Valuation and sale of inheritances, estates, or collections

Do you have an estate that you wish to sell? Are you the beneficiary of a large collection and would like to have it professionally valued? 

Lempertz offers a unique and accessible service should you wish to have your estate, inheritance, or collection valued or sold. Our team of professional art specialists will provide you with discreet and non-binding advice and are available to answer any questions you may have. Our diverse online and offline marketing instruments ensure that we reach a broad international customer base and secure you the best possible sales success.

Collections Sold

In spring 2019, we were able to successfully sell numerous top quality works by Günther Uecker, Imi Knoebel, Max Liebermann, and Günther Förg from the great collections of German industrialists and banks. For many especially important collections we also produce lavish stand-alone catalogues, organise exclusive previews, and hold single owner sales.

Die Twinight Collection I & II

In autumn 2018 and spring 2019, the renowned Twinight Collection of the New York businessman Richard Baron Cohen came under the hammer. The collection, which was without doubt the largest and most important private collection of early 19th century porcelain in the world, achieved a total of 2.46 million euros at auction.

The passionate collector travelled the world for many years, visiting international auction houses and renowned art dealers in order to complete his collection. Finest quality products and royal commissions from the manufactories of Royal Berlin, Sèvres, and Vienna made the Twinight Collection a world class museum quality collection, and it was shown in several solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin, and the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna.

Lempertz produced sumptuous stand-alone catalogues for the Twinight Collection I and II and arranged lavish previews in Vienna, Munich, Cologne, Berlin, and Brussels, as well as an exclusive dinner event with engaging speakers for a select circle of clients.

Highly Important Mortars from the Schwarzach Collection

Highlight of spring 2019 was the sale of the Schwarzach Collection of Europe's most important mortars. The collection was presented in a detailed stand-alone catalogue and sold almost in its entirety. The 115 mortars making up the collection originated from Europe and the Near East and spanned 1000 years of history, with examples ranging from the 8th to the 18th century. The highly successful auction saw the sale of almost all of the objects on offer, with many achieving prices far above their estimates.

The Klaus J. Jacobs Collection

In autumn 2017, the sale of the Klaus J. Jacobs Collection attracted a lot of attention and achieved a total result of 2.7 million euros. Alongside numerous record prices, many objects rose far above their valuations.

In 1984, Klaus J. Jacobs started a very special collection: That of the Jacobs Suchard Museum in Zurich. Jacobs wanted to curate a collection documenting the history of coffee in Europe, and amassed a remarkable selection of artefacts illustrating the cultural history of the product. The collection included over 250 objects, all relating to coffee, including paintings by Georges Braque, Lesser Ury, and George Grosz as well as exceptional coffee pots, cups, and machines dating from the Baroque to the Bauhaus.

The Pioneer of Photography - A collection of 60 photographs by Heinrich Kühn

An important collection of 60 photographs by Heinrich Kühn achieved exceptional success in autumn 2017. The rare and fine quality group of works attracted numerous national and international buyers, including renowned museums. The high level of interest led to some exceptional price increases and a result by value of 80% over the original estimate. With this sale Lempertz was able to establish a new price level for works by Kühn in Europe.

A collection of 60 photographs by Heinrich Kühn was also successfully sold in the 2017 autumn season. Read our exciting Academy report here: “The extremely delicate nuances of lighting effects”, on the photography of Heinrich Kühn.

Netsuke Collections

In the previous years we have had the great pleasure of auctioning two large and important collections of netsuke. The small, finely carved Japanese figures have recently been experiencing an increase in popularity. The Kolodotschko Collection was separated into several, often very exclusive, sales due to its exceptional size. The last part was sold in spring 2017 with great success. Spring 2018 saw the successful sale of the Papp Collection of netsuke in Cologne. If you would like to learn more about netsuke, read our fascinating Lempertz-Academy report for more about the origin and original meaning of these Japanese collectors’ items: Netsuke

The Estate of a famous German Cardinal

Lempertz was honoured to be allowed to auction a part of the great Cardinal Meissner estate in 2018, the proceeds of which were donated to the Cardinal Meissner Foundation. The highlight of the estate was undoubtedly the Triptych altar of the Madonna Enthroned by the Master of Tobias which changed hands for nearly 500,000 euro.

Valuation of inheritance - in one of our representative offices around the world

We have offices and representatives across Europe, the USA and in South America and are happy to assist you in any of these locations. You can arrange appointments directly with the individual departments or with the respective branch office nearest to you. For larger collections we are happy to visit you at home and can offer a non-binding and discrete initial estimation or estate valuation on site. In the event of an agreement, your collection will be transported to our head office in Cologne and with the help of state-of-the-art tools, our experienced employees, and professional expertise, will be appraised and valued. 

All the items you wish to sell from your collection will be examined in precise detail by our expert team. Once the examination and valuation of your collection is complete, we will inform you of the individual estimates of your items. We are happy to arrange worldwide transportation of your artworks, in particular large and heavy pictures or sculptures, through one of our professional logistics partners. Cataloguing and provenance research will begin as soon as agreement is reached. It will be ascertained if there were any interesting previous owners in the history of the work and from where the work originated, and several high-resolution photographs will be taken for the catalogue and the website.

Individual catalogues and auctions for important collections

Depending on the scale of your collection, it may be possible to initiate a special separate catalogue and auction exclusively for your objects and works of art. This concept has been proved by the many very successful auctions in recent years such as the extensive "Kolodotschko“ netsuke collection, the photography collection "Das Neue Bauen im Spiegel Der Photographie“ and the "Hoftstätter Collection“ from the Austrian art dealer Reinhold Hofstätter, as well as many important corporate collections.

The sale of a collection or an estate - we ensure the greatest possible sales success

According to the type and value of your collection, the sale will take place in accordance with our seasonal auction calendar and may also be held on the same day as the corresponding main auction of the respective department. Should you own a very large collection of contemporary works or art, these will be sold, depending on number and total value, either in our main auction or in their own sale on the same day or weekend. This way we guarantee the greatest possible attention for your collection. 

If you are considering selling or having your collection valued, please do not hesitate to contact us. The world’s oldest family-run auction house with nearly 200 years of experience is at your disposal.

Successfully sold collections or parts of collections from recent years:

  • The Hofstätter Collection
  • Reportage Photography 1945-1990 - The Elke and Werner Zimmer Collection
  • The Kolodotschko Collection of Netsuke
  • The International Style through the Eyes of Photography. Works from an Important Collection
  • Hommage to Coco Chanel
  • The Grünert Collection Oriental Works of Art from Belgian Collections
  • Lempertz projects - selections from two important corporate collections
  • The Klaus J. Jacobs Collection
  • Heinrich Kühn - 60 Photographs
  • The Papp Collection of Netsuke
  • The Twinight Collection I & II
  • Highly Important Mortars from the Schwarzach Collection