Spring auctions at Koller Zurich: A re-discovered early work by Guido Reni sells for CHF 1.2 million

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Spring auctions at Koller Zurich: A re-discovered early work by Guido Reni sells for CHF 1.2 million
Master of Frankfurt (active in Antwerp, circa 1460), Allegory of love. Oil on panel. 24.8x128.3 cm. Sold for CHF 744 500.

ZURICH.- At the spring auctions at Koller Zurich an early work by the Italian artist Guido Reni which had languished unrecognised for over 40 years in a Swiss private collection was sold for CHF 1.2 million. Of the 17 Old Master paintings which had adorned the Potsdam villa of the fashion designer Wolfgang Joop, 14 found new owners. The top lot was a Renaissance work by the 15th century Master of Frankfurt entitled “Allegory of Love” which sold for CHF 744 000. With the Old Master paintings Koller auctions saw a turnover of 8 million Swiss Francs.

Old Master Paintings
22 March 2013
Star of the show: Guido Reni

The Old Master Paintings auction had two main points of focus: on the one hand, the 17 paintings from the collection of Wolfgang Joop and, on the other, the Old Master paintings from other provenances. In the second group was a painting on copper which had been in a private collection for over forty years: an early work by Guido Reni (1575-1642) depicting the Assumption of Mary and a clear testament to Reni’s style at the beginning of his painting career. Estimated at CHF 120 000 the painting made a final price of CHF 1.2 million at the Koller auction on 22 March (lot 3023). The painting “Noble woman at a table with lute and sheet music” by the Dutch artist Eglon Henrik van der Neer from 1667 made CHF 515 000, a final price which was also far above the catalogue estimate. This work had hitherto only been known to experts through its documentation and had been rediscovered by Koller after the surface had been cleaned. It had been estimated at CHF 200 000/300 000 (lot 3058). The still life “Woven basket with fruits on a table top with insects” by Isaac Soreau, which was consigned to Koller from a private collection, reached a price of CHF 324 000 (lot 3034). A collector was prepared to pay CHF 260 000 for a still life of flowers by Johannes van der Ast, a price also above the estimate, which had been set at CHF 150 000 (lot 3061).

Wolfgang Joop confers status to his Old Master collection
The auction of one part of the Old Master collection of Wolfgang Joop again confirmed that a important provenance is a decisive factor in the success of an auction. Consequently 14 of the 17 paintings by the German fashion star were sold. The work with the highest value with a final price of CHF 744 500 was the painting “Allegory of Love” by the 15th century Flemish Renaissance artist known as the Master of Frankfurt (lot 3046). A further successful highlight of the auction was the depiction of a gallant festive gathering in the countryside by Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695 - 1736), who also painted commissions for Frederic the Great. The painting entitled “Fête Champêtre” was estimated at 80 000 to 120 000 Swiss Francs and reached CHF 595 000 (lot 3038). The many still lifes of flowers which had adorned Joop’s villa in Potsdam were also a source of great interest amongst the bidders. One with roses, irises, poppies and peonies by Simon Pietersz Verelst reached the highest price with CHF 90 000 (lot 3041). At a somewhat lower price of CHF 66 000 came the bouquet of flowers with roses and tulips by Nicolaes van Veerendael (lot 3042).

19th Century Paintings
22 March 2013
Successful highlights and many surprises provide a good sales quota

The auction of 19th Century Paintings was notable for its high sales quota of 70 %. All the highlights found new owners and some of the attractively valued paintings provided some real surprises. The final prices for two paintings by Carl Spitzweg were especially pleasing. “Das Ständchen” made its upper estimate with CHF 72 000 and the somewhat smaller painting “Aschemittwoch” (Ash Wednesday) was sold for CHF 38 400 (lots 3210 and 3207). The inviting depiction of a excursion group resting in the “Giardini Publici” in Venice, painted by Felix-François Ziem was, at a price of CHF 87 600, the second best lot amongst the 19th Century works. The splendid winter landscape with snow-covered fir trees by the Russian Ivan Fedorovic Choultse came in somewhat higher at CHF 150 000, which, in the wake of the strong demand for Russian art, clearly exceeded its upper estimate (lot 3225). An outstanding price of CHF 60 000 was also achieved for a market scene at Holzmarkt in Halberstadt, estimated at CHF 12 000 (lot 3269) and a Mediterranean landscape with herdsmen and herds circa 1841 by Heinrich Bürkel, which made CHF 57 600.

Old Master Drawings and Prints
22 March 2013
A record for Aloys Zötl

One of the most striking lots in the auction of Old Master Prints and Drawings was the watercolour by Aloys Zötl from 1861 depicting a rhinoceros. Estimated at CHF 9 000, the final bid was for CHF 144 000 (lot 3507). A further watercolour on paper by Louis-Jean Desprez with a view of the ancient theatre of Taormina went to a new owner for CHF 18 000 (lot 3458). A chalk drawing by the workshop of Raffaello Santi depicting a child’s head was also sold for well above the estimate at CHF 38 400 (lot 3422). The two harbour views rendered in gouache on paper by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Lallemand reached CHF 22 000 (lot 3448). In addition, a pen drawing with rocks and trees by Heinrich Dreber climbed from CHF 3 000 to CHF 10 000 (lot 3477). This was also the case for a drawing in brown pen by Eugène Louis Boudin - a beach scene with fishermen from the second half of the 19th century: here the bids rose from CHF 1 200 to CHF 7 800 (lot 3506).

Books and Manuscripts
23 March 2013
„Galeries historiques de Versailles“ and geographic rarities

The 18 volume “Galeries historiques de Versailles”, which the citizen king Louis Philippe and his sons dedicated to the Traveller’s Club in London was the top lot at the auction of Books and Manuscripts. With 1086 portraits, 957 steel engravings and three maps it was worth CHF 84 000 to a private collector (lot 527). Lot 415 proved an unexpected highlight: two globes from 1730, each with 12 engraved segments with original colouring were sold for CHF 43 200. The splendidly crafted silver binding with a depiction of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Clara of Assisi from the late 17th century, which had been consigned to Koller from the library of the National Cathedral in Washington, reached a price of CHF 38 400 (lot 343). A good result of CHF 31 200 was also achieved for a well-kept collection of works by Jules Verne with woodcuts and richly illustrated linen bindings (lot 391). The complete works of Voltaire in 70 volumes, the Beaumarchais edition, was worth CHF 26 400 to an unknown collector (lot 394). A 17th century atlas reached an even higher price. At CHF 28 800 it came in just within the estimate (lot 416).

Furniture, Sculpture and Decorations
21 March 2013
Religious art and French splendour

Antique and religious sculpture were in high demand at the very beginning of the auction of Furniture, Sculpture and Decorations. The highest bid for a Roman sculpture was CHF 21 000 which went for a marble caryatid from the 2nd/3rd century, which had been given a maximum estimate of CHF 2 500 (lot 1006). Further high points in this early part of the auction were Lots 1026 and 1029. The fragment of a “figure gisante“ from the 14th century - two gilt copper hands in supplication from Limoges - was sold for CHF 84 000. A processional cross from Limoges from the early 13th century, which features in the corresponding specialist publication of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, went to a new collection for CHF 74 400. The keenest bidding war took place, however, over a Romanesque Madonna and Child. The carving had been made in Spain in the 12th/13th century. Estimated at CHF 12 000 to 18 000, it reached a price of CHF 117 600 and was thereby the top lot of the auction day (lot 1033).

Renaissance and Early Baroque tapestries also sold very well. A Renaissance tapestry of around two by two meters from Northern France circa 1500/1520 depicting couples dancing reached CHF 60 000 (lot 1024). The somewhat larger tapestry from Tournai circa 1520 depicting the Three Kings (lot 1039) sold for the same amount. Of around ten grand appliques offered at auction, the four made by Henry Dasson & Cie. circa 1890 in the Louis XVI style were the most successful with a selling price of CHF 52 800 (lot 1323). A good result was also seen with a Louis XV combination table from the master workshop of Jean-François Oeben circa 1760 which went to a new owner for CHF 60 000 (lot 1176).

Porcelain, Faience, Silver and Objets d’Art
18 March 2013
Unexpected interest amongst private buyers

With a full auction room and numerous telephone bidders, the auction for Porcelain and Faience saw an exceptional number of impromptu offers from private bidders. Consequently several items exceeded their estimates. The highest bid in this sector was for an 18th century Baroque armorial standing cup from Bohemia. The simple glass piece was estimated at CHF 800 and reached a price of CHF 33 000 (lot 1890). Falling within its estimate the famous 50 piece “Flora Danica” table service by Royal Copenhagen was sold for CHF 21 600 (lot 1886). Lot 1813 followed with an auction price of CHF 18 600: a rare teapot with Chinoiserie scenes made circa 1765 -1789, from the Ottweiler factory of Prince Wilhelm Heinrich Nassau-Saarbrücken. Amongst the figures, the highlights sold well. The Meissen figure of “Capitano Spavento” made for the Duke of Weissenfels made CHF 17 400 (lot 1802), and the single figure of a musician from the Meissen series “Cris de Paris” made CHF 12 000 (lot 1800).

The prices of the Silver and Objets d’Art came in rather higher. Of the eight Baroque South German silver-gilt standing cups, seven went to new owners. The highest price was reached by the “Traubenpokal” (standing cup made in the form of a bunch of grapes) made by the Nuremberg master Adam Richter from 1592 at CHF 42 000 (lot 1706). A standing cup and cover by Michael Müller (1612 to 1650) made CHF 33 600 (lot 1714) and CHF 31 200 was made for the cup and cover by the master Wolf Linden, who also worked in Nuremberg between 1638 and 1671 (lot 1716). The Fabergé teapot which was made in Moscow between 1899 and 1908 made a price of CHF 12 000, which was just above the upper estimate (lot 1866). On the other hand, Lot 1872 rose unexpectedly. The silver bowl (Kovsch) in the style of Fabergé with a top estimate of CHF 4 000 went to a new owner for CHF 20 400. A bottle cooler from 1973 by the Paris company Odiot estimated at CHF 4 000, went for CHF 12 000 (lot 1867).

19 March 2013
Simple diamond jewellery proves very popular

Simple classic style proved to be the bidders’ taste at the Jewellery Auction on 19 March. The aquamarine and brilliant-cut diamond ring by the Zurich designer Majo Fruithof consequently went for more than double its estimate. Starting at CHF 6 500, the hammer finally went down at CHF 19 200 for this ring with a 33.00 carat aquamarine and approximately 55 smaller brilliant-cut diamonds (lot 2038). A price of CHF 372 000, that is almost twice the estimate, was bid by a private buyer for a solitaire set with a brilliant-cut diamond of 6.16 carats (lot 2165). A rare Art Deco bracelet from 1925 with a depiction of a Chinese garden scene made by Lacloche Frères, for which a top price of CHF 200 000 was expected, finally made CHF 264 000 (lot 2153). A further solitaire from 1960 with a brilliant-cut diamond of 2.5 carats and further smaller diamonds reached CHF 51 600 (lot 2061). The highest bid for a signed piece of jewellery was made for a ring by Cartier. The yellow gold spiralshaped ring is topped with a panther head motif and is set with numerous brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 8 carats. The ring made CHF 48 000 (lot 2003).

Amongst the wristwatches, this time the ladies’ models were sought after. A Tank Francaise Automatic by Cartier in white gold with brilliant-cut diamond bezel, the crown set with brilliant-cut diamonds and with 64 brilliant-cut diamonds on the gold strap, reached a price of CHF 13 800 (lot 2262). A Panthère by Cartier from the 1980s went for CHF 15 600. The case is set with approximately 144 diamonds, the bracelet with approximately 390. It is fitted with a quartz movement. (lot 2264). A further diamond lady’s wristwatch was by Harry Winston. With rather fewer but larger brilliant-cut diamonds than the Panthère by Cartier, this model dating from the 1990s was sold for CHF 26 400 (lot 2266). Amongst the gentlemen’s wristwatches a Nautilus by Patek Philippe in yellow gold with a grooved black dial was the top lot with a final price of CHF 20 400 (lot 2288).

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