Galerie Bassenge is one of the oldest specialized auction houses in Berlin, the capital city of Germany. Our efforts cover old master and modern art, paintings, sculptures and photography, with special emphasis on all works of art on paper. We also offer books from all periods, with an emphasis on First Editions.
On November 14, 1946, just a few months after the end of WWII, a momentous event took place in the destroyed city of Berlin when art work and books were once again offered in an auction. Gerd Rosen, an experienced book seller, who just barely survived the war due to his Jewish background, opened the first gallery in Germany after the war next to a book shop. This auction gave an important impulse for the book and art trade in Berlin which had ended abruptly in 1933 and which was awakening to new life among the ruins of the city. Located on the Kurfürstendamm Galerie Rosen soon became a center for cultural life in the city. The exhibitions gave a whole generation of Berliners the feeling of being a lively part of the artistic circle of that time. In 1961 Rosen died at age 58 and the gallery at Kurfürstendamm 215 was continued by his colleagues until late 1962.
Rosen’s closest colleague Gerda Bassenge, who had started working for him in 1953, opened the Galerie Gerda Bassenge in new rooms at Kurfürstendamm 206 on January 7, 1963. From the beginning the most important employees of Rosen were a part of the firm. In June 1963 the first auction catalogue was published including texts by Wilhelm Soldan, who had started working for Rosen shortly after 1945. He stayed with Galerie Bassenge up until shortly before his death in 1997 and was a formative force in the firm. The gallery continued to set the pace for exhibitions: the work of Friedrich Meckseper, Gabriele Münter, Pierre Soulages, Marcel Brodthaers and many others was shown to the Berlin public. In 1967 Gerda´s son Tilman joined the firm and in 1968 he initiated the move of the meanwhile internationally acclaimed auction house to a new location. The ivy-covered villa, in Erdener Straße in the picturesque district of Grunewald, is located in historic surroundings: a plaque on the house across the street indicates where the publisher Samuel Fischer lived and one can discover many other villas in the area which had prominent inhabitants.
The art auctions cover old master and modern art, paintings and sculptures, with special emphasis on all works of art on paper. At least two catalogues for each half-yearly auction are published, divided into 16-19th Century, and 20th Century. Every year the Gallery publishes an art sale index of prices realised for all works on paper in the German speaking market.
Also art catalogues on special themes, periods and artists are occasionally issued.
The book auctions cover valuable books from all periods, with an emphasis on First Editions. A special catalogue of modern illustrated books is issued for each season. Other separate catalogues are published on single themes. Recent specials include Books before 1600 and Music Books and Manuscripts (totalling approx. DM 1.000.000, each), and a famous 5 volume catalogue "The Voyage" containing contemporary and recent art and documentation issued over a period of two year (totalling value almost DM 750.000,). The book sales also include selections of autographletters and manuscripts.
Galerie Bassenge prides itself in the quality of the products it offers and in its customer service. We have successfully served some of the world's largest collectors and institutions, who seek to capture the most important cultural objects for private indulgence or for the public interest. The Gallery also specializes in the new or small collector on a limited budget.. Our long tradition, our well known and established locations in Berlin, our activities as a publisher, and our expert knowledge and experience in the arts and antiquities, combine to offer you the highest quality of services available in our industry. We promise each of you that we will make it well worth your while to get in touch with us. Please contact our representatives or our main office for further details, conditions of sale and catalogues.
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