Latest News Articles by Jonathan Franks

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Buyers spoilt for choice as German auction houses hold their autumn Asian offerings

06 January 2020

German auction houses traditionally hold their autumn sales of Asian art towards the end of the season and this year collectors and dealers were spoilt for choice.

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A tale of Hoffmann

23 December 2019

In 1906, three years after he had founded the Wiener Werkstätte with Koloman Moser, the multi-talented Austrian Josef Hoffmann designed a silver casket.

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Greek life in a German studio

23 December 2019

When Theodoros Patros Vryzakis (1814-78) was only a young boy, his father was executed by the Turks during the Greek War of Independence.

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Photo portraits and postcard are pick of a Berlin auction

23 December 2019

A set of famous and highly collectable photographic portraits by a well known photographer and a rare postcard painted by a German Expressionist were two highlights of an auction at Berlin saleroom Grisebach (30/25% buyer’s premium) on November 27.

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Portrait by talented Rembrandt pupil gives boost to Old Masters sales in Germany

02 December 2019

Pictured here is a selection of notable Old Master results from recent sales in Cologne and Munich where international bidders battled with German dealers and collectors.

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Bernhard Hoetger's 'light and shadow' ceramic figure emerges at German sale

18 November 2019

After training in Düsseldorf and Paris, where he had met Rodin and Maillol, both of whom had a major influence on his work, the German sculptor, painter and architect Bernhard Hoetger (1874-1949) joined the artists’ colony in Darmstadt in 1911.

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A price not to be sneezed at

18 November 2019

In the first decades of the 19th century, watchmakers in many parts of Europe made a living by producing highly ornate watches and gold boxes, many of them for Chinese buyers.

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Snail netsuke from Nagoya crawls into Cologne auction

18 November 2019

During the late 18th century, schools of netsuke carving were established throughout Japan.

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Pupil follows master’s example

18 November 2019

It is no coincidence that a glass bowl designed by Carl Witzmann (1883-1952), which was sold at Dr Fischer (28% buyer’s premium) in Heilbronn on October 19, reminded bidders of works by the great Austrian designer Josef Hoffmann. Witzmann was, after all, one of his pupils.

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Rococo couple by Höchst in autumn glory

18 November 2019

The first incarnation of the porcelain factory in Höchst near Frankfurt existed for exactly half a century. It was founded in 1746, making it the second-oldest producer of porcelain in Germany after Meissen.

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Final slice of Soo Pieng

18 November 2019

In recent years, Geble (22.61% buyer’s premium) in Radolfzell has sold several paintings by the Singaporean artist Cheong Soo Pieng (1917-83) from a German collection.

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Dorotheum saleroom’s seven heaven

18 November 2019

Dorotheum (28/25/22/18% buyer’s premium) in Vienna could boast two seven-figure prices in as many days, including the highest Austrian auction price of this year so far.

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Vintage print of Julia Margaret Cameron's 'The Dream' offered at Berlin auction

18 November 2019

Although her career as a photographer lasted only some 16 years, Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79) is acknowledged as a pioneer of the medium, creating a remarkable oeuvre of portraits and other photographic compositions.

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Einstein surprise at Stuttgart auction

18 November 2019

One of the biggest surprises at Nagel’s (33% buyer’s premium) sale in Stuttgart on October 16-17 came right at the end of the auction.

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Schiele reveals his artistic manifesto

18 November 2019

“There is no such thing as modern art, there is only art and it is perpetual.” The author of these lines was, perhaps surprisingly, the highly modern Austrian painter Egon Schiele and are part of an artistic manifesto written on July 17, 1911.

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Family values at Munich saleroom

18 November 2019

The private collection of the late auctioneer Rudolf Neumeister was on offer at the saleroom bearing his name – which is now run by his daughter.

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Stuck sculpture shows athletic inspiration

28 October 2019

The German artist Franz von Stuck is generally associated with portraits of sultry, mystical fin-de-siècle women, laden with symbolism.

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Panels portray palaces and architectural scenes

28 October 2019

One of the highlights at Lempertz in Cologne on November 15 is a set of nine late-18th century scagliola panels.

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Greek doves inspire Romans

28 October 2019

The history of the motif which inspired an unknown Italian master of the second half of the 18th century can be traced back to the 2nd century BC.

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Head of a saint in Munich sale

28 October 2019

The extensive autumn sale at Hermann Historica in Munich runs from November 11-20 and is accompanied by five catalogues for the ‘bricks and mortar’ sale and a further six for the subsequent online auctions.