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Theodor Poppmeier Collection: Our First Sale on 10th March 2018

09/05/2018

“Art before craftsmanship and quality before condition” was the principle which guided Theodor Poppmeier when he compiled his important collection of antique textiles. The great success of our special auction, “Poppmeier Collection I” proves the soundness of his approach. The auction sold 83 of the 88 lots offered, a success rate of 94 percent. Part two of the collection will follow in the spring of 2019.

Theodor Poppmeier took the decision to sell his collection through us as early as the autumn of 2015. Our first highly successful sale of Dr Ignazio Vok’s textile collection had already been held at the time. Our meticulous treatment of the objects, our new specially developed catalogue in book format and our presentation had appealed to Poppmeier. He envisaged a similar concept for his own collection. We agreed not to announce our project before completion of the three Vok sales. Our aim was to avoid any competition with the Vok Collection, with its many Anatolian kilims.

Antique kilims from Anatolia, with their mysterious ancient designs, bold compositions of abstract effect and subtle colours, held a particular fascination for Poppmeier. Consequently, they are the focus of his collection. Poppmeier came to appreciate kilims as a result of his long-standing collecting activities in the field of abstract modern European art. He realised that in terms of importance, expressiveness and beauty, the works of anonymous Oriental weavers were equal to those of renowned European artists. Poppmeier developed a deep affection for the works of Oriental weavers. Similar to Vok, ethnological aspects were less important to him; he was primarily interested in artistic expression.

Theodor Poppmeier tends to take an unobtrusive approach in accordance with his character. Before our auction, only a small group of insiders knew Poppmeier as a major collector. The opposite is true for his kilims: 37 of the 56 Anatolian kilims published in the first Poppmeier catalogue had been previously illustrated in relevant publications and displayed in exhibitions. However, in addition to kilims Poppmeier collected textiles from other cultures. Thus 29 lots included in the first auction were from Central Asia, the Caucasus, Peru, Morocco and Indonesia.

Like the Vok sales, the auction on 10th March – which took almost three hours due to the many bids – attracted bidders from all over the world, who either attended in person or placed telephone bids. A particularly remarkable fact was the strong presence of collectors from Turkey who are now buying back artworks from their own culture. They obtained some of the highest hammer prices. Almost all the lots sold immediately, and many of them exceeded their estimates. Only the Moroccan rugs did not attract much of an initial response, and most of them were purchased in the post-auction sale.

A selection of hammer prices:

Lot 8 – € 16,000
Lot 9 – € 9,500
Lot 14 – € 9,000
Lot 19 – € 8,500
Lot 23 – € 8,000
Lot 24 – € 30,000
Lot 29 – € 11,000
Lot 33 – € 8,000
Lot 36 – € 8,000
Lot 38 – € 8,500
Lot 39 – € 12,000
Lot 43 – € 8,500
Lot 42 – € 8,500
Lot 43 – € 9,000
Lot 44 – € 24,000
Lot 46 – € 7,500
Lot 48 – € 22,000
Lot 54 – € 8,500
Lot 56 – € 40,000
Lot 66 – € 8,000
Lot 82 – € 6,500
Lot 83 – € 6,500

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