Auction Rare Books: New Catalog Concept Provides Biblical Results
Devotional € 103,000*
Hamburg, May 29, 2018 (kk) - With total proceeds of more than € 1.6 million* the auction of Rare Books at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg on May 28, 2018 realized an excellent result. The fact that the last auction‘s result was topped by around € 200,000 surely is also owed to the sophisticated new catalog concept. Late medieval books of prayer and devotion were particularly sought-after.
The Top 5

€ 103,000* Calling price: € 20,000
No. 1: Latin Book of Hours
Bruges around 1460-70

€ 79,000* Calling price: € 27,000
No. 3: Latin and French Book of Hours
Rouen around 1470

€ 52,000*  Calling price: € 7,000
No. 24: Maria Sybilla Merian
Der Raupen Verwandlung, Nuremberg,
Frankfurt , Leipzig 1679-83

€ 42,000*  Calling price: € 15,000
No. 2: Latin Book of Hours
Flanders (Bruges), around 1470

€ 31,000* Calling price: € 18,000
No. 29: Michael Johann Seligmann
Sammlung verschiedener ausländischer und seltener Vögel
Nuremberg 1749-76



Lateinisches Stundenbuch
Workshop Vrelant, Brügge,
Aufruf: € 20.000 - Erlös: 103.000*

"With its thematic focal points, our concept, which is probably unique in Germany, creates a very unusual flair in the evening auction", says auctioneer Christoph Calaminus. "Objects gain an enormous presence in this special environment. This increases the reach and eventually leads to top prices".

It all began with a big bang. The very first lot in the evening auction was the whole auction's top lot. A private collection from from the north of Germany and a written bid that would have allowed for some more bidding steps won the pocket-size Bruges Book of Hours. In the end phone bidders from Germany, France and the USA had to face defeat. The remarkable result of € 103,000* is more than a five-fold of the calling price of € 20,000.

Further medieval manuscripts were among the other auction highlights. Accordingly, a Rouen Book of Hours (lot 3) occupies second place. Eventually an American trader on the phone made for a three-fold of the starting price by lifting it to € 79,000*, relegating two other traders and two private collectors from Germany and France to places second and beyond.

Next to a Book of Hours from Northern Italy (lot 4), which was sold to a trader in the American Mid West against strong opposition on the phone from Italy and France for € 25,000* (calling price: € 7,000) a further Book of Hours from Flanders provided yet another highlight (lot 2). For a written bid of € 42,000* the prayer book (calling price: € 27,000) will also go to the Great Lakes region.

Third place in the auction goes to the section of botany. Next to a large number of written bids, competition for Maria Sybilla Merian's book "Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung und sonderbare Blumennahrung" (lot 24) also came from numerous phone bidders from Germany, Denmark, France, Great Britain and the USA. The calling price of € 7,000 soon disappeared in the bidding stampede's dust. Despite tough commitment of a German collector, a Danish book lover eventually carried the trophy home. With a bid of € 52,000* he provided a result that is a seven-fold of the starting price.

Another lot providing excitement in the saleroom was Michael Johann Seligmann's "Sammlung verschiedener ausländischer und seltener Vögel" (lot 29), which was lifted from a calling price of € 18,000 to a result of € 31,000* by a phone bidder from Oregon. Private collectors and traders from Germany and France drew the short straw.

A sharp increase in this section was realized by Hieronymus Bock's "De stirpium" (lot 31), which a French trader eventually won against strong opposition from a colleague from London. The result of € 27,060* is almost a five-fold of the calling price of € 5,500.

In the section of Modernism Paul Verlaine's book "Parallèlement" with illustrations by Pierre Bonnard (lot 68) provided a particularly convincing result. Called up at € 7,000, the bid over € 17,000* offered by a representative of a Hamburg museum, eventually even beat a tenacious trader from London.

Other good results were realized by, among others, the following lots:

Lot no. Artist Title/Type Calling price Result
10 Biblia germanica 12. Deutsche Bibel € 12,000 € 30,000*
77 Alfred Hoennike Sammlung von Pressendrucken       €  3,000 € 18,000*
26 J. L. F. Engramelle   Papillons d'Europe € 10,000 € 17,000*
89 Hans Reichel       Album mit 7 Original-Aquarellen €  5,000 € 16,000*
63 Rainer Maria Rilke Traumgekrönt €  2,500 € 10,000*

Unsold objects can be acquired in the post auction sale until June 22.

The family company Ketterer Kunst ( and, with headquarters in Munich and branches in Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Berlin and the USA, was founded in 1954. It is one of the leading European houses for auctions of Fine Art from the 19th to the 21st Century and Rare Books. The 2017 art market review, compiled by, ranks Ketterer Kunst on place 21 in the TOP 100 Fine Art Auction Houses worldwide. The auctioneer's clientele predominantly consists of international collectors, art dealers, curators and museums.

* The rounded result is the hammer price + 23 percent buyer‘s premuim

Your press contact: Your contact in the Rare Books department:
Ketterer Kunst Ketterer Kunst
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18 Holstenwall 5
81829 Munich, Germany 20355 Hamburg, Germany
Michaela Derra Christoph Calaminus / Christian Höflich
Phone: +49-(0)89-55244-152 Phone: +49-(0)40-374961-11 /-20
Fax: +49-(0)89-55244-177 Fax: +49-(0)40-374961-66
E-Mail: E-Mail:

Michaela Derra, M.A.

Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co. KG
z. Hd. Michaela Derra
Joseph-Wild-Str. 18
81829 Munich

Tel.: +49 89 55 244 152