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Koller auction in Zurich spans an epochal range from Cranach to Napoleon to Spitzweg
Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472-1553 Weimar), Adoration of Christ. Oil on canvas. Signed. 14.5x20 cm. Estimate: CHF 400 000 / 600 000.

ZURICH.- In its auction week from September 16 to 21, Koller presents a range of approximately 2 000 lots of old works of art, including the rediscovered painting «The Assembly of the Gods: The Loves of the Gods» by Paolo Fiammingo and the museum-quality «The Adoration of Christ» by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Objects such as the «bureau mécanique» formerly owned by Napoleon's stepson Eugène de Beauharnais will compete for attention in the Furniture and Decorative Objects sale. One of the top lots in the Books and Autographs sale is a Sammelband with the three major theoretical works by Albrecht Dürer. This collective volume is a milestone of European book printing and is being offered for the first time after forty years in private ownership.

Old Masters
20 September
Rediscovered Fiammingo, museum-quality Cranach

Dutch painter Pauwels Franck’s museum-quality painting created circa 1585, “The Assembly of the Gods: The Loves of the Gods”, was discovered in a Swiss private collection in 2001. The Augsburg imperial banker Hans Fugger (1531-1598) was one of the painter’s largest commissioners; Fiammingo created the series of the Five Senses (1582/83) in Fugger’s castle in Kirchheim/Swabia. In his expertise, Dr. Andrew Martin, who discovered the painting in 2001, emphasises the parallels between that series and the painting now presented at Koller Auctions. The work depicts a gathering of the gods, with Jupiter, Vulcan, Neptune, Venus and Cupid before a river landscape; the pair of lovers and smaller group of figures located on the left were only recently revealed after a careful cleaning of the work. Due to its excellent quality, the painting is estimated at CHF 200 000 / 300 000 (lot 3026).

A top lot of the Old Masters sale is “The Adoration of Christ” by Lucas Cranach the Elder from a Swiss private collection. During his nearly fifty-year position as court painter to the Electors of Saxony, Cranach rose to councilman and burgomaster of the city of Wittenberg. His commissioners included clientele such as Martin Luther and Emperor Maximilian I, in addition to numerous princely castles. This highly-detailed, small painting (14.5x20 cm), whose authenticity has been confirmed by Dr. Dieter Koepplin, is expected to realise CHF 400 000 to 600 000 (lot 3026).

The sale showcases a selection of outstanding Dutch still lifes from the 17th century, including a painting with a silver tazza, lobster, fruit and oysters by Jan Davidsz. de Heem. Estimated at CHF 600 000 / 900 000, it is the most highly valued lot in the sale. It is archived in the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RDK) in The Hague and included there in the catalogue raisonné (lot 3054).

19th century Paintings
20 September
A selection of works by Carl Spitzweg from a private collection

Several works by Carl Spitzweg will be offered in the 19th century paintings sale.

The widely published and exhibited painting „Auf der Bastei“ depicts a sentinel soldier with white linen drying on his post, which has been taken over by weeds and sparrows. In the yawning soldier, Spitzweg at once captures the „all-too-human“ aspect of the Biedermeier era. The 21x49 cm picture is presented with an estimate of 250 000 / 350 000 (lot 3229).

Books and Autographs
21 September
Albrecht Dürer – a milestone of European book art

The highlight of our forthcoming Books and Autographs sale is a Sammelband which uniquely presents the artist Albrecht Dürer as a scientist and comprises his entire German-language book production. The three treatises on mensuration (1525), fortification (1527) and human proportions (1528) reveal the wide scope of Dürer‘s efforts to establish a theoretical foundation through the works of his artistic practice and mark the beginning of the German scientific language. Moreover, they are considered milestones in European book art due to their composition and masterly coordination of typography and illustration. This unusually well-preserved copy comes from the renowned collection of the English architect and designer Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942), found its way into a Swiss private collection in the 1970s and is now being offered for the first time in nearly four decades, with an estimate of CHF 120 000 / 180 000 (lot 231).

Likewise exceptionally rare is the Basilea incunable collection. This 20-volume comprehensive work with 15 important early prints from Basel is estimated at CHF 150 000 to 200 000 (lot 260). The characteristically distinctive combination of scientific excellence and extremely careful craftsmanship of the Basel incunabula served as a guide for the compilation of the present collection.

Furniture and Decorative Objects
19 September
Property of Eugène de Beauharnais

The Furniture sale comprises more than 350 lots and includes works by great masters such as J.C. Hoppenhaupt, C. Cressent, J.H. Riesener and J. Coteau. The princely „bureau mécanique“ comes from the collection of Eugène de Beauharnais, the stepson of Emperor Napoleon and later Viceroy of Italy. Made in 1801/1802 by a Parisian master workshop after designs by L.E. Bataille and decorated with bronzes by P.P. Thomire, the bureau has been estimated at CHF 280 000 / 480 000 (lot 1231).

Old Master Drawings and Graphic works
20 September
From the estate of Sergei Rachmaninoff

A watercolour and pastel by Robert Hermann Sterl depicts fireworks over the Kremlin. Painted in 1914, it formerly belonged to the famous composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff. It is expected to realise CHF 15 000 / 20 000 at auction (lot 3483).

From the collection of the Flemish painter Prosper Henricus Lankrink comes a double-sided study sheet of „Christ in glory, surrounded by putti“ attributed to Antonis van Dyck. The drawing is estimated at CHF 20 000 to 30 000 (lot 3417).

19 September

The Furniture sale will once again offer important religious sculptures such as a burgundian madonna and child, made of carved limestone and coming from a Swiss collection. It is valued between CHF 15 000 and 20 000 (lot 1011). The fine quality and good condition of the late-Gothic, limewood figure of Saint Catherine from 1480/1500 rank it among the top works in this sale (CHF 15 000 / 25 000, lot 1018).

Silver, Porcelain, Faience
16 September

The distinctive silver objects include a silver-gilt Danzig tankard with maker‘s mark PHL, produced in the second half of the 17th century and estimated at CHF 6 000 to 12 000 (lot 1507), and a pair of silver-gilt champagne coolers with the maker‘s mark „Joseph and John Angell“ from London, produced in 1837/38. The pair is expected to realise CHF 8 000 to 14 000 (lot 1584).

Further rarities in this auction include a 39-centimetre central Italian maiolica group with madonna and child from the 16th century, estimated at CHF 10 000 / 15 000 (lot 1501).

Jewellery and Wristwatches
17 September

A sapphire ring with baguette-cut diamonds is the highest estimated lot in this sale at CHF 220 000 / 300 000 (lot 2097) and features a fine 21.06-carat Ceylon sapphire. The second-highest lot is also a diamond ring. Set with a 5.14-carat cushion-cut diamond, the ring is estimated at CHF 138 000 / 200 000 (lot 2141).

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