Menzel creates a sensational result with a spontaneous supplementary drawing

Post-auction report Berlin auction 1242 on April 20, 2024

The Berlin Auction at Lempertz triggered applause in the room with top hammer prices and exceptional results for paintings, porcelain and silver. With a total of 1.15 million euro, the result was almost exactly 100 percent in line with expectations, with several museums amongst the international bidders.

A spontaneous drawing with handwritten notes on the second assassination attempt on Emperor Wilhelm I – this drawing by Adolph von Menzel produced a blockbuster hammer price in Lempertz’ Berlin Auction. Whilst portraying members of the first Moroccan legation in Berlin in his studio on 2nd June 1878, Menzel received news of the assassination attempt on the Emperor. This caused him to spontaneously produce a sketch of the emperor on the same sheet as the portrait studies. This sheet eventually changed hands following a lengthy bidding fight between participants in the room, on the telephones and via the internet, selling for 200,000 euro. Accompanied by applause in the auction room in Berlin, it now moves to an international private collector.

A view of the boulevard Unter den Linden in the form of Wilhelm Brücke’s painting of a parade in front of the Kronprinzpalais met enthusiastic interest. In addition to the repeatedly redesigned palace in the centre, the historical views of the neighbouring buildings are also exciting. With a result of 100,000 euro, it has now found a new owner with a passion for Berlin’s history. Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, later Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm III, lived in the palace with his wife Lise con Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1793. There he remained after his accession to the throne in 1797 until his death in 1840, the year in which this painting was created. The surrounding buildings are also historically interesting in terms of architecture: To the left is the Alte Kommandantur in its state before the late 19th century remodeling, as well as the Zeughaus on the far left.

In a relief alabaster depiction of the three Parcae (Fates), the thread of life is spun by the first with both hands and measured by the second, whilst the third sits asleep in the corner with the threatening scissors. At a good 10,000 euros, the work fetched several times its estimated price.

Numerous interested bidders also had to go over the estimates for the porcelain in order to secure one of the coveted pieces. The krater vase decorated with rose garlands doubled its estimate to sell for 25,000 euro, whilst a tête à tête with a spectacular aubergine-coloured lustre glaze made for a Princess ISM by the Imperial Manufactory of St. Petersburg

also went beyond its estimate to sell for 25,000 euro. Large objects with soft painting also sparked great enthusiasm among international bidders, with two wall plaques and a large porcelain coffer selling for roughly 18,000, 20,000 and 21,000 euro respectively, all considerably above their estimates.

A special silver piece was secured by a museum, which can now add the credenza for the Counts of Asseburg to its collection, whilst a large candelabra for Kaiser Wilhelm II and Empress Auguste Viktoria fetched 10,000 euros.

Overall, the auction achieved a result of 1,15 million euro. 


Auction Dates

Auction 1242 - The Berlin Sale

Fine Art Decorative Arts
Saturday 20. 04. 2024
Lot 1 - 339
Auction 1242
Saturday April 20, 2024
11 am

Kunsthaus Lempertz
Poststr. 21-22
10178 Berlin
Thursday April 11, 2024
6 - 9 p.m.

Friday April 12 to Thursday April 18
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday April 19
by arrangement
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Jan Bykowski
Press and public relations