We find the German auctions to be excellent sources of unexpected, well priced (less bid up) material, and we have, in the past, bought from all of the leading houses that have dedicated photography sales. If you are a collector and previously unaware of Villa Grisebach (or of Lempertz, Van Ham, and Bassenge to be reviewed in the coming days), you really need to pay some attention. All of these sales have broad ranges of vintage and contemporary work (including American artists), with strength in European work, and not surprisingly, German photography.
This sale at Villa Grisebach has a total of 241 lots available, with a total high estimate of 822200 Euros. 92.5% of the lots fall in the Low range, so there is plenty of quality, affordable work on offer. There is a particularly large group of 14 Albert Renger-Patzsch images (mostly botanicals) up for sale. Here's the overall price breakdown:
Total Low Lots (high estimate below 7500 Euros): 223
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): 545200 Euros
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between 7500 and 35000 Euros): 16
Total Mid Estimate: 167000 Euros
Total High Lots (high estimate above 35000 Euros): 2
Total High Estimate: 110000 Euros
Rather than presenting a laundry list of things we're interested in, we thought we might try highlighting just a few lots and commenting on them a bit further. So here are three lots we find of interest:
- Lot 1591 Werner Mantz, Limburg, 1928 (image at right, top) It seems that every time we go to a photography show, the Kicken Berlin gallery (site here) has a terrific Werner Mantz in their booth that we always admire, but never quite get around to buying. Mantz did some amazing, high contrast industrial landscapes in the 1920s and 1930s, which would fit well with our other industrial pictures. This looks to be a good one as well. The back and forth of the staircase is stunning. The image would also resonate well with some Gohlke grain elevators already in our collection (here).
- Lot 1665 Umbo, Rohre, 1950s (image at right, middle) We don't have an Umbo in our collection at the moment, and we've been looking for one that would fit well for a while now. We like this one, for its terrific graphic qualities and the unusual back lighting.
- Lot 1732 Stephen Shore, Dewdney Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1974 (image at right, bottom) We've seen this image before in a few places and we continue to think it is the Shore we would potentially add first to our collection, whenever it is that we actually have color as part of the mandate. While it is different than many of Shore's more famous images, it would pair well with a Friedlander we already own (here).