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Rare survivor

Top price in the design sale held at Schops Turowski (22% buyer’s premium) in Krefeld on May 11 was achieved for an exceptionally rare jardinière.

Brightly painted with a guinea fowl in a hilly landscape set in a gilt pewter Art Nouveau mount, it was made by the Cologne factory Orivit.

The 18 x 22in (46 x 56cm) ensemble was created for the Paris World Exhibition of 1900 and although it was well documented in historic photographs and the Orivit catalogue of 1904, it had never been seen since. At the time, the factory sold such luxury pieces for 400 Marks, a considerable sum.

Krefeld set the guide at €4000, but numerous bidders joined in until the hammer fell at €55,000 (£47,415).

Another Art Nouveau design by a famous name in the movement, Henry Van de Velde, featured on eight pieces of Meissen tableware offered by Van Ham (29/25% buyer’s premium) in Cologne on May 15. It was the so-called Whiplash pattern developed by Van de Velde in 1903, a key motif in pan-Continental Art Nouveau movements.

The eight pieces dated to pre-1924 comprised five plates, a teacup and saucer and a mustard pot and overshot their €3000-4000 estimate to take €22,000 (£18,965).

Lucie Rie interest

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A 4in (10cm) high bowl by Lucie Rie sold for €24,000 (£20,690) at Schops Turowski in Krefeld.

The studio and art pottery section of the Krefeld auction provided further evidence of Lucie Rie market strength.

Eight of the nine lots found buyers, most going well above the guide prices in selling to buyers from England, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

A bowl with bronze-coloured glaze and sgraffito decoration brought €14,000 (£12,070), almost trebling the catalogue price. A 7½in (19cm) high vase with grooved decoration was knocked down for €6800 (£5860), while a conical bowl with pink sgraffito and bronze decoration was driven from €5000 to €24,000 (£20,690), as was another pink, bronze and turquoise sgraffito bowl which had a guide of €7000.

Plenty of demand also emerged for two vases by Rie’s one-time collaborator Hans Coper, which changed hands for €15,000 (£12,930) and €18,000 (£15,520).

Twinight back in play

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This Viennese porcelain tray painted by Joseph Nigg with a still-life sold for €64,000 (£55,170) at Lempertz’ second auction of porcelain from the Twinight collection.

An auction held by Lempertz (25% buyer’s premium) in Berlin on April 6 consisted of a further 170 lots from the Twinight Collection of porcelain which was put together by the New York businessman Richard Baron Cohen and is gradually is being dispersed at auction in various countries.

Lempertz’ first instalment was offered last year. This time around there were no six-figure-prices but still some highly competitive bidding.

A Russian collector secured the Viennese tray with a floral still-life, painted by Joseph Nigg in 1816 (previewed in ATG No 2348 and shown left) for €64,000 (£55,170), slightly more than the upper estimate.

Another Russian buyer took a liking to a Viennese porcelain plaque, 11 x 9in (27 x 22cm) from 1809, which was painted by Joseph Fischer in 1821. It almost doubled the lower guide to sell for €39,000 (£33,620).

A local collector bid the same amount to see off the international competition for an 18in (46cm) high KPM vase from 1818 with a depiction of the Aldobrandini wedding.

Soviet message

Among the most popular pieces at Hargesheimer’s (25% buyer’s premium) sale of icons and Russian works of art on April 12-13 in Düsseldorf was a rare piece of Soviet porcelain.

It was a 10in (26cm) figure of a young woman, holding vegetables in her apron. The figure was designed by the sculptor Alexander Terentevitch Metveev (1878-1960) in 1926. Metveev (sometimes transcribed as Metveyev) was already a celebrated artist in pre-revolutionary days and joined the State Porcelain Factory in Leningrad in the 1920s.

Not as blatant a propaganda piece as many other contemporary ceramic wares, such as the Suprematist plates and vessels created around the same time, the ‘Gardener’ nevertheless had a definite message. It was one of many figures celebrating the peasants and workers in Soviet Russia.

It is closely related to Metveev’s portrayal of a ‘Ceramicist’ or potter, modelled in the same year, an example of which belongs to the Hermitage Museum. The guide price of €4500 proved too cautious: the figure was knocked down to an anonymous bidder for €37,000 (£31,895).

£1 = €1.16/SFr1.30