In the Berlin auction on 2 May, around 300 lots referencing Berlin will be offered for sale. Alongside a wide range of exquisite porcelains, works of art of silver, bronze, cast iron as well as paintings will also be auctioned...
Parallel to Gallery Weekend on 2 May 2015, the Berlin Auction will begin at 11am in the Berlin Lempertz offices. The excellent selection on offer includes nearly 300 lots with a Prussian connection, primarily porcelain works of art. In addition, works of silver, bronze, cast iron and paintings will also come under the hammer. This year also sees a significant selection of impressive porcelains from the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur (Imperial porcelain manufacture KPM) on offer. Like his predecessor, Friedrich Wilhelm III also employed porcelain as a means of diplomacy, presenting allied monarchs and family members with prestigious gifts at various occasions. Many of these porcelain gifts which illustrate the great artistic and technical niveau of KPM at the beginning of the 19th century will be offered in the auction.
An imposing 77 cm high Krater vase (Lot 184, KPM, circa 1836, estimate € 200.000/250.000), featuring an impressive 360 degree panoramic view of Potsdam, belongs to a set of three vases which were a gift from Friedrich Wilhelm III to the young couple Duke Ferdinand Philippe von Orléans and Princess Helene zu Mecklenburg-Schwerin on the occasion of their engagement. This model was deliberately selected as it references a pair of Sèvres vases Friedrich Wilhelm III himself received as a gift from the Duke Ferdinand Philippe's father, Louis-Philippe of France.
A Munich vase with a view of Berlin (Lot 182, KPM, 1830, estimate € 20.000/30.000), listed in the 'Conto book of his Majesty the King' as a gift to the Minister Countess von Reden à Buchwald, illustrates 'Das Musem in Berlin' (The Museum in Berlin), and 'Die Wedersche Kirche in Berlin' (The Wedersche Church in Berlin). Both buildings follow designs by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and were completed in the same year as the vase. One can therefore assume that this was the first depiction of the buildings on porcelain.
The highlight among the paintings in the upcoming Berlin Auction is the oil painting 'Die Tänzerin Barbarina Campanini' (The Dancer Barbarina Campanin) (Lot 7, estimate € 30.000/40.000) from Antoine Pesne. Born in Paris in 1683, Pesne was one of the most important representatives of Frederician rococo and had served the Prussian King as court painter. He painted the internationally celebrated dancer Barbarina Campanini five times for Friedrich II, one of Campanini's greatest admirers who brought her to the Berlin Opera in 1744 after her success in Paris and London. Her career suddenly ended a few years later however when she accepted an offer of marriage live on stage from Carl Ludwig von Cocceji, son of the Prussian Grand Chancellor. She was later redeemed by Wilhelm II, Friedrich's successor, when he ennobled her to Countess Campanini. Two of the five portraits of Campanini were considered missing, including the painting in the upcoming auction which was rediscovered in Italy. The francophile Friedrich II was very impressed by Pesne's 'Prussian version' of the 'fete galantes' in the style of Watteau; the most well known of the Campanini portraits originally hung in his study in the Berlin Palace and is found today alongside a further Campanini portrait in the Charlottenburg Castle.
The second part of the Berlin Auction featuring a collection of rare Soviet avant-garde porcelains will begin at 3pm.