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Ketterer Kunst Rare Books Auction in Hamburg – € 325,000 for the World of the Seas

Hamburg, December 1, 2020, (kk) – With total proceeds of around € 2 million*, the Rare Books Auction at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg on November 30 did not only realize an excellent result but also got ahead of the great spring sales figures by around € 200,000*. In the Evening Sale alone 90% of the objects on offer changed owners with in many cases enormous increases. The star of the night was Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer‘s “Sea Atlas“.

The TOP 5

No. 22: Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer – Speculum nauticum super navigatione maris. Leiden 1586. Result € 325,000* Starting price: € 135,000

No. 05: Biblia latina vulgata. Presumably Southern France, 12th century. Result € 143.750* Starting price: € 14,000

No. 75: Marc Chagall. Daphnis & Chloé. Paris 1961. Result € 81,250* Starting price: € 60,000

No. 08: Ovidius Naso Publius. Metamorphosen.1462. Result € 62,500* Starting price: € 6,000

No. 01: Book of Hours. Rouen, around 1490. Result € 57,500* Starting price: € 15,000

The Evening Sale saw its grand opening when the richly illuminated Latin and French Book of Hours (lot 1) for the use of Rouen was called up. The early work by the highly acclaimed Norman miniature painter Robert Boyvin was particularly popular with collectors from Italy, Holland, France, England and Germany. The hammer for the parchment manuscript eventually went down in favor of a US bidder who let the price soar to a total of € 57,500*, nearly a four-fold of its calling price. Thus standing his grounds against seven other phones, a small number - due to current hygiene regulations - of bidders present in the saleroom, as well as against numerous commissions and several online participants.

The sale went on likewise exciting when lot 2, the work “Distinictiones sacrae scripturae“ was called up. The rare Latin parchment manuscript by the Franciscan Mauritius Hibernicus from around 1300 started at € 20,000 and caught the fancy of more than half a dozen bidders. Eventually a Swiss collector relegated his fellow countrymen and other competitors from France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany to places second and beyond with a result of € 48,750*.
Just a little later the Biblia latina vulgata (lot 5), an extremely rare Latin bible manuscript from the 12th century, realized more than a ten-fold of its calling price of € 14,000. Highly contested by a large number of commissions and nine phones, a persistent book lover from France won the important contemporary document in an unusual hand-format for a result of € 143,750*.

The bidding frenzy kept rolling with lot number 8, the “Metamorphoses“ by Ovidius Naso Publius. Along with high commissions and several online bidders, half a dozen phone bidders from Europe and the U.S.A. also entered the race. It was thus little surprising that the rare manuscript realized more than a ten-fold of its calling price of € 6,000. In the end an American bidder honored the elegant manuscript with a price of € 62,500*.

Italy will be the new home of Gustav Klimt‘s “Das Werk“ (lot 287). The only monograph published during the artist‘s lifetime soon soared beyond its calling price of € 12,000. An Italian collector let it climb to € 47,500* and beat other phone competitors from England and the U.S.A.

Called up at € 19,000, an American book trader acquired a collection of 312 original watercolors by Pieter Joseph de Pannemaeker (lot 36) for € 43,750*. The splendid unique work is an impressive collection of drafts from the ownership of the Comte de Kerchove de Denterghem and was also popular with private collectors from Germany and England.

A German antiquarian book trader in the saleroom fought hard for Wassily Kandinsky‘s “Klänge“ (lot 308). However, an English trader showed greater persistence and was willing to pay € 27,500* for this important expressionist book.

More great results were realized by, among other, the following lots:

Lot no. 073 – Georges Braque, Lettera amorosa. Starting price € 25,000, result € 31,250*
Lot no. 062 – Lyonel Feininger, Autographed letter. Starting price € 25,000, result € 31,250*
Lot no. 032 – Maria Sibylla Merian, Veranderingen der Surinaamsche Insecten. Starting price € 8,000, result € 26,250*
Lot no. 004 – Gallus Öheim, Reichenau Chronic. 16th century manuscript. Starting price € 2,30, result € 23,750*
Lot no. 084 – Jean Cassou, Vingt-deux poèmes. Starting price € 6,000, result € 13,750*

Unsold objects are available in the post-auction sale up until December 18.

* The result is the hammer price + 25 percent

The family company Ketterer Kunst ( and with headquarters in Munich and branches in Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Berlin as well as with a global network of representatives in, among others, the USA and Brazil, was founded in 1954. It is one of the leading houses for auctions of fine art from the 19th to the 21st Century and Rare Books as well as the expert in German Art. According to latest figures issued by Artnet Price Database for 2020, Ketterer Kunst occupies place 7 in the ranking for Art from the 20th and 21st Century and is the strongest selling family business of all.

Your contact in the Rare Books Department:

Ketterer Kunst GmbH
Holstenwall 5
20355 Hamburg, Germany
Christoph Calaminus / Christian Höflich
Tel.: +49-(0)40-374961-11 / - 20, Fax-66

Source: © Ketterer Kunst Auktionen


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