EXPLORE -"The Finer Things in Life -Globally"


Written by Aksel Ritenis



Lot 520

London, South Kensington – This June, Christie’s will present a group of one hundred of the finest posters from one of the largest and most important poster collections in the world: the Dr Hans Sachs Collection, restituted to the heirs of Dr Sachs from the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM).

The posters will be presented for sale on the evening of 8 June, as part of the Interiors auction at Christie’s South Kensington. The majority of these artworks come from the group restituted by the DHM in 2012, whilst others have recently been released from the Museum.

Lot 535

The collection includes examples from the Vienna Secession artists, and posters promoting winter sports activities and travel destinations, as well as a wide range of products such as champagne brands, chocolate, cars, cigarettes and don’t forget the absinthe!

Estimates start at just £800 and range up to £18,000. The collection will be on view at Christie’s 85 Old Brompton Road saleroom for two weeks ahead of the auction, from 25 May to 8 June.

Nicolette Tomkinson, Specialist for the Sachs Poster Collection at Christie’s:

Dr Sachs’ devotion to the poster started the long standing tradition of collecting graphic art in Europe. In the early 20th century many news products and services were introduced to the public by the poster and this group provides a window into society and leisure at that time. Many of the posters in the collection have rarely been seen at auction, such as the examples from the Vienna Secession artists Egon Schiele, Alfred Roller and Koloman Moser. The sale will offer collectors the opportunity to own both a piece of poster history and an artwork from this seminal collection.

Lot 560

Dr Hans Sachs, a Jewish dentist from Berlin, had a passion for the strong graphics of early 20th century poster design. He accumulated an exceptional collection of posters designed by the leading artists of the era in Europe, predominantly from Germany and France, as well as from Scandinavia and North America.

His collection told the story of the first third of the 20th century and it came to be recognised as the largest poster collection in the world. Sachs also organised the first poster collecting society and published Das Plakat (The Poster), an international magazine with a loyal following.

Lot 544

During ‘Kristallnacht’ in November 1938, Sachs was arrested and imprisoned. His vast poster collection was seized by the Gestapo; Sachs never saw it again. With the help of family and friends, Sachs was released and moved with his family to America, believing his poster collection destroyed. In 2005 Sachs’ family discovered that the collection had in fact been preserved in the vaults of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) in Berlin and launched a claim for its restitution. In 2012, the posters known to exist were restituted by the DHM to Sachs’ heirs, with a further group discovered and returned later.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2015 that totalled £4.8 billion / $7.4 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. 2016 marks Christie’s 250th anniversary. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Christie’s has a global presence with 54 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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