No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Anon., sale Christie's Geneva, 19th November 1988, lot 96.
'Old Dresden', where my family used to live, was the ideal place to grow up in the proximity of Meissen porcelain. Unfortunately it was not so smooth and easy for me, because my parents were forced to escape with their little children, shortly before the war ended. As a family of industrialists they feared the repressions of the occupying forces that were rapidly seizing everything. So we had to leave all our possessions behind and my parents had to start all anew in 'the West'.
Within our family there was an unbroken love for porcelain. My mother would often paint individual items and sometimes even complete sets by hand and with great artistic flair. In the early 1960s my aunt presented me with a 'little lonely Marcolini cup', one which I had always admired in her small collection. I almost immediately began to look for a matching saucer, which I finally found after an extensive search. Thus my hunting-instinct was sparked and from that moment on I began to take an active interest in Meissen porcelain. I went to specialist shops and visited museums, antiques fairs, professional dealers and bought catalogues and books. I didn't just admire the porcelain, but also acquired more and more early items. All in all, I followed the natural progression of a typical collector.
Fortunately my wife enriched our conjugal existence with the same passion for porcelain and extended it to other areas, like Nymphenburg and Rozenburg - thus doubling the pleasure by sharing my passion.
In our acquisitions we were always anxious to buy flawless items, for the simple reason that our porcelain was intended to be put to its proper use (it may be that occasionally one may find the odd small repair or coffee stain - in which case I count on your utmost indulgence). What has always been our central concern was, that the items should emit a positive aura - perhaps this has sometimes prevented us from falling for the kinds of forgeries that one would consider somewhat 'flat'. The individuality of early pieces and sometimes also the skilful artistic handling around the intricate minutiae of early examples often creates the exceptional and intriguing characteristic that makes a porcelain item particularly desirable and charming.
I am indebted to many dealers not only for finding very beautiful examples but, more importantly, for the friendly assistance that one requires as a young collector. A man with a particular aptitude for dealing with collectors - even the young ones - was Heinz Reichert. He was able to pass on his fascination for porcelain by sharing his knowledge with a sort of pleasant generosity that allowed everyone to profit from it. In this atmosphere of trust one would inescapably be sucked into the habit of passionate collecting.
Personal high points were our visits of special European Porcelain sales in London and Geneva - where we established rapport with many a like-minded collector and specialist. What was also particularly helpful were the countless conversations with Dr. Rückert, who often inspected objects from our collection and commented on them, for reasons of a purely un-commercial nature.
A time has now come, where we identify a need to restructure our collecting activity and where we would like to part with certain elements of our collection. Not least to give other collectors an opportunity to also enjoy our treasures.