MUNICH.- The auction of Old Masters & Art of the 19th Century provided a successful finale opening of the anniversary year in Munich. 'What is especially positive', says company owner Robert Ketterer, 'is the fact that alongside standing customers more than 40% new buyers participated in the auction and thus revived this section.
Accordingly, the lucky winner of the competition for the top lot of the day was a new client. A private collector from Switzerland was particularly taken with Carl Spitzweg's charming idyl 'In Erwartung der Zeitung' (lot 334), however, the Swiss could only stand his grounds against strong, mostly German competitors after a long and heated bidding skirmish that ended with a result of 91.500*.
The oil painting 'Blick von Capri auf die Bucht von Neapel mit dem Vesuv in der Ferne' made for a little surprise, as it soared to a result of 60.000*.
Quite respectable results were also realized by half a dozen oil studies by the Dresden artist Gustav Friedrich Papperitz (lots 266, 268, 270, 273, 275, 278), which were not only entirely sold, but also at good and very good increases respectively, of which his 'Wolkenstudie' (lot 278), adorning the catalog's rear pastedown, is especially worthwhile mentioning. Despite the committed bidding efforts made almost exclusively by German art lovers with scores of written bids and nine phones the small work was eventually won by a British art trader for 15.000* (starting price: 1.500), who had already successfully fought against heavy competition for a 'Pflanzenstudie' (lot 275) by the same artist. For this lot 13.750* were sufficient for the victory.
Another lot at the top of the list of objects in desire was an oil painting by Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen. 'Das Blindekuhspiel' (Blindman's Buff), an atmospheric work executed with a great love for detail, also shown on the catalog's cover, was much sought-after in the German language region. An Austrian collector raised the calling price of 24.000 to a result of 36.000*.
The section of Old Masters is led by Albrecht Dürer, who was represented with half a dozen works (lots 7-12), all of which were sold with excellent increases. Special attention was paid to his engraving 'Der Reiter (Ritter, Tod und Teufel)' (lot 12), by a Lower Saxon foundation. Without much trouble the work was lifted from a calling price of 28.000 to the result of 47.500*. In doing so they did not only relegate the salesroom and the well-filled order book, which registered scores of entries for all Dürer works, to places second and beyond but also a number of phone bidders from Germany and the U.S.A.
More than half a dozen bidders from Belgium, Germany, England, France, Italy and den USA made phone lines run hot when a chalk drawing from Southern Germany entered the race. The 'Porträt eines bärtigen Mannes' (lot 124), called up in context of the special auction 'From the former collection Wilhelm Laaff', soared from 600 to the proud result of 27.500*, granted by a Northern Italian private collector, in no time.
Another popular item from the same collection was a 'Figurenstudie' (lot 102), which an English art trader made sure for himself against strong private competitors from Germany, France, Liechtenstein and the U.S.A. for a result of 26.250*.
The range of offerings in the section of Old Masters was rounded off by the oil on wood piece 'Madonna mit Kind und dem Johannesknaben' (lot 131) from Southern Germany, carried away by a British collector for a result of 10.000* after a fierce battle against competitors from Germany and Italy, as well as by Bernardo Bellottos (Canaletto) etching 'Der Altmarkt in Dresden' (lot 51), which went to a South-West German private collector for a result of 9,400* (starting price: 8.600) and by two prints from Harmensz. Rembrandt van Rijn. They were sold for 8100* (lot 40) and 4.750* (lot 39), in both cases about twice the calling prices, to Berlin and to Morocco.
* The rounded result is the hammer price + 25 % commission for hammer prices up to 500.000. The share of the hammer price that exceeds 500.000 is subject to a commission of + 20 % added to the commission charged for the share up to 500.000.