MUNICH – If you long to live in well-designed Arts and Crafts simplicity, an unusual object has come to market. Quittenbaum in Munich is auctioning an entire house designed in the early 1920s by renowned painter, architect and designer Richard Riemerschmid.
There are only two strings: First, the dismountable house will come disassembled and the buyer will have to move it onto a suitable building lot for reassembly. Secondly, the building lot will have to be in Bavaria because the house is on the Bavarian A List of Historical Landmarks. Quittenbaum estimates that this 1926 example of the Brigitte IV will sell for between 100,000 and 150,000 euros ($127,000 to $190,000).
The house is a fine example of Reform Architecture that appeared in Germany after World War I. Riemerschmid’s designs were offered by catalog and came in a variety of sizes. Customers could choose from many built-in furniture options, such as cabinets, display cases and sitting benches. Nut wood and oak gives the house interior a dark, yet cozy appeal. Riemerschmid also offered moveable furnishings that could be ordered at the same time as the house.
Workers in dirty, overcrowded industrial areas were happy to move into the garden communities designed by Riemerschmid. The houses were simple but pleasant. The commute to work was short. This particular Brigitte IV is a mid-size, two-story example, crafted and assembled by the Munich company Kowalsky & Glasser. Its first location was Jaiserstrasse 33 in Pullach, near Munich.
Renate and Peter Schuck, Jugendstil collectors and current owners of the house, lived out a dream by decorating it with Riemerschmid paintings, furniture, dishes, glasses, table linens and rugs, as well as the work of other period designers. It became a stunning private museum. Brigitte IV has nestled comfortably on the Schuck’s estate, Burg Kipfenberg in the Altmühltal, but now the couple is parting with not only with the house, but its amazing contents.
Richard Riemerschmid’s work spans the gap between ornamental Jugendstil and sturdy British Arts and Crafts. Taking the grace from one and the practicality of the other, he created designs that were lovely, yet able to be produced in larger quantities. The Deutsche Werkstatten für Handwerkskunst, Hellerau (Dresden) and Meissen Porcelain were two of the companies that brought his designs to life.
Scare raw materials in post-World War I Germany made wood Riemerschmidt’s building material of choice. The Brigitte IV offered at Quittenbaum was most likely insulated with a surprising material in its first incarnation – sawdust. The brilliant reuse of this construction by-product kept Riemerschmid’s houses toasty warm. To view all of the objects up for auction Nov. 13, visit www.Quittenbaum.de
Nov. 14-15: Auction Team Breker, Cologne – science and technology, office antiques, and toys, including tin toys, dolls, trains and more. www.Breker.com
Nov. 17-23: Vienna Art Week, podium discussions in the Palace Dorotheum, plus auctions of modern art, jewels and watches. www.Dorotheum.com
Nov. 20-22: Auktionshaus Selzer, Rüdesheim am Rhein, antique trains, steam machines, tin toys. http://www.selzer-toy-auction.com
Nov. 26-29: Villa Grisebach, Berlin, autumn auctions with 19th century art, photography, modern art and more. www.Villa-Grisebach.de
Nov. 29: Anticomondo, Cologne, 900 books from 1720 to 1960, mostly picture and children’s books. www.Anticomondo.de
Nov. 29: Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, Heilbronn, art and antiques. www.Auctions-FIscher.de
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