Paul Wallraf was perhaps one of the greatest taste-makers/gentleman dealers of the 20th century. Born into a Cologne family with connections to the arts, one of his ancestors was involved with the founding of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Wallraf spent much of his youth in Berlin, where his father was speaker of the Reichstag.
On leaving Germany Wallraf went first to Paris, where he worked for Arnold Seligmann, then to London as the buyer for one of the leading international art dealers. The sale of the contents of his flat at 16 Grosvenor Place in December 1983, shed light on his eclectic taste and no doubt inspired another generation of collectors. Indeed a number of pieces from the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé passed at one time through the hands of Wallraf (see Christie's Paris, 23-25 February 2009, for example lot 419).