Autumn Sales 2018
From a private collection put together over decades with great connoisseurship, 88 masterpieces of graphic art from five centuries will be offered on 21 September in an evening auction.
An excellent impression of the copper engraving ‘Crowning with Thorns’ by Martin Schongauer (c. 1480) is the first print of this collection by a nameable artist (estimate € 15,000). In 1647 Rembrandt created the etching ‘Ephraim Bonus, Jewish Physician’. The copy now offered by Venator & Hanstein captivates by its freshness and untouched condition. The magnificent impression, one of the few surviving early prints, still has the completely uncut lower margin and used to be i.a. in the collection of King Ferdinand of Portugal (estimate € 60,000).
Only five copies of the aquatint and drypoint ‘Les deux danseuses’ by Edgar Degas (c. 1875) are listed in Delteil's catalogue raisonnée. The fine-grained aquatint technique allows only a few prints, all of which have the character of monotypes. Our copy from the collections Lerolle and David-Weill is estimated at € 25,000.
Graphic works by Edvard Munch are highlights of each auction sale. About 1894 he created his drypoint etching ‘The Girl at the Window’. The copy signed and inscribed by Munch ‘2 Tryck’ is the only known copy and probably a unique piece. The print is now coming up for auction with an estimate of 45,000 €.
An early colour lithograph by Käthe Kollwitz from 1903 is part of the collection, a ‘Portrait of a working-class woman with blue shawl’. The copy in the first or second state on strong Japanese paper exists in only a few copies (estimate: € 30,000).
A unique copy is Lyonel Feininger's etching ‘The Workmen’ from 1910/11. In the catalogue raisonnée of prints by Prasse, only the present proof is recorded, once belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York (estimate 25,000, - €).
One of the most important early lithographic works from Max Beckmann is his scene of the Hamburg red-light district ‘Ulrikusstraße in Hamburg’ from 1912. Our trial proof, estimated at 50,000 €, is available in the first of two states, of which only one more copy is known.
Other masterpieces of the collection are e.g. by Albrecht Dürer, Lucas van Leyden, Jacob Ruisdael, Canaletto, Francisco de Goya, Adolph von Menzel, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner or Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.
A highlight of the main auctions on 21 and 22 September is the most extensive and important fish book from old times: In the years 1785 to 1797 the twelve-part 'Ichthyologie' by M. E. Bloch was published in Berlin. This general natural history of the fish impresses with its detailed illustrations in 432 coloured copper engravings. The large-margin paper copy now offered, bound in morocco in six red folio-sized volumes, comes from a small private collection of fish books (estimate: € 60,000).
Other precious rarities of natural scientific book illustration are three volumes from the large-folio edition of Buffons ‘Histoire naturelle des oiseaux' (1771-1778) from exquisit property (10,000, - €). Especially the bird population of the Netherlands is represented by the first three parts of Cornelius Nozeman’s ‘Nederlandsche vogelen', excellently illustrated by Christian Sepp and son in the years 1770-1797 (20.000, - €).
Again, it was possible to obtain a complete, contemporary-coloured copy of the Cologne Chronicle, printed in 1499. The richly illustrated incunabulum is offered at an estimate of € 15,000.
One of the most beautiful artists books of the early 20th century is certainly ‘Die träumenden Knaben' by Oskar Kokoschka. The first publication of the 21-year-old artist in a copy of the first issue of 1908 by the Wiener Werkstätte is estimated at € 12,000.
In 1971 Fernando de Rojas ‘Célestine' was published with 66 etchings by Pablo Picasso in various techniques. The 16th-century Spanish tragicomedy translated into French is the last work illustrated by Picasso (€ 25,000).
In total, 1500 lots of books, autographs and prints are available on the two auction days.
Preview at Kunsthaus Lempertz from 14th September 2018.