On November 21 Quittenbaum (23% buyer’s premium) in Munich offered 37 bronze and ivory figures by the leading designers of their day from that group. The reception was somewhat mixed – the buyers focused on iconic pieces and disregarded the simpler figures.
Even though bidders based in the US and Japan could not take part because of import restrictions on ivory, enough dealers and collectors from other countries were on hand to achieve some substantial results.
Leading the field was the 14in (37cm) high Flame Leaper, modelled by Ferdinand Preiss in 1928. Estimated at €70,000, it found a new owner, a German collector, for €100,000 (£88,495).
More than half the figures on offer were designed by Preiss. Among the other successful pieces were his Spring Awakening from the 1920s which brought €55,000 (£48,670) and a 17in (43cm) high Torch Dancer which was knocked down for €42,000 (£37,170).
A mid-estimate €82,000 (£72,565) was achieved for the 2ft 6in (75cm) Etoile de mer (Starfish dancer) by Demètre H. Chiparus. The 1928 figure was one of many inspired by the dancers of the Ballets Russes in Paris and was also bought by a German collector.
The biggest surprise at Metz (25% buyer’s premium) in Heidelberg on December 15 was the frenetic bidding for 14 pieces of silver cutlery from the early 20th century. They were designed by Josef Hoffmann for the Wiener Werkstätte c.1903-04 and marketed under the self-evident name Flaches Modell (flat model).
The end of each handle is decorated with four small spheres. Metz had been asking for €26,000, but a dealer and a museum representative from Austria drove the price ever upwards. At the close, however, they were both outpaced by a German collector at the hammer price of €79,000 (£69,910).
Among the noteworthy prices in the extensive porcelain section, both way above the estimates, were €42,000 (£37,170) for a pair of 11in (27cm) high Meissen figures of orioles sitting on tree stumps, modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler, Johann Gottlieb Ehder and Peter Reinicke in 1734, and €54,000 (£47,785) for a 3in (7.5cm) wide Meissen snuff box from 1727 with Chinoiserie decoration by Philipp Ernst Schindler.