Cologne – Van Ham
Just under a year ago, the Cologne auction firm Van Ham sold Oriental art from the collection of Roland Sonderhoff.
He had studied law in Germany before working in the legal department of a bank. In 1929 he joined a Japanese bank and moved to Tokyo and later worked with a partner dealing with patents and trademarks. Throughout his long sojourn in the Far East, Sonderhoff collected Asian works of art, many of which he purchased during his frequent trips to China.
At the end of the war he was expelled from Japan, but was able to return in 1952 until the 1970s when he headed back to his home town of Hamburg.
In the sale of June 12 Van Ham is selling a further selection from the collection. Among the highlights is this carved red lacquer plate in the shape of a lotus flower with a central flower motif surrounded by the symbols of the Eight Buddhist Treasures. The 16in (41cm) in diameter plate, from the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty (1735-96), is expected to bring €20,000-30,000.
Munich – Quittenbaum
This year, numerous museums and auction houses are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus and on June 25 Quittenbaum in Munich is holding a specialist sale to mark the occasion.
Among the more light-hearted pieces is this 15in (38cm) high jointed mannequin. It was designed by the multi-talented Oskar Schlemmer together with Josef Hartwig, who is perhaps best known for the Bauhaus chess set, using only combinations of the elementary forms of triangle, square and circle (also in the sale: guide €15,000-20,000).
Schlemmer had joined the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1921 and stayed there until 1929. The motivation for the design of the mannequin, made of brightly painted wood and string, was quite simple: it was conceived in 1922 as a present for one of Schlemmer’s daughters.
Now it is estimated at €20,000-30,000.
Rudolstadt – Wendl
Ornamental tiles, often incorporated into trays or cake platters, are quintessential pieces of Art Nouveau ceramics. Among the most productive designers in this area was Carl Sigmund Luber, who was born in Munich in 1868, where he trained as a painter and sculptor.
In 1896 he was hired as artistic director of the faience department of the Nuremberg company Johann von Schwarz. Over the following years he created a huge array of designs (to date 548 different pieces have come to light).
Wendl in Rudolstadt is selling several of his works in its June 20-22 auction, among them this 20 x 12in (51 x 30cm) metal mounted tray, estimated at €240. It captures the style of the time, with floral motifs and enchanting women.
As things turned out, Luber’s dogmatic fascination for the flowing lines of Jugendstil proved to be his downfall. In 1906, after he refused to change his decorative style, the company closed the artistic department and devoted itself to the even more profitable production of industrial ceramics.