Prussian auction to feature outstanding offers

On 16th May, Lempertz will be holding the Prussian Auction which traditionally marks the beginning of the spring season in our Berlin branch. The sale will feature just under 300 lots of porcelain, silver, cast iron, and paintings, as well as around 60 items of choice Vienna porcelain presented in a separate catalogue.

This year's Prussian Auction catalogue focusses on the development of industry: The objects are arranged in chronological order and according to the technique used. Further fascinating insights are provided in informative texts written by experts in the field, including an interview with Matthias Dotschko, head of the painting department at KPM (Royal porcelain factory) in Berlin.

The sale will open with a collection of over thirty early Berlin faience pieces from a Dutch private collection. One particular highlight among these is a rare orange planter with the coat of arms of the von Morenthal family, estimated at € 8,000 – 10,000 (lot 104). Two of these orange planters, produced in around 1705 in the manufactory of Gerhard Wolbeers in Berlin, are housed in the Stadtmuseum Berlin.

Highlight among the many items of courtly porcelain on offer is the two flame candelabrum from the Vestunen service for Friedrich II, valued at € 16,000 – 20,000. The Meissen model was designed by Johann Joachim Kaendler in 1763 as part of possibly the largest and most personalised of the services made for the Prussian king, which featured around 60 place settings and copious figural table decorations (lot 159).

Further top lots among the porcelain on offer include a KPM night light in the form of a vase (lot 250, €25,000 – 30,000) and a KPM Urbino vase No. 3 with the Muse Erato (lot 274, € 30,000 – 40,000).

The catalogue also features a chapter dedicated to the new painting styles developed by KPM around the 1870s: “Weichmalerei” (soft painting), cabochon techniques, and Seger glazes. This chapter includes circa 40 items decorated with weichmalerei, including a magnificent chandelier after a model by Paul Schley from the year 1885 estimated at € 40,000 – 45,000 (lot 333) and a rare table centrepiece from 1901 measuring circa 1 m in length and decorated with two female figures in Egyptian style costumes, which is estimated at € 20,000 – 30,000 (lot 352).

The silver on offer this year is led by a Rococo tureen and cover on stand made in around 1760 estimated at  € 16,000 – 20,000 (lot 185). The sale also features a candlestick from the dinner service for Friedrich II made by Christian Lieberkühn the Younger in 1746/47 (lot 158, € 14,000 – 16,000). Further highlights include twelve silver-gilt plates made for the Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The pieces originate from an extensive service with around 100 place settings, cutlery, and large candelabra commissioned from Hossauer in 1873, which remained in the possession of the Mecklenburg family until the 1970s (lot 283, € 25,000 – 27,000).

Further sought-after pieces include four furniture items by the Bayreuth based cabinetmakers Johann Friedrich and Heinrich Wilhelm Spindler. The two half-brothers worked in a style closely aligned to the personal preferences of the Prussian King Friedrich II. Their works are often decorated with the trellis-pattern, cartouche, and flowerhead motifs that became emblematic of the Prussian Rococo style. Highlight among the works by the brothers in this sale is a mid-18th century ormolu mounted chest of drawers, inlaid with exotic woods and estimated at € 80,000 – 100,000 (lot 155). The sale also includes two side tables (lot 156, € 8,000 – 10,000 / lot 157, € 20,000 – 30,000) and a second chest of drawers (lot 154, € 30,000 – 40,000).

Further important works coming under the hammer in this sale include a large tapestry with motifs based on Watteau by the manufactory of Charles Vigne, measuring just under 10 m² and thought to have been made before 1745 (lot 134, € 15,000 – 20,000). Also an important marble basin after a design by Karl-Friedrich Schinkel valued at € 30,000 – 40,000 (lot 238), and a pair of monumental lacquer vases made in the 1840s estimated at € 40,000 – 60,000 (lot 242).

In addition to the regular Prussian Auction, this season will also see the sale of a private collection of over sixty items of Royal Vienna porcelain. Highlights among the works on offer here include a déjeuner with children painted en grisalle on lilac ground (lot 9, € 6,000 – 8,000), an important painted porcelain panel with a depiction of Hera and Zeus on Mount Ida (lot 46, € 20,000 – 30,000) as well as a plate with a view of the Stephansdom in Vienna (lot 61, € 8,000 – 10,000).



Saturday, 16th May 2020

11:00 Vienna Porcelain

12:00 Prussian Auction



Saturday 9th – Thursday14th May 11:00 – 17:00

Friday 15th May by appointment


Lempertz Berlin

Poststraße 22

10178 Berlin

030 / 27876080