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  • George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio shoots to $116,700
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • AmericanCatlin'sGeorgeNorth

George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio shoots to $116,700

With a total of more than €1.6m, Ketterer Kunst's two day auction of Rare Books in Hamburg had an excellent result and even outperformed the spring auction by more than €100,000.

The evening auction alone achieved the impressive sales quota of 86% lots sold.

In the bidding race for George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio (lot 40), the work almost doubled its starting price of €45,000 with a result of €87,600. Several bidders from the USA were left empty handed. The unique contemporary document of highest rarity will remain in Germany after the heated bidding skirmish.

George Caitlin North American Indian portfolio
A striking image from George Caitlin's North American Indian portfolio

"Works in the section of Expressionism were particularly sought after - in the end all but five lots were sold. This is also largely due to the fact that more and more fine art buyers are developing an interest in rare books", noted Robert Ketterer, owner of Ketterer Kunst.

One example is the 15 issues of "Menschen" with 92 original prints by Conrad Felixmüller, Otto Dix and others. A German dealer stood his ground against a private fellow countryman and made for a result of €11,040, almost a sixteen-fold of the starting price of €700.

Legenda Aurea Golden Legend Saint Sebastion arrows
The rare edition of 'Legenda Aurea' - the Golden Legend
shows a surprisingly mellow Saint Sebastion

A lot of interest was apparent when the weekly magazine for art and culture "Der Sturm" (lot 114) was called up. A London book dealer offered almost twice the calling price and the most important avant-garde magazine of Expressionism soared up to heights of €52,800.

One of the highlights we focussed on ahead of the sale, the only known German copy of Legenda Aurea... (lot 16) by Jacobus de Voragine was sold to a French private collector. Hitting the stage at €18,000, the two volume work climbed to a remarkable €45,600 result.

Likewise Maria Sibylla Merian's "Over de Voortteeling en Wonderbaerlyke Veranderingen der Surinaamsche Insecten" (lot 35) went to a German dealer for €38,400, and a German private collector made "Biblia Germanica Inferior" (lot 8) his own with a bid of €37,200.


  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • AmericanCatlin'sGeorgeNorth