Lempertz to sell part of the Klaus J. Jacobs Collection

Around 250 items, all united by their connection to coffee, will be coming under the hammer at Lempertz. From paintings by Georges Braque, Lesser Ury, and George Grosz to fine coffee pots, cups, and machines from Baroque to Bauhaus.

This autumn season, Lempertz will be selling part of the collection of the Jacobs Suchard Museum, founded in 1984 by Klaus J. Jacobs. Jacobs’ museum aimed to illustrate the cultural history of coffee in Europe, and amassed a vast range of artefacts linked to its history. Around 250 items from this collection, including paintings by Georges Braque, Lesser Ury, and George Grosz as well as fine coffee pots, cups, and machines from Baroque to Bauhaus will be coming under the hammer.

In 2012, Jacobs‘ heirs charged Roger M. Buergel, the former head of the Documenta, with creating a new theme for the museum. In future, the museum will broaden its focus away from just the history of coffee as a product in Europe to investigate a wider variety of goods and their global trade routes, including tea, oil, silk, opium, gold, and many more. Some items of the museum’s old collection no longer suited this new programme, and are thus coming up for sale in a special auction.

Undisputed highlight is a painting by Georges Braque estimated at €400,000 – 600,000 - “Le moulin à café” painted in 1942. The still life was an important motif for Georges Braque, and this work is an excellent and finely painted example of the quality of his later work.

The sale will also feature two works by Lesser Ury “Im Café Bauer, Berlin”, estimated at €140,000 – 160,000 and “Herren im Café” for €10,000 – 15,000; a gouache by Raoul Dufy estimated at €30,000 – 40,000, and two ink pen drawings by Ludwig Meidner estimated at €25,000 – 30,000. Also Varlin’s “Brasserie Viennoise” from 1911 (est. €30,000 – 40,000), and Louis Léopold Boilly’s “La jeune Ménagère”. The sale will also include two drawings by George Grosz. “Ober zwei kleine Pils” from 1915, estimated at €30,000 – 40,000, is a typical product of his most accomplished phase.

Among the porcelain on offer, a Nymphenburg group with a Turkish lady and gentleman taking coffee estimated at €4,000 – 6,000 is a particularly exceptional piece. The other two known examples of this group can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the Residenzmuseum, Munich.

An early Augsburg silver coffee urn made by Matthäus II Baur, estimated at €50,000 – 60,000, is the main highlight among the silver on offer. The fine silver gilt coffee pot, weighing over 3 kg, was made in 1698 and displays fanciful scrolling decor. Matthäus II Baur was able to make a name for himself among the numerous goldsmiths of 17th century Augsburg, and his works were commissioned and given as gifts throughout all the courts of Europe. Today, examples of his works can be found in the Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Special Sale Jacobs Collection 16th November 2017 in Cologne.

Highlights of Classic Modernism from the Jacobs Collection on 1st December in Cologne.

Highlights of Contemporary Art from the Jacobs Collection on 2nd December in Cologne.


Georges Braque Le moulin à café, 1942. Oil and sand on canvas. 87.6 x 106.7 cm. Provenance: Aimé Maeght, Paris; former collection of Lee A. Ault, New York. Estimate: € 400,000 – 600,000.

Raoul Dufy Nature morte au poulet et à la cafetière rouge. Gouache and watercolour on laid paper. 51 x 66 cm. Estimate: € 30,000 – 35,000.

George Grosz Ober zwei kleine Pils, 1915. Coloured oil pastel and ink. 22.4 x 29.1 cm. Estimate: € 30,000 – 40,000.

Ludwig Meidner Kaffeehaus. Ink drawing, Berlin, 1913. 49.8 x 46 cm. Estimate: € 25,000 – 30,000.

Lesser Ury Im Café Bauer, Berlin. Oil on cavas on card. 49 x 71.9 cm. Estimate: € 140,000 – 160,000.

Tuskish Coffee Group. Nymphenburg, after 1780, after Franz Anton Bustelli. H 22.5 cm. Estimate: € 4,000 – 6,000.

Early Augsburg Coffee Urn. Silver gilt. Matthäus II Baur, ca. 1698. H 38 cm, weight 3,015 g. Estimate: € 50,000 – 60,000.