Nov. 20: Rare Books at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg

- by Thomas C. McKinney


Highlight lots from Ketterer Kunst's Nov. 20 sale

This month, Hamburg-based auction house Ketterer Kunst is hosting a sale of Rare Books that features an interesting array of material. With atlases, manuscripts, photographs, and of course, books, collectors of many subjects and mediums will find interesting material in the sale. Rare Books takes place November 20th.


Beginning the highlights with an atlas, lot 28 is Henri Abraham Châtelain’s Atlas historique, ou nouvelle introduction à l’histoire, à la chronologie & à la geographie ancienne & moderne, printed between 1718 and 1720. The volume contains 284 mostly double page copper plate maps and plates and is estimated €20,000.


As for medieval manuscripts, look no further than lot 3, which is an illuminated French vellum manuscript produced in Paris around 1380 or 1390. This particular item is a calendar, “endowed with vignettes of the occupations of the months and signs of the zodiac,” and is a very rare item. Lot 3 is estimated €50,000.


Lot 34 is quite different from the two highlights so far, and it’s also quite a bit newer. Knud Rasmussen is widely considered the father of Inuitology. This lot is a collection of original photographs, glass slides, typoscripts and map material that belonged to the famed Danish Greenlandic explorer. The material comes from the estate of Rasmussen’s longtime friend, secretary, and fellow adventurer, Emmy Langberg. The archive is estimated €28,000.


Less well known than Audubon’s Birds of America or Gould’s Birds of Great Britain is Joachim Johann Nepomuk Anton Spalowsky’s Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der Vögel, which translates to “Supplement to the Natural History of Birds.” Offered as lot 26, the first four volumes of the original six are present and contain 178 (of 182) colored copper plates and 8 colored and engraved armorial plates. Spalowsky’s work predates both of the aforementioned ornithological books and would be an excellent addition to any bird-centric collection. It won’t come particularly cheaply, I’m afraid, as it is carries an estimate of €20,000.


Ketterer Kunst’s sale of Rare Books takes place November 20, 2017 in two sessions, beginning at 11 am and 5 pm (GMT+1) at the auction house’s location in Hamburg. Previews of the sale will take place:
Nov 08-10, 2017, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Nov 13-17, 2017, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Nov 19, 2017, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm


The full catalog can be viewed online here.