Ketterer Kunst Rare Books Auction Takes EUR 1.9 million

With an overall result of EUR 1,9* million, the two day auction of Rare Books at Ketterer Kunst made for the best result in this section for the last twenty years. The evening auction alone realized a stunning 74 percent sold lots and a quota of 128 percent*. The reason for this tremendous success is in “the very innovative catalog concept“ said Robert Ketterer.

The TOP 5
Lot 11: Hartmann Schedel, Das Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten. Nürnberg, 1493. Starting price: EUR 40.000, Result EUR 264.000
Lot 62: Hugo GrotiusDe iure belli. Paris, 1625. Starting price: EUR 40.000, Result EUR 126.000*
Lot 56: Carel AllardOrbis habitabilis. Amsterdam, um 1695. Starting price: EUR 35.000, Result EUR 42.000*
Lot 10: Johannes Bretke. Postilla tatai esti. Königsberg, 1591. Starting price: EUR 16.000, Result EUR 38.000*
Lot 18: Daniel Newhouse. The whole Art of Navigation; in five books. London, 1685. Starting price: EUR 11.000, Result EUR 29.000*

The introduction of the evening auction made for a jump start. An own catalog was developed just for this particular event, with the objective to make the world of books, a world that usually requires a lot of expert knowledge, accessible to everybody. Numerous images, a clear structure with an optically pleasing arrangement of the various subject fields, as well as well-defined explanations aroused new interest. Robert Ketterer: “The cross-marketing concept begins to pay off, as we now not only address traditional book collectors but also private art collectors who also like new forms of investment.“

The “Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten“ by Hartmann Schedel, (lot 11) released in a strong contemporary coloring in Nuremberg in 1493 is the most richly illustrated incunable of all. Additionally, it contains the oldest printed map of Germany. Since this copy of the chronic is very well-preserved and complete, it was no surprise that there were several five- and six-digit written bids, a lively auction room and 14 phone bidders from, among others, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Norway competing for this rarity. Called up at EUR 40.000, the bids soared immediately and the vehement bidding skirmish did not stop before it had reached heights of EUR 264.000*. Thus the chronic was not only the auction’s most expensive book, it also realized the evening’s strongest increase.

Second place is for the main work of Hugo Grotius. His “De iure belli ac pacis libri tres“ (lot 62) climbed from a starting price of EUR 40.000 to the impressive result of EUR 126.000*, which was granted by the library Bibliotheek van Het Vredespaleis in The Hague. Now the first print of the first edition of the fundamental writing on international law, of which there is only one other copy in existence, can not only be admired in Oxford but also in the Netherlands.

Another top lot is Carel Allard‘s “Orbis habitabilis oppida et vestitus“ (lot 56), which went to the hands of a private collector in the Netherlands. With a result of EUR 42.000*, he stood his ground against a quite tough competitor from Northern Germany and can now call this extremely rare and splendidly colored copy his own.

Almost as expected, the “Postilla tatai esti…“ (lot 10) by Johnnaes Bretke went to a Lithuanian collector. He honored the extremely rare only edition of the comprehensive collection of Lithuanian sermons with a result of EUR 39.000* and thus doubled its estimate.

Another great increase was realized by “The whole art of navigation; in five books“ (lot 18) by Daniel Newhouse. Called up with EUR 11.000, the rare first edition, which has not been offered on the German auction market for sixty years, was not only extremely sought-after by German bidders, it also awoke a lot of interest abroad. A French antiquarian allowed a result of EUR 29.000* and thus relegated bidders from, among others, Great Britain to places second and beyond.

With a result of EUR 28.000* (starting price EUR 17.000) a remarkably well-preserved copy of the atlas of Germany by Joan Blaeu, adorned with 96 colored and gilt-heightened copper maps remained in Germany, while the first edition of a scientific tractate on the “French disease“, the syphilis, by Nicolaus Leonicenus went across the ocean to the USA. An antiquarian honored this medical text with a result of EUR 25.000* (starting price: EUR 20.000).

Much sought-after by half a dozen bidders was the first print of the Missale Romanum (lot 13) from the printshop of Georg Stuch, which was called up at EUR 6.000. A private collector from France had the longest staying power and won over his competitors with a result of EUR 20.000*.

Other lots more than just worthwhile mentioning:

Lot 79, M. De Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote … Starting price EUR 19.000, Result EUR 24.000*
Lot 32, Friedrich H. W. Martini, Neues syst. Canchylien-Cabinet. Starting price EUR 19.000, Result EUR 24.000*
Lot 181, Reineke Fuchs – Reynke Voß. Starting price EUR 15.000, Result EUR 18.000*
Lot 23, E. Blackwell, Herbarium … Starting price EUR 12.000, Result EUR 18.000*
Lot 654, Daniel Meissner, Libellus novus politicus … Starting price EUR 8.000, Result EUR 16.800*
Lot 43, Bernhard Moritz, Bilder aus Palästina, Nord-Arabien… Starting price EUR 6.500, Result EUR14.400*

The highlights of the auction of Maritime and Northern German Art, which preceded the Rare Books, were made by Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann and William Gaye York. While the “Garten auf Korsika“ (lot 1848) went to a Northern German gallery for EUR 11.280*, the “Flensburger Fregattschiff ‘Peter Jordt’…“ sailed to New York for a result of EUR 8.400*. The starting price for each work was at EUR 7.000.

Some more interesting objects can be purchased in the post auction sale until 17 December 2010.

* The result is the hammer price + 20 percent buyer’s premium.
* The percentage indicates the ratio between starting price (limit price) and hammer price.

Image: Lot 11: Hartmann Schedel, Das Buch der Chroniken und Geschichten. Nürnberg, 1493. Starting price: EUR 40.000, Result EUR 264.000

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 have contributed 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. Robert Ketterer is auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.

Ketterer Kunst GmbH
vorm. F. Dörling GmbH
Christoph Calaminus
Messberg 1
20095 Hamburg
Telefon: +49-(0)40-374961-11, Fax:-66
E-Mail: [email protected]

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