Lempertz Berlin will hold its Preußen (Prussian) Auction on 24 April for the fourth time in a row under this title. And once again, Alice Jay von Seldeneck and the team have put together a fantastic offer to elate collectors of Prussian Classicism as well as the Berlin art scene and KPM porcelain. With a phenomenal total of over 560 objects up for sale, the offer features several important private collections.
The porcelain collection of Renate and Tono Dreßen provides the prelude, in the second part of which the porcelains for the Prussian court are now offered (the first part was auctioned by Lempertz last autumn to great success). In keeping with the season and Easter, the opening lot is a plate from the Japanese service decorated with a hare (lot 1, € 6,000 – 8,000). The collection includes many of the personal service designs of the Prussian King Friedrich II, to porcelains commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm III presented to the generals after the Napoleonic campaigns, including two sample pieces for the Duke of Wellington (lots 70/71) and a hitherto unknown Russian military plate (lot 68).
Further porcelains from two Berlin private collections include examples ordered from KPM by Friedrich II for the decoration of his palaces, such as the rare and enchanting painted blue coffee service (lot 137, € 8,000 – 10,000). An important, magnificent Frederician toilet box by Christoph Conrad Meyer from around 1757 – 1770 (lot 166, € 20,000 – 24,000) is one of the highlights of the offer of courtly silver.
The period of Classicism begins with the portrait of the venerated Queen Luise of Prussia by Johann Heinrich Schröder (lot 189, € 15,000 – 20,000). An impressive ceiling luminaire richly decorated with glass prisms is from the same era, by the Berlin manufactory Werner & Mieth, 1797 – 1815, (lot 214, € 60,000 – 80,000), and formerly owned by the princely family Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The zinc cast sculpture of Ulysses is the only surviving work of the sculptural decoration of the former tea salon of Princess Elisabeth (lot 222, € 18,000 – 25,000, see below).
Lovers of the art of cast iron will be thrilled by the almost 200-lot collection of C. Lith. It begins with 65 lots of exquisitely chased cast iron decoration, a selection not offered on the market in this wealth and quality for many decades.
In the afternoon, the breathtaking E. Solovyeva collection will be auctioned featuring KPM porcelains from the period after 1880 displaying the finest, most elaborate decorations, painted and relief enamels. The pieces were made for presentation at the great world exhibitions and are mostly unique, with a quality unmatched to this day (lot 473, multilayer glazed long-necked vase with lotus leaf decoration and transparent glass beads, KPM Berlin, 1901, € 4,000 – 6,000).