Catherine Fenston (London) 44.20.7389.2982
Laurien Hessels (Amsterdam) 31.20.575.52.62
Katie Adler (New York) 212.636.2680


The Gutmann Collection
13 May 2003 - Christie's Amsterdam
Important Silver from the Gutmann Collection
11 June 2003 - Christie's London

London/Amsterdam - Following an act of restitution made last year by the Dutch government, Christie's will offer Property from the Gutmann Collection in Amsterdam and London in 2003. A single-owner sale of European furniture, works of art, Old Master and 19th century paintings, European and Asian ceramics, glass and antiquities will be offered at Christie's Amsterdam on 13 May 2003. Three magnificent Renaissance silver-gilt works of art from the Collection of Fritz and Eugen Gutmann will also be offered at Christie's London on 11 June 2003.

"The three pieces of silver-gilt from the Gutmann collection are, quite simply, superlative", says Anthony Phillips, international head of Christie's silver department. "Each piece is the work of a highly significant maker and is of the greatest artistic importance. Certainly no better proof exists of the genius of both Fritz and Eugen Gutmann as collectors than these three superb works of art; they clearly demonstrate an exceptional eye for the best".

"We are extremely proud and delighted at Christie's to be able to organise such an important sale and honour the Gutmann family. The catalogue will certainly become a reference document," Jop Ubbens, Chairman of Christie's Amsterdam.

The dramatic and magnificent German silver-gilt ewer, mark of Johannes Lencker I, 1625-1630 (estimate: £500,000-800,000/ $/€ 800,000-1,200,000) is one of the greatest pieces to be made in the artistic centre of Augsburg at a period when the city's silver was undoubtedly, the finest in Europe. The ewer is in the elaborate form of a nude woman seated on a rearing triton blowing a conch shell. Both Johannes (circa 1570-1637) and his brother, Christophe (circa 1556-1613) Lencker were among the leading silversmiths in the city and many of Johannes' extant works are now preserved in major institutions including the Munich Schatzkammer, the Schatzkammer of the Archbishop of Salzburg and the Kremlin, Moscow.

The Kienlin parcel-gilt cup, formed as nude male on a rearing, galloping horse, is proudly signed by the maker and dated 1630 (estimate: £350,000-450,000 $/€ 550,000-720,000). Of great beauty, it is most certainly proof of just how important an artistic centre Ulm was at this period. Hans Ludwig Kienle or Kienlin the Elder (1591-1653) was a distinguished silversmith and seems to have been particularly adept at producing animal models. In 1912, the distinguished art historian, Otto von Falke, wrote in The Art Collection of Eugen Gutmann that the ewer by Johannes Lencker and the cup by the Ulm maker, Hans Ludwig Kienle (now written as Kienlin) demonstrate the style of the High Renaissance at its highest perfection. Both pieces are sublime works of both the sculptor's and the goldsmith's art.

The third superb work of art to be offered at Christie's London in June from the Fritz and Eugen Gutmann Collection is the wonderful German silver-gilt double-cup by Hans Petzolt, one of the greatest Nuremberg makers working at the end of the 16th century (estimate: £150,000-200,000 $/€ 220,000-380,000). Dated 1596, the double-cup is a perfect example of the short-lived return to the Gothic style of one hundred years earlier. This use of the Gothic style with added Renaissance ornament was an unusual artistic development and one that Petzolt seems largely to have introduced. Made for the Usler family of Goslar, the double cup eventually became part of the distinguished collection of Baron Karl von Rothschild of Frankfurt before being acquired by Eugen Gutmann and subsequently passed on to Fritz Gutmann.

All three pieces were on display in the Rijksmuseum from 1954 to 2002. They will be available for public view at Christie's Amsterdam from 9 - 12 May 2003.

Christie's Amsterdam
More than ninety works of art from the Gutmann collection will be offered at Christie's Amsterdam on 13 May 2003. The sale will comprise a broad range of works from Old Master pictures to European furniture, ceramics, glass, decorative objects and Asian works of art.

The Old Master pictures are led by Portrait of a Man wearing a fur trimmed coat against a deep red background by Jacob Elsner (active late 15th and early 16th century) (estimate: €80,000-120,000). Several beautiful pieces of furniture and decorative objects will include a pair of early Louis XVI ormolu and variegated red marble vases (estimate: €30,000-50,000); a Dutch ormolu-mounted kingwood, amaranth and parquetry commode dated circa 1780 (estimate: €20,000-30,000) and a Louis XVI amaranth bois satinι and marquetry table en chiffoniere by Charles Topine (€ 20.000-30.000).

Highlights from the European works of art section include a late 16th century North Italian bronze doorknocker (estimate: €15,000-20,000) and an impressive Flemish game-park tapestry is from the second half of the 16th century (estimate: €40,000-60,000).

The European glass and ceramics collection comprises many pieces of Meissen porcelain including a 'Punktzeit' part dinner service, circa 1770 (estimate: € 15,000-20,000). The service is decorated with minutely observed flowers and purple-green flower sprays. A pair of Kakiemon octagonal sake bottles, dating from circa 1730, with slender necks and decorated with autumn grass and chrysanthemums will also be offered (estimated: €4,000-6,000). A pair of square Samson tea caddies and covers made in France in the 19th century are each painted in 'Kakiemon-style' with birds amongst blossoming branches estimate: €2,000-3,000).

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Interviews and Images available on request

Notes to Editors:

The three pieces of silver, the highlights of the Gutmann Collection, will be exhibited at Christie's galleries in Rockefeller Center, New York from 5 to 10 April 2003.
Christie's Amsterdam: Property from the Gutmann Collection: 13 May 2003
Viewing in Amsterdam will take place from 9 -12 May 2003
Christie's London: Important Silver from the Gutmann Collection: 11 June 2003
Viewing in London will take place from Friday 6 June to 12 noon on Wednesday 11 June 2003
Catalogues available on 44.207.389.2820 or 31.20.575.5255

For further information about the restitution of the Collection, please contact Anne Webber, Co-chair, Commission for Looted Art in Europe on 44 207 4873401 or 44 7774 697324
Further information on the Gutmann Collection available on request

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