Latest News Articles by Jonathan Franks

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German auctions: An upbeat mood in changing times

13 April 2020

Despite the inevitable restrictions German auction houses are generally adapting well

Elizabeth I cup

Elizabethan silver makes rare appearance in German auction

12 March 2020

Elizabethan silver rarely appears at auctions in continental Europe, so an upcoming collection being offered for sale at Koller in Zurich is something of a special occasion.

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Flemish artist takes the long view

02 March 2020

It is safe to say that the canvas 'Panorama of the River Scheldt with the Silhouette of Antwerp', executed by the Flemish artist Mathieu Ignace van Bree (1773-1839) in the late 18th century, will not be the most expensive painting sold in Germany this year.

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Burning question from Charles Dickens

02 March 2020

One of the many memorable scenes in Charles Dickens’ 'Bleak House' was the portrayal of the apparent spontaneous combustion of Mr Krook, leaving “the cinder of a small charred and broken log of wood sprinkled with white ashes”.

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All-in-one kit for artists

02 March 2020

This well-fitted maple wood artist’s box comes with numerous watercolours, mixing bowls and a small folding easel.

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Classical micro-mosaic box appears at Zurich sale

02 March 2020

This octagonal brass box, decorated with 17 micro-mosaics featuring subjects from classical antiquity, was created by Augusto Castellani of the famous firm of Roman jewellers founded by his father Fortunato.

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Only existing drawing of Benin from before 1890 in demand at auction

02 March 2020

Several surprises emerged in the tribal art sale held by Cologne auction house Lempertz (24% buyer’s premium) in a recent sale held in Brussels.

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Rare version of Meissen's modern coffee service emerges Dusseldorf

02 March 2020

Having been heavily criticised for its antiquated designs at the World Exhibition of 1900 in Paris, the Meissen porcelain factory commissioned avant-garde designers to produce more vibrant pieces.

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Picture that moves with the times

02 March 2020

Throughout the 19th century, picture clocks were popular in many German-speaking parts of Europe.

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Swiss painter Marius Borgeaud offers paws for thought

02 March 2020

Marius Borgeaud (1861-1924) was one of several Swiss painters working in Paris around the turn of the 20th century.

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Example of silver Shekel which became symbol of revolt offered in Germany

02 March 2020

Just under 600 lots in the extensive March 16-20 auction at Künker in Osnabrück come from the Samel collection. This highly important collection was put together by Josef Samel and his sister Angela Arluk, who were born in Poland, but settled in Munich after the war.

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Silver medal celebrating Jacobite defeat emerges at Munich auction

02 March 2020

A silver medal on offer at Gorny & Mosch in Munich on March 9-10 commemorates the last pitched battle fought on the British mainland.

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Raphael in beaker form

02 March 2020

Raphael’s painting 'Madonna della sedia' is one of the most familiar images of Western art and has been copied by artists since its inception in 1513.

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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.