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Beastly Good – Rare Books Auction in Hamburg - EUR 72.000* for a whole lot of Mammals

12-08-2016 10:09 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Ketterer Kunst

J. J. N. Spalowsky, Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der vierfüssigen Thiere. Paris ca. 1450. EUR 72,000*

J. J. N. Spalowsky, Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der vierfüssigen Thiere. Paris ca. 1450. EUR 72,000*

Hamburg, 30 November 2016, (kk) – With total proceeds of around EUR 1.8 million*, the two-day auction of Rare Books at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg on 21/22 November realized excellent results. Last year's figures were even exceeded by EUR 200,000*. Joachim Joh. Nepomuk Spalowsky's splendid natural history of mammals was particularly in demand.

The TOP 5

No. 034: Joachim Joh. N. Spalowsky Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der vierfüßigen Thiere. Vienna 1794. Result EUR 72,000*, calling price: EUR 28,000

No. 113: Marc Chagall. Bible. Paris 1956. Result EUR 61,200*, calling price: EUR 26,000

No. 042: Thomas L. McKenney History of the Indian Tribes of North America.
Philadelphia after 1965. Result EUR 26,400*, calling price: EUR 17,000

No. 497: Missale von Mechelen Parchment manuscript. Mechelen around 1420. Result EUR 26,400*, calling price: EUR 16,000

No. 057: Friedrich von Schiller, Autogr. Manuscript fragment from “Phaedra“. Weimar 1804-1805. Result EUR 25,800*, calling price: EUR 16,000

No. 031: Jacques Gautier Dagoty. Myologie complette en couleur. Paris 1746. Result EUR 24,000*, calling price: EUR 20,000

The only edition of Joachim Joh. Nepomuk Spalowsky's “Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der vierfüssigen Thiere“ (lot 34) was the top lot in the auction. Several written bids and three phones from Germany, Austria and the USA competed for the lavishly printed natural history of mammals. Called up at EUR 28,000 the bidding quickly picked up pace, eventually a collector from California made the race with a price of EUR 72,000*.

The list of written bids for Marc Chagall's “Eaux-fortes originales“ (lot 113) was also quite long. The work with 105 original etchings was made in Paris in 1956. In preparation of this unique bible project, the artist visited Syria, Palestine and Egypt in order to get a feel for the oriental atmosphere. All the buyer from the US needed was a decisive bid, offering EUR 61,200* he was able to relegate the mostly German bidders in the saleroom and a tough British competitor on the phone to places second and beyond.

Unlike expected, the beautiful work on North American Natives by Thomas McKenney and James Hall (lot 42) did not find a new home on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. With a result of EUR 26,400* an antiquarian book dealer from North Rhine-Westphalia showed the most bidding endurance.

Next to Friedrich Schiller's autographed manuscript fragment from “Phaedra“ (lot 57), which went to a private German collector for a result of EUR 25,800*, the album amicorum by Georg Wilhelm Prahmer (lot 55) was also highly sought-after. In the case of the latter, a private collector from Hamburg succeeded and took the renowned album, which also carries an entry by Friedrich Schiller, home for a result of EUR 22,800*.

Max Ernst's “Histoire naturelle“ (lot 105), one of the main works of Surrealism, went to a French dealer who had to pay EUR 19,200*, almost a five-fold of the starting price, in order to curb the competitors.

Bidding also perked up when two rare Programs (lot 90) of the Cabaret Fledermaus, founded by the Wiener Werkstätte in 1907, were called up at EUR 4,000. One of the 15 original lithographs from, among others, Kokoschka, Löffler, Jung and Zeymar, adorns the catalog's cover. Lively bidding with the participation of various phones from Austria and England as well as several international written bids was eventually stopped by a Northern German antiquarian in the saleroom at a result of EUR 17,400*.

A similarly good result of EUR 16.800* was realized for Jean de La Fontaine's “Fables choisis, mises en vers“ (lot 60). A Southern German private collector granted a four-fold of the calling price of EUR 4.000 and was the lucky winner of a tough race against competitors from Germany, France, Holland and Taiwan.

The same American who had earlier won the day's top lot also stood his grounds against book lovers from around the world when Jean-Etienne Guettard's “Memoires sur différentes parties des sciences et arts“ (lot 26) where called up with EUR 3,000. With a price of EUR 13,200* he also provided around a four-fold of the calling price.

Other lots that realized remarkable results:

Lot 684, Francisco de Goya, Caprichos. Calling price EUR 11,000, result EUR 22,800*
Lot 032, Conrad Gesner, Vogel-, Thier-, Fisch- und Schlangenbuch. Calling price EUR 13,000, result EUR 18,000*
Lot 010, Guillermus Parisiensis, Postilla super epistolas. Calling price EUR 8,000, result EUR 16,800*
Lot 004, Psalterium feriatum, parchment manuscript, 15th century. Calling price EUR 3,400, EUR 15,600*
Lot 639, Moses Mendelssohn, manuscript. Calling price EUR 6,000, result EUR 13,200*

The auction of Maritime and North German Art, traditionally held in Hamburg right before the auction of Rare Books, also has some results worthwhile mentioning.

Here a small selection:

Lot 1480, Friedrich Kallmorgen, Der Brief aus Amerika. Calling price EUR 3,500, result EUR 20,400*
Lot 1420, Johannes Holst, Schnelldampfer “Kaiserin Auguste Victoria“. Calling price EUR 6,000, result EUR 13,200*

Unsold objects can be acquired in the post auction sale until 16 December 2016..

* The rounded result is the hammer price + 20 percent buyer's premium

Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been on the forefront of auction houses dealing in Fine Art and Rare Books, with its headquarters in Munich, and a branch in Hamburg. Representatives' offices in Berlin, Heidelberg, Duesseldorf, Italy and the US have contributed substantially to the company's success. In addition, exhibitions, special thematic and charity auctions as well as monthly online auctions at are regular events at Ketterer Kunst. Robert Ketterer is owner and CEO of Ketterer Kunst.

Your press contact

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

Your contact in the Rare Books department:

Ketterer Kunst GmbH
Holstenwall 5
20355 Hamburg
Christoph Calaminus
Telefon: +49-(0)40-374961-11, Fax:-66

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