Röbbig, Munich, is selling this pair of 18th century bronze-mounted Jays for €650,000 at 'Highlights'.

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Opening the proceedings is Highlights, from October 17-21. Since its inception nine years ago, this established itself as a high-class fair in suitable surroundings: as in previous years the venue is the Residenz, for many centuries the city palace of the Bavarian royal family.

This year, 39 exhibitors are involved, one more than 2017. Keeping in tune with current market taste, the focus of the dealers has shifted somewhat, with modern and contemporary art taking more of the exhibition space.

Nonetheless, Christian Eduard Franke-Landwers, who became joint manager of Highlights last year, is keen to stress the scope of the exhibits.

“It is very important for us to present an exciting mixture of old and modern art,” he said. “Works of art from past epochs must be presented in noble surroundings to fully appreciate their importance and craftsmanship.”

Among Franke-Landwers’ exhibits are 18th century courtly furniture from Neuwied and Dresden, complemented by works of art and painting from the same period.

To underline the continued interest in traditional antiques, the organisers are proud of the fact that Röbbig Porzellan has returned to the fold after several years’ absence.

His exhibits include a pair of bronze-mounted candlesticks, incorporating French porcelain flowers, and two Meissen figures of jays, designed by Kaendler in c.1740 (€650,000). Among the regulars, both specialising in works of art and furniture, are Ralph Gierhards from Dusseldorf and Peter Mühlbauer from Pocking, who is offering a Louis XV bureau-plat by the Parisian master Jacques Dubois (€185,000).

Veteran Walter Senger from Bamberg is not only showing his traditional mix of 18th century furniture and sculpture, but also a late 16th century south German stackfreed watch (€48,000).

“It is very important for us to present an exciting mixture of old and modern art

A newcomer is Dario Ghio from Monte Carlo, whose stand will be full of objets de vertu and 17th-19th century works of art, including an 18th century Dutch ivory relief of The Flight of Aeneas from Troy, signed He Bauer, Ruremund, sculp., which has a price tag of €130,000.

Highlights cannot flourish without attracting buyers of modern and contemporary art, however. More than half the exhibitors devote themselves to art from the 20th and 21st centuries.

From Expressionists at Galerie Ludorff, Dusseldorf, to works by artists from the ZERO group, which can be found at the stands of Malte Uekermann from Berlin and Kunsthandel Stockebrand from Veltheim, Highlights aims to cater for all tastes and all wallets.

Long tradition

Opening one day later and also running until October 21, Kunst and Antiquitäten (Art and Antiques) can look back on a long tradition. Several years ago renovation works at its traditional venue in one of Munich’s beer halls forced the fair to move to the iconic Postpalast building.

Now in its 50th year, more building works have caused a fresh change of venue. After a difficult search, the organisers have found a new home in another part of Munich. The new address is the so-called Kleine Olympia-Halle (Small Olympic Hall), part of the site of the 1972 Munich summer games.


A view of the spring edition of 'Kunst & Antiquitäten' in Munich.

The increased costs of renting the new hall are the reason the run-time of the fair has been shortened from eight to four days, but the confident organiser and co-founder Andreas Ramer is more than satisfied with the choice.

“We are very glad that it was possible in this jubilee year to find such an excellent solution,” he said. “Fifty years after the first fair, we have laid the foundation for a secure future.”

This biannual event, held in March and October, has always dedicated itself to presenting collectable works of art rather than museum pieces.

At this year’s spring fair more than 6000 visitors took the opportunity to peruse and – quite often – to buy.

This autumn, for the 98th edition they can expect to find 67 exhibitors. True to tradition, the scope of the works of art ranges from the Gothic to modern and contemporary art.

Munich dealer Erich Meletta stayed away from the fair in recent years, but has returned for 2018.

He is offering a collection of jointed wooden artist’s mannequins, the majority French, from the 18th to 20th centuries, and a distinctive French bronze fountain in the shape of a crocodile from the 1920s (priced at €30,000).

The dealers are predominantly from Germany, many from Munich and the surrounding area, but there are also several international dealers.

Among them is Viennese dealer Susanne Bauer. Taking part for the first time, she has a modern focus: a pair of ebonised armchairs, attributed to the Austrian designer Otto Prutscher, from about 1925, are on offer, for example. Nearer to home is local clock specialist Heinz Grundner, offering his customary selection of clocks and watches from France, Germany and England.

Asian art is very well represented, among others by Galerie bei der Oper in Vienna, Le Cabinet Japonais of Munich, and Peter Hardt from Radevormwald, whose elaborately decorated stand is always a major attraction at the fair.