Held on 21 April at Lempertz in Berlin, the Prussian Auction was a great success, and with a result of 1.3 million euro, had a results quota of over 100%. Traditionally opening the spring season, Prussian valuables including porcelain, silver, Berlin cast iron and paintings were offered for sale.
The intense bidding war started already at the beginning of the auction in the packed sales room, pushing a rare plate for the Order of the Black Eagle from 1,000 – 1,500 euro up to 8,700 euro; the faience dinner service was commissioned in 1701 by King Frederick I from the Delft “De Grieksche A” manufacturer on the occasion of his coronation (lot 6). Further rare Königlichen Porzellan Manufaktur (KPM) objects from the same year also reached good results. An important krater-form vase with a panorama of Unter den Linden topped 74,400 euro (lot 245, estimate 60,000 – 80,000 euro), whilst a further important krater-form vase with a view of ‘Die Linden-Promenade in Berlin’ rose up to 47,100 euro (lot 234, estimate 35,000 – 45,000 euro). A rare eagle-handled vase with views of Berlin and Potsdam (lot 236, estimate 30,000 – 50,000 euro) sold for 37,200 euro, and a pair of scroll-handled vases in the Attic style went for 27,300 euro (lot 282, estimate 20,000 – 30,000 euro). A plate with a ‘view of the Zelte near Berlin’ doubled its estimate to sell for 22,300 (lot 193, estimate 10,000 – 12,000 euro), and a further plate depicting the Jasper room in the Neuen Kammern at Sanssouci initiated an intense bidding war between the room, online and telephone bidders which left the estimate of 1,200 – 1,500 euro far behind to sell for 8,100 (lot 207).
An impressive Portrait of Crown Prince Frederick William III of Prussia, attributed to Johann Heinrich Schröder saw a considerable price rise. Already sold twice in the last 100 years at Lempertz, the pastel work reached a record result of 86,800 euro (lot 164, estimate 15,000 – 20,000 euro). Referenced in Theodor Fontane’s ‘Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg’, a Portrait of King Frederick II of Prussia by the court painter Charles Amédée van Loo reached 99,200 euro (lot 31, estimate 80,000 – 100,00 euro), whilst Lesende mit roter Jacke (Bildnis Ursula Waetzoldt), painted in 1925 by the German painter Oskar Moll, escalated to 27,300 euro (lot 347, estimate 14,000 – 16,000 euro).
The silver offering was led by a pair of candlesticks from the dinner service of Frederick the Great by the court silversmith Christian Lieberkühn from 1746/1747 and rose to 47,100 (lot 29, estimate 40,000 – 60,000 euro). A pair of Rococo candelabra by the Copenhagen goldsmith Andreas Jacob Rudolph from 1755 originally served as an addition to the Augsburg dinner silver at the court of the Danish King Frederick V, and later came into possession of the royal house of Hannover through marriage. They pushed passed their estimate of 15,000 – 18,000 euro and achieved a result of 34,700 euro (lot 43). A pair of platters made for the Counts of Schwerin in 1800 went three times over their estimate to sell for 6,800 euro (lot 144, estimate 2,000 – 3,000 euro).
Berlin cast iron was also in demand this year providing a good result of 4,100 euro for a pair of plates with seasonal allegories, four times the estimate of 800 – 1,000 euro (lot 272). Produced on the occasion of the train line connection between Berlin and Hamburg, a New Year’s plaque from 1848 sold for 2,100 euro (lot 279, estimate 800 – 900 euro), whilst a Prussian collier made in 1825 went for 5,200 euro (lot 200, estimate 1,800 – 2,300 euro).
Other noteworthy results include a 3 x 3.5-meter Berlin Chinoiserie tapestry from the beginning of the 18th century which changed hands for 27,300 euro (lot 12, 22,000 – 25,000 euro) and a rare and important salon chair after a model by Karl Friedrich Schinkel made in 1828/1830 which was sold to an online bidder for 24,800 euro (lot 239, estimate 20,000 – 22,000 euro).