With a total result of almost 1 million euro, the Prussian Sale which took place on 16 May at Lempertz Berlin was very successful. Due to the current situation, only a few collectors were present in the auction room; the number of bidders participating online and by telephone therefore has greatly increased.
The highest result was seen for lot 345, a gold imperial presentation tabatière or box made in 1897. Estimated at 6,000 – 8,000 euro, the gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II triggered a heated bidding war, eventually decided by an internet bidder with a record-breaking total of 50,000 euro. A further tabatière, this time of porcelain and decorated with allegories of the arts and a portrait of Friedrich II, left its estimate of 15,000 euro far behind to sell for 28,800 euro (lot 148).
An important bowl made of white Carrara marble after a design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel from the year 1810 sold for 37,500 euro (lot 238), whilst the famous princess group of Luise and Friederike made of biscuit porcelain by the Königliche Porzellan Manufakur (KPM) went for 8,100 euro to a Berlin private collection (lot 206, estimate 2,000 – 3,000 euro). A side table with ormolu mountings by the Spindler brothers reached 18,000 euro (lot 156) and a bronze bust of Friedrich II by Johannes Eckstein from 1786 was knocked down for 21,300 euro (lot 197).
An internet bidder persisted with the purchase of a KPM cup and saucer featuring mosaic painting and was successful for 7,500 euro against the room and a number of telephones (lot 152), whilst a rare commemorative cup with a portrait of Queen Louise against a matt blue ground saw a result of 5,600 (lot 258). A further extended bidding fight was seen for an octagonal platter decorated with an archaic landscape, eventually selling for 12,500 euro (lot 282). Apair of egg-shaped beakers painted with the Schwerin and Ludwigslust palaces multiplied their estimate to reach 7,500 euro (lot 298), and an Easter egg with a view of Potsdam and Glinicke rose to 2,800 euro (lot 299).
Multiple written bids tripled the estimate of a portrait of Friedrich Wilhelm II by Anton Graff and was hammered down for 35,000 (lot 205); a portrait of Friedrich I, Emperor of Prussia went for 10,000 euro to a museum (lot 100, estimate 6,000 – 7,000 euro), and a further portrait, this time of Prince Otto von Bismarck by Franz von Lenbach, sold for 20,000 euro (lot 346, estimate 8,000 – 9,000 euro).
The private collection of Viennese porcelain, presented in a separate catalogue, delighted many collectors, demonstrating once again that Vienna sells well in the Prussian sale. Particularly noteworthy is a cup depicting Cupid imprisoned (lot 28, result 13,100 euro), as well as a rare set of three cups with views of Schwetzingen which sold for 9,400 euro (lot 56).
“The value-based auction result of almost 100% is very pleasing and a good sign for our Old Masters, Jewellery and Decorative Arts auctions next week in Cologne”, says Lempertz managing director Kilian von Seldeneck.