Short History of V & H

70 years of Cologne Book- and Print Auctions
In 2016 Venator & Hanstein celebrated its 70th anniversary. Since 1946, the company has developed into one of the leading companies in book and print auctions.

The Beginnings
Venator & Hanstein has been established in 1946 at Cologne under the name of „Ringbuchhandlung August Nethe & Co.“, in 1951 the auction house was renamed to „Nethe und Venator“.
Rolf Venator, being present from the beginning, continued the business in 1953 under the name of "Venator KG".

Generational change
In the course of regeneration and relocation to the well-established house of Lempertz in Cologne Prof. Henrik R. Hanstein joined the company as partner in 1984. Since 1988 Karl-Heinz Knupfer is acting as managing partner. The company now is registered in "Venator & Hanstein KG".

Successful auction sales
The Cologne Book and Print Auctions can look back upon a long line of successful sales including a lot of important collections.
A series of outstanding inventories of castles starting with the "Bibliothek Schloß Arenfels" in 1951, ranging over the "Bibliothek der Fürsten Starhemberg, Schloß Eferding" in 1956 goes up to the"Fürstliche Bibliothek Schloß Dyck" in 1992 and 1993. Other higlights have been the sale of the "Nachlass Günther Leisten" in 2000 and 2001 or  Modern illustrated Books from the "Frowein Collection" in 2003 and the "Schmetz Collection" in 2008.
The modern and contemporary graphic arts are represented in separate auction sales since 2005 and are becoming more and more popular with steadily increasing success.

For a general view of our past auction sales please visit the Archive.



Catalogue XXI/XX//, January 1961

Cover by Chargesheimer