Winged art – the estate of Cardinal Meisner17.05.2018
LEMPERTZ AUCTIONS THE COLLECTION FOR OVER 800,000 EURO
Lempertz’ auction of 15th – 19th century paintings, drawings and sculptures on 16 May included 28 artworks from the estate of Cardinal Joachim Meisner. The entire proceeds will go to the Cardinal Meisner Foundation in Cologne for the promotion of the congregations of the Archdiocese of Cologne as well as those in Central, Eastern and Southern European countries. The most valuable of these works of art had been awarded to Cardinal Meisner by the estate of the artist Hildegard Domizlaff. For the sale of these pictures, Lempertz has waived its commission and instead will donate it to the Foundation.
The collection includes Old Master paintings, many 19th century pictures, works on paper and a large number of sculptures. Its most important work, by Master of Tobia (Maestro di Tobia), a Tuscan 14th century painter, took the form of a small winged alter depicting the Madonna and Child with Saints and Crucifixion. Extensive research enabled the Lempertz’ experts to identify the artist of this work and to establish a reliable attribution. This attribution would surely have been surprising for Cardinal Meisner, himself a passionate admirer of art. The magnificent painting had awakened international interest and was fiercely fought over. The estimate of 120,000 – 160,000 euro was soon left behind, as were the 200,000, 300,000 and 400,000 marks, eventually selling for around half a million euro. An undoubted success (lot 1001).
Standing out amongst the 19th century artists was Moonlit Gateway by a Gothic Church by Carl Gustav Carus which rose from 30/40,000 up to 78,100 euro (lot 1323). This was surpassed however by Morning Sun Over the Sea by Carl Rottmann which sold for 93,000 euro, nearly four times its 20/25,000 estimate (lot 1318). In total, the Cardinal’s collection raised an impressive 840,000 euro.
The rest of the Cardinal Meisner collection in aid of the Cardinal Meisner Foundation will be offered for sale by Lempertz in a special auction in September 2018.