Kunsthaus Lempertz Announces Strong Sales as German Art Market Continues to Grow

Kunsthaus Lempertz recorded the strongest overall turnover of any German auction house. Photo: Die Welt

Amid cautiousness and uncertainty in the German art market caused by the government’s controversial planned revision of the country’s heritage protection legislation, German auction house Kunsthaus Lempertz announced that it ended this year’s spring auction season with a strong turnover totaling €35.2 million ($39.1 million).

The result ranks the auction house as the top performer in Germany in terms of total turnover in the first half of 2015.

The sum reflects Lempertz’s growing international activity—holding auctions in three countries—and the record number of sales conducted.

According to a press release, half of the auction house’s Old Masters were consigned from collectors outside of Germany and over half of the buyers were based abroad.

The house also reported an increase of single-owner sales, contributing significantly to the high turnover total. It cited the third part of the sale of Japanese netsuke from the Kolodotschko collection as an example.

The auction house's sales were rounded off by a successful jewelry auction. Photo: Kunsthaus Lempertz

The auction house’s sales were rounded off by a successful jewelry auction.
Photo: Kunsthaus Lempertz

The strong numbers in the fine art segment were rounded off by Lempertz’s annual jewelry sale, held in Monaco in July, in cooperation with Artcurial’s Francois Tajan.

Buyers from 32 different countries took home rare and expensive gems. The highlight of the sale was a spectacular Cashmere sapphire which was hammered down at €930,000 ($1.03 million).

These results demonstrate that the presence of international buyers and consigners is fueling the German auction market.

In addition, auction houses are relying on sales in other segments such as the jewelry market to compensate the uncertainty felt by German art collectors and art dealers over the potential changes to the country’s legal framework.

Related stories:

Europe’s 10 Most Important Auction Houses

$2 Million Wager for Possible Rembrandt at Lempertz

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