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500th Anniversary Auction: Million Euro Proceeds Despite Corona – Top-Season-Results

07-21-2020 11:18 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Ketterer Kunst

R. Ketterer realizes ? 2,625,000* for G. Richter?s painting and sets a Continental European record

R. Ketterer realizes ? 2,625,000* for G. Richter?s painting and sets a Continental European record

Munich, July 20, 2019 (KK) – With total proceeds of around € 29.8 million* Ketterer Kunst scored the best result of the auction season on the German market. Remaining at level with its 2019 record figures, the house confirms its role as market leader, as the total of 55 results in the 500th auction on July 17/18 beyond the € 100,000 line also delivers impressive proof of. This figure is exactly the same as it was last spring.. The ranking also includes the only two results beyond the magic million euro line in Germany as well as record prices for, among others, works by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Cy Twombly.

TOP 10
for the first half of 2020

1. Lot 217 Gerhard Richter – Christiane und Kerstin
Result € 2.625.000*, calling price € 580.000 => Record**

2. Lot 205 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Dorfstraße mit Apfelbäumen
Result € 1.062.500*, calling price € 380.000

3. Lot 243 Sigmar Polke – Ohne Titel (Würfel)
Result € 750.000*, calling price € 510.000 => Record**

4. Lot 225 Cy Twombly – Untitled (6 Blätter)
Result € 575.000*, calling price € 270.000 => Record**

4. Lot 259 Günther Uecker – Ohne Titel
Result € 575.000*, calling price € 380.000

5. Lot 263 Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Heimkehrender Heuer
Result € 562.500*, calling price € 300.000

6. Lot 276 Günther Uecker – Feld
Result € 550.000*, calling price € 280.000

7. Lot 258 Tony Cragg – Never Mind.
Result € 537.500*, calling price € 100.000

8. Lot 241 Gerhard Richter – Fuji
Result € 375.000*, calling price € 180.000

9. Lot 227 Lyonel Feininger – Manhattan, Dusk
Result € 325.000*, calling price € 180.000

10. Lot 237 Gerhard Richter – Grün-Blau-Rot
Result € 312.500*, calling price € 250.000

Due to corona regulations access to the saleroom was limited and the audience had to be placed on two floors. However, phone bidding, absentee bids and digital participation amassed to record strength. For the first time ever a million euro bid was placed over the internet.

“Our figures for the first half of 2020 are excellent, for which I am really grateful especially in the face of the current situation“, says Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst. “It is no secret that our customers are at the core of this success. They love art, treasure quality and know that art is a good form of investment, too. We currently experience a strong demand and a digitalization boost. I expect this trend to continue in the second half of the year.“

After the Rare Books Department had grossed total proceeds of around € 1.9 million* a few days earlier, thus making for a worthy season kick-off, the auctions of Art from the 19th to the 21st Century with proceeds of nearly € 26 million* provided a likewise worthy finale. More than € 16 million* were realized in the Evening Sale alone.

The evening‘s undisputed star was Gerhard Richter. His signature work “Christiane und Kerstin“ (lot 217) is from the artist‘s sought-after work group of the black-and-white “photo paintings“. In total some nine art lovers from Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the USA and China gathered on the phones. After a long skirmish a collector from Hong Kong was able to stop the bidding race. With a result of € 2,625,000*, a multiple of the starting price of € 580,000, she set a new record for a work by the blue chip artist on the European continent. Four other works by Richter realized excellent six-figure prices, first and foremost a unique work from the sought-after Fuji series (lot 241), which a Bavarian collector made sure for himself against international competitors for a result of € 375,000*.

The second result in the millions went to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner‘s “Dorfstraße mit Apfelbäumen“ (lot 205). A Franconian collector honored the early document of the artist‘s expressionist palette with a consistent provenance with a result of € 1,062,500*. His bid relegated competitors on the phone, mainly from Germany and Great Britain, to places second and beyond. A little later the same art lover stood his grounds again for Kirchner‘s “Heimkehrender Heuer“ (lot 263) with a result of € 562,500*. This time bidders from mainly Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia were left empty-handed.

The Evening Sale‘s third place went to Sigmar Polke‘s mixed media work “Ohne Titel (Würfel)“ (lot 243) which a New Yorker won for € 750,000* against strong resistance from Germany. At the same time he set a new record for a work by the artist sold in the German language region. Eight other works from the artist‘s multi-faceted oeuvre realized good increases and scored five-figure results.

A Bavarian collector present in the saleroom let the price for Günther Uecker‘s untitled tender and poetic nail composition (lot 259) from 1990 soar to heights of € 575,000*, standing his grounds against phone bidders from all over Germany and Belgium. A little later the highly dynamic and powerful work “Feld“ (lot 276) was sold to a bidder in the German capital for a just slightly lower result of € 550,000*.

Another record and a result of more than twice its calling price of € 270,000 was realized by Cy Twombly‘s work “Untitled (6 sheets) (lot 225). A Berlin collector granted the result of € 575,000* for the graphic series released in a very small edition against strong phone- and online competitors from Germany and the USA.

Accordingly, Cy Twombly leads the group of works from American artists that all realized excellent increase rates: While Lyonel Feininger‘s “Manhattten, Dusk“ (lot 227) and “Gaberndorf“ (lot 266) went from € 180,000 to € 325,000* and from € 150,000 to € 275,000* respectively, Keith Haring‘s “Andy Mouse“ (lot 254) and Tom Wesselmann‘s “Cochecton Pool, Delaware River…“ jumped from € 90,000 to € 250,000* and from € 130,000 to € 237,500* respectively. Other fascinating works came from Andy Warhol (lot 221, “Portrait of a Lady (Natalie Sparber)“, result: € 150,000), Robet Longo (lot 275, “Untitled (In the Garden, et in arcadia ego)“, result: € 225,000) and William N. Copley, who saw a new record in the German language region with a result of € 131,250* for his work “Bonnie + Clyde“ (lot 30).

Another starring role was taken by Tony Cragg who was represented with five works that were all sold, first and foremost his spectacular stainless steel sculpture “Never Mind“ (lot 258). An art lover from Switzerland had to fight fiercely against a number of commissions and competitors on the phones from all over Germany, Spain and Mexico. He eventually raised the price from € 100,000 to a result of € 537,500*. A six-figure price was also realized by “Ice Cubes“ (lot 222) and “Solo Diabas“ (lot 240) which went to two Southern German collectors for € 137,500 and for € 118,750* respectively. One bid over the phone while the other made use of the internet platform.

More works with excellent results:

Lot 264 – Münter (oil), Tauwetter im Dorf (Murnau). Calling price € 80.000, result € 300.000*
Lot 216 – von Jawlensky (oil), Abstrakter Kopf. Calling price € 170.000, result € 300.000*
Lot 235 – Fontana, Concetto spaziale. Calling price € 140.000, result € 275.000*
Lot 207 – Kirchner (color woodcut), Der Verkauf des Schattens. Calling price € 72.000, result € 250.000*
Lot 500 – Klee (watercolor), Der Krieg schreitet über eine Ortschaft. Calling price € 100.000, result € 200.000*
Lot 201 – Baumeister (oil), Urpflanzlich. Calling price € 70.000, result € 156.250*
Lot 203 – Christo (mixed media), Wrapped Reichstag… Calling price € 35.000, result € 156.250*
Lot 273 – Kiefer (mixed media), Merkaba Hechaloth… Calling price € 50.000, result € 150.000*
Lot 222 – Butzer (oil), Frau. Calling price € 45.000, result € 118.750*

The auction of 19th Century Art, which grossed a total of above € 1.6 million* and thus excelled last year‘s figures, is led by two works by Karl Hagemeister. They caught the fancy of a great number of art lovers who placed absentee bids as well as of more than a dozen phone bidders. Additional competition sprung up over the internet and in the actual saleroom when “Waldweiher“ (lot 570) and “Birken im Herbst am Bachlauf“ (lot 569), which has a history cLotely linked to the well-known Pringsheim family – not only known through its ties with Thomas Mann, were called up. While the first increased its price by a six-fold to a result of € 218,750*, the latter realized a stunning twenty-fold of its calling price of € 10,000 by climbing to a final result of € 206,250*. However, its world record moment would only last a few minutes, as Hagemeister‘s “Waldweiher“, now part of a Southern German collection, soon caught up. Both works now occupy places one and two of the global Hagemeister ranking.

Franz von Stuck‘s “Porträt Gemma Bierbaum“ (lot 555) was in similarly strong demand. A collector from Baden-Württemberg eventually honored the fascinating portrait with a result of € 162,500*. This bid over more than eleven times the starting price effortlessly relegated competitors from Hesse, Bavaria and England to places second and beyond.

The auction had a thrilling and worthy start with Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow‘s “Die Klage Jakobs um Joseph (Freskoentwurf für die Casa Bartholdy in Rom)“ (lot 503). The drawing was sold to a private European collector for a result of € 143,750*, which is more than a seven-fold of its starting price.

“It was an excellent auction” Sarah Mohr, head of the Department of 19th Century Art, concludes. “A sales quota of 79% by lots, as well as the fact that from a compact range of only 92 works a total of 30, a third of the complete offering, realized prices beyond the € 10,000 line is impressive proof.”

A total of around € 1.9 million is the great result for the department of Rare Books. This was the first time that more than 40 works were sold for five-figure prices, which is more than twice of what it had been on average so far. “Flexibility and creative innovations are key ingredients of our success“, says Christoph Calaminus, auctioneer and head of the department in Hamburg. Another keyword in this context is digitalization. Calaminus explains: “We increased the volume of the accompanying internet auction. This option, as well as the possibility to participate in the saleroom auction over the internet, was met with great approval.“ In total around 20% of all lots were sold online. This is an excellent result with great future potential.

The balance is completed by figures of the Online Only Auctions on They are met with extreme approval, definitely also because of the current digitalization boom which convinces more and more people of the advantages of online bidding. However, the great result of around € 2 million* for the first half year is also owed to the innovative concepts (such as Ketterers 100) and the offering‘s extremely high quality.

* The result is the hammer price + 25% premium
** Source for the auction records:

Press inquiries:

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich, Germany
Michaela Derra M.A.
Phone: +49-(0)89-55244-152 (Fax -177)

Customer inquiries:

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich,Germany
Tel.: +49-(0)89-552440 / Fax.: -177
Tel.: +49-(0)89-55244-152 / Fax: - 177

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. According to the latest figures issued by artnet price database for 2019, Ketterer Kunst holds place 11 in the ranking for Art after 1900 and is the world‘s strongest-selling family business for Art of the 20th Century.

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