In its 2022 autumn sale, Lehr (28% buyer’s premium) created something of a stir when it sold Scholz’s 1926 painting Tote Hühner (Dead Chickens) to an American collector for a substantial €400,000 (£353,980), four times the guide. On April 29 this year, Lehr offered another work by Scholz, Die Schwestern (The Sisters), with an estimate of €200,000.
The 2ft 4in x 3ft 1in (71 x 95cm) oil was painted two years after the Chickens and had remained in possession of Scholz’s descendants since then. This is not surprising, considering the fact that the two sleeping beauties were Scholz’s wife and his sister-in law. Even in the decadent days of the Roaring Twenties, the painting created something of a scandal. In recent years, the painting has been shown at several exhibitions and the combination of its subject matter and the perfect provenance attracted numerous bidders.
The purchaser of Tote Hühner was not among them; even so the competition was fierce and, in the end, a south German collector, whose specialist theme is works by Neue Sachlichkeit painters, could seal the deal only at €650,000 (£575,220).
Also for sale was a preparatory pencil sketch for the painting which sold for €8000 (£7080), far more than the guide of €1500.