If you knock on the door of an auction house this winter, you may find no one at home. Well, that’s not entirely true, but experts from many of the larger German-speaking auction houses are under way in this frigid weather looking for prime pieces for their next auctions. This is an optimum opportunity for collectors who are considering selling an artwork or antique, but would like the chance to talk it over with an authority in the field before placing it in the hands of a reputable auction house.
Ketterer Kunst, Munich, has one of the most extensive touring schedules with 20 stops. In addition to visiting Hamburg and Dusseldorf where they have offices, they are also traveling to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A.
“These are some of the most important regions for us and our clients do appreciate the personal contact,” noted Robert Ketterer, managing director of Ketterer Kunst. “It makes their lives so much easier if they do not have to pack up their works and carry them to us to obtain an expert’s point of view or a valuation.”
Collectors love the chance to talk about their collections, and the auction experts welcome new and returning customers. Not every stop on the tour turns up a new-to-the-market Old Master, but the exchange is mutually good.
“With regards to Old Masters or even the top paintings of Modern Art, it does get more and more difficult to obtain high class pieces, as the most important works are tugged away into major museums or permanent collections. Unlike in Contemporary Art, the artists have died, and it is only on very rare occasions that one of their masterpieces appears on the auction market,” said Ketterer.
“One of the more exciting works we obtained at a valuation day was Otto Griebel’s watercolor Zwei Frauen. It was estimated at €30,000-40,000 ($39,800-$53,000) and ended up fetching €158,600 ($210,456).”
The Griebel painting is a rarity. A great deal of this Dresden artist’s work was purposely destroyed following its inclusion in the 1937 Nazi-organized Degenerate Art Exhibition, which ridiculed Modernist art. Griebel’s remaining works were sadly depleted during the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945.
As a tangible investment in this climate of insecure stock markets and world currencies, such a scarce work is very attractive. Robert Ketterer reported that 2011 was the most financially successful year in the firm’s history, with sales over 29 million Euro (nearly $39 million). Increasing prices draw potential sellers to Expert Days, and may bring us unexpected treasures in the very near future.
For an appointment and a complete schedule of Expert Days visit www.KettererKunst.de
Here is a sampling of other Auction Houses with experts under way, possibly in your own neighborhood:
Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, Heilbronn, will be in Munich on March 1-2; Hamburg and Bremen on March 7-9; Zwiesel and Munich on April 18-20. An appointment is requested. Contact them at www.Auctions-Fischer.de
Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, will be in Stuttgart on Feb. 29; Munich on March 2; Zurich on March 5; and Freiberg on March 7. Appointment requested. www.Hauswedell-Nolte.de
Karl & Faber Kunstauktionen GmbH, Munich, will be in Offenburg on Feb. 29; Dusseldorf on March 5-7; Karlsruhe on March 7-8; Cologne and Bonn on March 7-9; Nuremberg on March 14-16; Salzburg on March 21; and Innsbruck on March 23. Contact them at www.KarlundFaber.de
Lempertz, Cologne, will be in San Francisco on Feb. 21-23; in Paris on Feb. 23-24; in Munster on Feb. 24; and in Switzerland on Feb. 28, and March 1-2, 8-9. Appointment requested. www.Lempertz.com
Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen, Munich, will be in Parma on March 1; in Brussels on March 6, and Vienna and Salzburg on March 5-7. Contact for appointment. www.Quittenbaum.de
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