) in 1879, five years after compulsory gymnastics lessons for boys had been introduced in Switzerland. Consigned by a private collector, this work goes again to a private collection. A painting entitled “Hohes Alter” (lot 3025) depicting an old peasant woman warming her hands over a kettle in her kitchen, also by Albert Anker, was auctioned for CHF 1.17 million. Rising even higher with a final price of CHF 2.55 million was the third key work by Anker at this auction, “Schreibender Knabe” (lot 3018) from 1883.

Ferdinand Holder’s early work “Strasse von Evordes” (lot 3032) also broke the million barrier. The work, produced in 1890, was estimated at CHF 600 000-800 000 and reached, after a lively bidding war, the price of CHF 1.1 million. Works by Cuno Amiet, Giovanni Giacometti and Félix Vallotton were also successful. Amiet’s painting “Oschwand” (lot 3040) went for CHF 408 000 to a Swiss private collection, as did the work “Ernte” (lot 3064) from 1918, which was auctioned for CHF 360 000. Finally, a small format and colourful work by Giovanni Giacometti “Herbstwald” (lot 3043) changed owner for CHF 204 000. With a total turnover of CHF 16 million (at a total estimate value of CHF 10.5 / 14.5 million) the Koller Swiss Art auction went far beyond expectations.

Modern Art
Vincent Van Gogh‘s “Pont de Clichy” sold for CHF 6.6 million

The Modern Art auction can boast a sensational overall result of CHF 14 million with four final prices at over a million Swiss Francs. A price of CHF 6.6 million for Vincent van Gogh’s 1887 key work “Pont de Clichy“ was an excellent outcome. This, the highlight of the entire June auction series at Koller, is extremely significant in many respects. The work was produced in 1887 in Paris, where van Gogh had already for three years been closely involved with Impressionism, influenced by Paul Signac, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gaugin. With “Pont de Clichy” he created one of the first of his light-filled paintings which were precursors to his later major works. Van Gogh himself selected this painting as the first of his Paris phase for an exhibition with the gallery owner Tersteeg at The Hague (lot 3222).

All the remaining auction highlights were met with a high demand from bidders. The painting by Gustave Caillebotte from 1890 which depicts a tributary of the Seine with autumnal trees, fell within the estimate at a price of CHF 1.8 million (lot 3209). Alfred Sisley’s much-published and prominently exhibited masterpiece “A la lisière de la fôret - Les Sablons” circa 1884/85, successfully exceeded its upper estimate with a price of CHF 2.03 million (lot 3213). Max Beckmann’s still life with violet Dahlias from 1926, was equally successful, when, with an estimate of CHF 950 000, it finally changed owners for a price of CHF 1.05 million (lot 3230). And fierce telephone bidding for the richly coloured painting “La Grille” by Raoul Dufy only stopped after they had reached the upper estimate. This magical view of a villa parkland seen through a Baroque iron gate, proved to be worth CHF 825 000 to the new owner (lot 3217).

The portfolio of ten lithographs by Serge Poliakoff was the highlight of the Modern Prints auction comprising around 130 lots. The final price, at CHF 84 000, consequently came in somewhat higher than the upper estimate (lot 3702). High bids were also needed for the important colour woodcut with a portrait of the boy Martin Monsch by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (lot 3614). Picasso’s etching “Femme assise dans un fauteuil” (lot 3631) and Marc Chagall’s colour lithograph “Roses et mimosa” each went to new owners for CHF 36 000 (lot 3661). Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s woodcut depicting two women at work, from 1919, reached the price of CHF 22 800, which was therefore within the region of the lower estimate (lot 3620).

PostWar & Contemporary
The new catalogue caters for an active public

The June auction of PostWar & Contemporary, presented for the first time with its own catalogue, was very successful. The choice of Saturday as the auction day also suited the young active public. A small format white “Concetto spaziale” by Lucio Fontana led the highlights with a hammer price of CHF 324 000 (lot 3431). Fernando Botero’s large format and colourful pastel “Homme” from 1994 found a new owner for CHF 312 000. Manolo Valdes‘ depiction of a cardinal rendered in purple outline, from 1986 made CHF 288 000 (lot 3470) and Serge Poliakoff’s “Composition grise et jaune” from 1962 made CHF 204 000 (lot 3447). Finally Josef Albers’ “Hommage to the square: Inquiry” sold successfully for CHF 168 000 (lot 3428).

Art Deco, Art Nouveau
The Nautilus by Tiffany shines brightest

At the Art Deco and Art Nouveau auction, which as of this year no longer takes place in Geneva but in Zurich, Koller Auctions successfully found new owners for 100 of its 140 lots. At the auction, which was conducted by the founder of the auction house himself, Pierre Koller, a table lamp by the New York Tiffany Studios in the form of a female nude with a nautilus bowl made of bronze and glass, went for CHF 50 400 (lot 1009). A further table lamp in the form of a woman with a billowing drape by François Raoul Larche made of gilt bronze, was auctioned for CHF 27 600 (lot 1107). From the Emile Gallé studio a vase “Vol d’éphémères” circa 1890 with blue inclusions and May flies rendered in yellow was one of the auction highlights. It was auctioned at CHF 39 600, which was somewhat higher than the upper estimate. A signed Gallé table lamp in white glass with a violet foliate decoration realised CHF 15 000 (lot 1039). The panel by Jean Dunan made of relief-decorated lacquer with a depiction of two deer in a wooded landscape, regarded as the top lot, also had a good result. The panel, produced in 1932 and exhibited in 1985 at the DeLorenzo-Gallery in New York was worth CHF 30 000 to its new owner (lot 1129). The lacquer screen in the same style made by his son Pierre Dunand reached CHF 24 000 (lot 1128).

Jewellery and Wristwatches
Patek Philippe “World Time” sold for CHF 733 300

In the sale of Wristwatches the very rare Patek Philippe “World Time” from 1963 fulfilled expectations. Estimated at CHF 600 000 / 800 000 this hand-wound wristwatch with numbered anchor escapement, outer ring with the names of 41 cities, a 24 hour ring with day/night indicator and swan neck fine regulator, made a price of CHF 733 300 (lot 2291). An IWC Grande Complication with platinum case was sold for CHF 91 200 (lot 2319) and a Breguet Tourbillon was sold for CHF 36 000 (lot 2318).

Previously at the jewellery auctions, many signed and contemporary pieces would sell within their estimates. An Art Deco necklace with an emerald at 4.4 ct caused something of a surprise therefore. With a selling price of CHF 324 000 this necklace went for almost 30 times its estimate and proved to be the highest price for an item of jewellery in this auction (lot 2169). A necklace of natural pearls with diamonds with a matching three-row bracelet also rose unexpectedly high. The lot, estimated at CHF 5 000, went to a price of CHF 70 000 (lot 2203). A Fancy diamond ring from the 1950s also remained within its estimate with a price of CHF 72 000 (lot 2023).

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