It was very disappointing after last year’s fair proved that the organiser’s hygiene concept was viable (and although the summer fair was not allowed to happen, many thousands of football fans were nonetheless allowed into the local stadium).
The organiser was left with no choice but to move the opening of the event back to its traditional autumn position. It is opening its doors from October 21-24.
The venue has remained unchanged: the Residenz, the one-time royal palace in the heart of the Bavarian capital. As in 2020, just over 40 dealers will be participating at the ‘boutique’ fair, as Highlights now classifies itself.
Even with the relatively small number of exhibitors, the aim is still to present works of art from all epochs. By far the oldest exhibits can be found at the stand of antiquities dealer Jean David Cahn from Basel.
Among them is the marble head of a Cycladic idol from the middle of the 3rd pre- Christian millennium that is attributed to the so-called Goulandris Master, one of the most prolific sculptors of his era. Some 50 works have been attributed to him by international scholars.
The asking price is around SFr300,000.
Paintings by Emil Nolde are perennial favourites with visitors to German fairs and this year there will be a suitable selection at Highlights.
His oil painting Sommergarten (Summer Garden) from 1935 is being sold by Beck & Eggerling of Düsseldorf and Vienna for €1.35m, while Galerie Ludorf, also of Düsseldorf, is offering a late Nolde, Huldigung (Homage), with a price tag of €1.25m. It has never been on the market before; it was painted for Nolde’s second wife in 1947 and has remained in the family until last year.
Franz Marc’s highly decorative woodcut Fabeltier (Mythical Animal) in six colours was executed in 1912 as a supplementary illustration to the luxury edition of the almanac Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), produced by the eponymous group of avant-garde artists. Thole Rotermund in Hamburg is asking €120,000 for one of only five known copies of the woodcut from the third luxury edition of the almanac, three of which are already owned by museums.
Even though fine art, up to and including works by Contemporary artists, has consistently been well represented in Munich, the organisers always try to ensure a broad selection of collectables from traditional fields is also available.
Among the top offers this year with six-figure prices is a very rare travelling Meissen tea and coffee service, painted with chinoiserie by the sisters Anna Elisabeth and Sabina Auffenwerth in Augsburg in the 1730s.
According to Langeloh Porcelain in Weinheim, a complete service painted by the sisters has not been on the market for over half a century.
A Meissen vase from 1735, decorated with a red dragon, a yellow horse and a phoenix, at the stand of the Munich dealer Röbbig, had a very prominent owner: it once belonged to August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and the driving force behind the porcelain manufacture in Meissen. Its asking price is now €180,000.
Silver and sculptures are also well represented in Munich, among others by experienced dealers such as Christian Eduard Franke and Walter Senger, both of Bamberg and Rainer Jungbauer from Straubing.