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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Ketterer Kunst to Auction Hugo Grotius Masterpiece

Hugo Grotius’ masterpiece “De iure belli ac pacis libri tres“ is of outmost rareness, as only one other copy of the first print from the first edition of the fundamental writing on modern law of nations is known of worldwide. The book will be called up with an estimate of EUR 50.000 in the auction of Rare Books at Ketterer Kunst on 22/23 November.

The first print of “De iure belli…“ was executed simultaneously on several presses in a hurry for the oncoming Frankfurt Book Fair Easter 1625. However, printing had not been completed by late March, so that the work was sent to the fair without the index and with partly uncorrected pages. But this did not derogate the masterpiece, as its content was exceedingly revolutionary. It was the first attempt to create an inconvertible law aside from the church and the Holy Scripture, “which neither god nor a mathematical axiom could change“ (Carter/Muir).

Another rarity is the “Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten“ By Hartmann Schedel, released in a strong Koberger coloring in Nuremberg in 1493, it is one of the most richly illustrated incunables at all. The complete and well-preserved copy of the German edition will be called up with an estimate of EUR 50.000.

History is also the topic of yet another work estimated with EUR 50.000, which is the “Historia naturalis“ by Pliny the Elder. The influential work in the first Italian edition from 1476 was made by the renowned Venetian printer Nicolas Jenson and is endowed with 37 gilt-heightened interlace initials. The “natural history“ is actually much more than just a book, it is rather an encyclopedia covering the complete knowledge of the ancient world, comprising anthropology and astronomy, mathematics, medicine, mineralogy and zoology.

The field of zoology is also home to the “Neue systematische Conchylien-Cabinet“ by Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Martini and Johann Hieronymus Chemnitz. The first edition in this completeness, particularly with volume XII, released 34 years later, is unusually rare. The renowned fundamental work on conchology with colored illustrations and exemplary descriptions carries an estimate of EUR 24.000.

The field of botany is also quite well situated, exemplarily thereof is the flower-, herbs-, fruit- and garden book by Wolfgang Knorr, which is estimated with EUR 35.000. The plate volume titled “Regnum florae“ is particularly renowned for its aesthetically consummate illustrations and its splendid coppers of flowers, cacti and fruits.

The section of geography is led by a “Manuskriptatlas“ by August-Louis Bertin de Blagnys, which describes the historical and topographic development of the older French administrative districts, the so-called Bailliages. The atlas with 141 double sheet manuscript maps with watercolors will be called up with an estimate of EUR 25.000.

As far as old prints are concerned, particularly the only edition of Johannes Bretke‘s ”Postilla tatai …“ will make for excitement in the auction room. This comprehensive collection of Lithuanian sermons is one of the main works by the author and founder of the Lithuanian literary language. The estimate for this book from the print-shop of the Königsberg court book binder Wolf Arzt is at EUR 18.000.

The range of offers will be rounded off by a rich selection of modern illustrated books, among them considerable portfolios, silk-screens in colors and contemporary works. Particularly worthwhile mentioning is a copy of the very rare de-luxe edition of Jean Dubuffet‘s “La botte à nique“, of which a mere ten copies were made. Endowed with a signed original drawing and an original silkscreen in colors by the artist the estimate is at EUR 15.000.

Besides rare books, manuscripts, autographs and decorative prints, this auction will also comprise works of Maritime and Northern German Art. The section is headed by the work “Garten auf Korsika“, made by the Hamburg artist Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann in 1911. The oil painting in a size of 60 x 73 cm (23.6 x 28.7 in) will enter the race carrying an estimate of EUR 7.000. Other big names in this section are, among others, Georg Burmester, Otto Illies, Fritz Overbeck, Christoffer Suhr and Thomas Herbst. The section of Maritime Art will feature interesting woks by Knud Andreassen Baade, Jules Brun, Franz Karl Herpel, Johannes Holst and William Gay York.

10 – 12 November, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
15 – 19 November, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
21 November, by appointment
in Hamburg, Meßberg 1

Maritime and Northern German Art:
22 November as of 9:30 a.m.

Rare Books – Main auction:
22/23 November as of 10 a.m.

Evening auction:
22 November as of 5 p.m.

Silent auction:
23 November

in Hamburg, Meßberg 1

Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books, with its headquarters in Munich and a branch in Hamburg. Gallery rooms in Berlin as well as representatives in Heidelberg and Krefeld contribute substantially to the company’s success. Ketterer Kunst has further rounded off its portfolio with the prestigious Ernest Rathenau Verlag, New York/Munich. In addition, exhibitions, special theme and charity auctions as well as online auctions are regular events at Ketterer Kunst.

Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 München
Tel. +49-(0)55244-444
Fax.: +49-(0)55244-177
E-mail: [email protected]

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