A 17th century depiction of a jousting tournament, sold for €100,000 (£86,960) at Neumeister.

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The 67 lots on sale were the property of the Bavarian royal family, the Wittelsbachs. After the abdication of the last Bavarian monarch in 1921, the family moved to the medieval Castle Nádasdy in Hungary, which they had inherited in 1875.

The Wittelsbachs, opponents of the Nazi regime, remained there throughout the Second World War, but on the approach of the Soviet army decided to flee, returning to Germany in 1945.

They took many of their possessions with them but were forced to leave several works of art behind, which were walled up in the castle. Even though the hiding place was discovered in 1952, it took until last year before the Hungarian government agreed to return the works of art to the Wittelsbach family, who consigned them to Neumeister.

Names put to faces

On auction day, the demand was considerable and all lots sold, most of them for many times the estimates.

The oldest lot in the sale was fiercely contested. The early 17th century monumental oil painting, 4ft x 10ft (1.25 x 3.05m), depicted a jousting tournament held in Antwerp in 1494. The extensive inscription on the painting referred among others to the Archduke of Austria, the Duke of Burgundy and the Duke of Brunswick. Furthermore, several of the jousting knights were named in the painting itself.

The price guide was set at €20,000-25,000, but bidders from several quarters put up a good fight, until the buyer from Belgium emerged victorious, claiming his prize at €100,000 (£86,960).


Berlin porcelain vase painted with views of the boulevard Unter den Linden which realised €80,000 (£69,565) at Neumeister.

Also worthy of note was the result for a 2ft 1in (63cm) high Berlin porcelain vase from the 1830s, painted with views of the boulevard Unter den Linden. It had been presented to the Bavarian crown prince and later king, Maximilian, by the Prussian monarch Frederick William III.

It is now returning to Berlin, having sold for €80,000 (£69,565), almost double the lower estimate.

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