One of the original ink and gouache drawings from a suite made by Carl Otto Czeschka, to illustrate a 1908 edition of Die Niebelungen dem Deutschen Volke. The suite sold at $290,000 (£224,805) in a Sotheby’s New York sale.

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They were made for one of a series of beautifully illustrated books for children published in Vienna by Martin Gerlachs. From 1902 he had engaged leading artists to work on the series, and original artworks were shown alongside works by Klimt and others at the 13th Secessionist Exhibition in Vienna.

Czeschka’s eight double-sided original illustrations for the double-page spreads featured in Vol. 22 in the series, all bar one of them signed, are contained in a special chemise and box designed by craftsmen of the Wiener Werkstatte.

The film-maker Fritz Lang was one of many impressed by Czeschka’s designs, and their influence is seen in the five-hour-long silent film version of Die Niebelungen that he made in 1924.