MUNICH – Hermann Historica enjoyed strong results for sales it held on January 31 and February 1. Highlights included jewelry, precious stones and an extensive poster collection acquired by commercial designer Willi Engelhardt, which proved to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The January 31 auction featured almost 900 lots. Two pocket watches sold for well above 10 times their estimates. A delicate Art Nouveau pocket watch dating to the early 20th century had been estimated at €320, yet went on to sell for €4,750. The Parisian watch was decorated with a portrait of a lady set with exquisite rose-cut diamonds and 18K gold. The second pocket watch opened at €220 and ultimately realized €4,500. Resplendent in 14K gold, the Swiss pocket watch sparkled magnificently thanks to the slivers of diamonds set in the image of a flower gracing the back of the case.
A different lot that increased its catalog price by more than tenfold was a German sculpture of the Madonna with the Infant Jesus carved in wood. Valued at €250, it changed hands for €3,625.
Devotees of Asian art were particularly delighted by a pair of cast iron figures. The 19th-century Chinese figures of an enthroned Guanyin and a standing dignitary had a low estimate of €300, but vigorous bidding drove the price well above €1,000.
The February 1 session started with antiquities. A group of six spherical mace heads from the Near East and Egypt, carved in different types of rock and having acquired a gorgeous patina carried a low estimate of €300. However, the mace heads almost quadrupled that amount, selling for just under €1,200.
The artistic collection acquired by graphic artist and commercial designer Willi Engelhardt (German, 1900-1983) stirred excitement. Among the almost 150 lots were several gouache drawings and sketches from his studio that were well received by the artist’s admirers.
Lot number 7023, a design for a poster advertising Munchen – Sommer 1930 was offered for €700-€1,400 euros and realized €1,875. A different design on the same theme was slightly more affordable. Despite opening with a low estimate of €600, it achieved €1,750.
The afternoon session presented a selection of antique arms and armor. A Chinese dao achieved a top price in the edged weapon category. Covered in lizard skin, the thrusting weapon closed at €3,500. Also, a 15th-century kidney dagger from the North German or Flemish region, estimated at €40-€80, raced to €1,625, a spectacular forty-fold increase.
The current rate of exchange is €1 = $1.13.
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