'World's greatest' Meissen porcelain collection brings $4.7m at Bonhams

The third chapter in Bonhams' auction of Meissen porcelain concluded yesterday (November 24) with the final sale of the Hoffmeister Collection, one of the world's greatest assemblages of highly important Meissen porcelain.

The auction took place at Bonhams in London and fetched an impressive total of $1,248,590, selling 81% by lot and 71% by value. This brought the total for the three sales to $4,719,350.

Many of the pieces sold over the course of the auction had a prestigious provenance. Some were diplomatic gifts between European princes that passed between the most colourful characters of the époque. Uniquely, each of the three sales has seen pieces returned to the descendants of the families they were originally created for.

The top selling lot today was an extremely rare Meissen plate from the 'Black and Gold-Striped' service circa 1735. The plate, which is believed to have once belonged to Baron de Zoubaloff in Moscow, sold for a price of $75,809.   

This rare Meissen plate from the 'Black and Gold-Striped'
service circa 1735 sold for $75,809

Other top lots include a Meissen circular dish circa 1735 ($75,800), a very rare Meissen armorial tea bowl and saucer circa 1735 from the service for the Elector Clemens August of Cologne ($75,800) and a Meissen teapot and cover from the service for Pope Benedict XIV circa 1743 ($72,019).

All three sales of the collection caused excitement, with enthusiastic bidding from private collectors, investors, museums and dealers from around the world.

The world famous collection had been assembled over 40 years by two German brothers with a passion for this rare 18th century porcelain, and had spent the past ten years on show at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.

Sebastian Kuhn, Bonhams Continental Porcelain Specialist comments, "It has been an honour to sell such a wonderful collection, put together with such care and precision and we are thrilled with the results today. We now look forward to our next sale of Fine European Ceramics on 8th December which contains many other remarkable Meissen pieces."


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