Lempertz is one of the leading auction houses in Europe and the eldest in family posession. The history of the company reaches back to 1798, when Johann Matthias Heberle established the „Antiquargeschäft mit Auktionsanstalt (Antiquarian Book Shop including Auctions)" that held important auctions of rare books and art works. After the death of the founder in 1840, his employee Heinrich Lempertz, at that time 24 years old, took over the company that was than renamed „J. M. Heberle (H. Lempertz)“ On 5 September 1844, the administration of the City of Cologne granted the concession to establish a branch in Bonn that was managed by Mathias Lempertz, brother of Heinrich Lempertz. On 18 November 1844, the first Lempertz auction was held in Bonn. From April 1845 Lempertz resided in a house in Fürstenstrasse 2 in which the widow of Friedrich Schiller had died in 1826. The auction of the important library of August Wilhelm Schlegel in 1845 established the company´s reputation, followed by the auction of the estates of E. M. Arndt (1860) and B. Hundshagen (1867) with a manuscript of the Nibelungen from the early 15th Century that was acquired by the Royal Library in Berlin. In 1875 Peter Hanstein, an employee of Mathias Lemperz, buys the respected firm and gradually moves the auction business to Cologne. In 1918 the building at Neumarkt is purchased. The classicist building is destroyed by bombs in 1943, like most of Cologne’s inner city. After the monetary reform Lempertz succeeds once more in establishing itself as the leading German art and auction house. A visible sign of this is the building at Neumarkt, completed in 1952, listed today in the Register of Historic Buildings. The Roman-Germanic Museum and the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum organize their first exhibitions here between 1953-1957. In 1965 the Gallery Lempertz Contempora is founded, an exhibition forum for contemporary art. In 1984 Lempertz complements its range by buying into the antique book store Venator. The name is changed to Venator & Hanstein. Since the beginning of 2000, Kunsthaus Lempertz is the only German auction house to be part of the renowned International Auctioneers group (IA), a group that unites eight independent leading auction houses from eight countries.

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Objects "Lempertz"

David Vinckboons, The Ill-Matched Lovers

CertificateDr. Klaus Ertz, Lingen 21.3.2017.The present work is based upon Vinckboons' drawing “An Old Fisher and a Young Woman”, which is dated 1608 (cf. Ertz/Nitze-Ertz: David Vinckboons 1576-1632 - Monographie mit kritischem Katalog der Zeichnungen und Gemälde, Lingen 2016, p. 239, illus. Z 94,1). This depiction of an “unequal couple” is ripe with metaphors and symbolism. The cracked pitcher in the lower left corner of the work, the bunch of flowers in the old man's hand - doomed to wilt despite its beauty - and the silenced music of the lute player are all symbols of transience. Just as music for the people of those times could only be experienced in the moment, disappearing as quickly as it began, human life was but a blink of the eye in the face of eternity. The extinguished candle and the skeletal personification of death pointing his bow and arrow at the old man's back after turning his weapon on the lute player are both symbolic of impending death. The behaviour of lecherous old men fawning over younger women was a source of ridicule in classical antiquity, and “unequal lovers” became a central motif in religious and worldly moral teachings during the Middle Ages. The subject contrasts the old man's libidinous pawing with the cold, calculating way in which the young woman uses his love-blindness to improve her financial and social standing. In the present work, this aspect is metaphorically illustrated by the monkey surreptitiously reaching into the old man's purse. Klaus Ertz dates this piece to the 1620s, at which time Vinckboons was active in Amsterdam.Read more

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Blog posts about "Lempertz"

Sigourney Weaver in Alien in PVC by Helmut Newton
Famed for their Old Masters and 19th century auctions, Cologne's Lempertz will be holding Modern and Contemporary sales next month of equally impressive stature.
All around the world: Naples, Venice and Moscow at Cologne auction house Lempertz
This week, Cologne auction house Lempertz will feature Old Masters and 19th century art as well as decorative object and jewellery in a two day sale of over a thousand lots.
From the living to the decaying: it's Still Life
Dead animals, rotting fruit and raw meat - still lifes really are a sight for sore eyes, but what's the story behind all the gory?
Brexit: Who's in? Tracey Emin, Anish Kapoor and other artists support StrongerIn campaign
Some of Britain's most influential artists including Anish Kapoor, Martin Parr and Tracey Emin have signed a letter in support of Britain remaining in the EU.
Barnebys curates: Masterpieces at Lempertz
This month, at Lempertz, Cologne, an exquisite selection of jewellery, decorative arts, Old Masters and 19th century art works will be going under the hammer. A true feast for the eyes!

Realised prices "Lempertz "

Pablo Picasso
Lithograph on Arches wove paper 54.2 x 65.8 cm (56.7 x 76.3 cm). Signed. Proof 44/50. - Browned, the lower edge slightly bumped at right, the verso with montage remnants.\n\nBloch 598; Mourlot 168 Lempertz
A George III tortoiseshell snuffbox with miniature
A George III tortoiseshell snuffbox with miniature, the cover with applied gilt rocaille cartouche and pearl-framed miniature (gouache on ivory) with bust-length portrait of an officer. Gilt mounts, the handle with finely carved grotesque relief. Cover interior with plain vermeil-plaque. Two cover corners with crack. England, last quarter 18th century. Lempertz
HERIBERT OTTERSBACH, Untitled (Die Masken), 1984
India ink and spray paint on brown wrapping paper with folded upper and lower margin 244 x 122 cm. Monogrammed and dated 'HC' (joined) '84' lower left. - Studio traces and slightly creased.Exhibition: Frankfurt/M. 1985/1986 (Deutsche Bank), Heribert C. Ottersbach, Ein Mann gibt Auskunft, exhib.cat., p.38/39 with ill.; Cologne 1984 (Stollwerck), Davul Deformance, Hingstmartin, Marcus Krips, Heribert C. Ottersbach, Klaus Winterfeld, Adem Ilmaz, exhib.cat., p.52 with ill. Lempertz
A hanging scroll by Mizuta Chikuho (1883-1958)
A hanging scroll by Mizuta Chikuho (1883-1958) depicting Mount Fuji and grapes. Ink and colours on silk. Short inscription signed Chikuho and sealed Ta...in and Chikuho. Atobako. Lempertz
Italian School, 17th Century
Italian School, 17th Century\n\nMARKET SCENE\n\nOil on canvas (relined). 115,5 x 157,5 cm. Lempertz

Find address and telephone number to Lempertz

Neumarkt 3
50667 Cologne
T: +49 221 925729 0
F: +49 221 925729 6