Hammer Prices and Museum Purchases

It has been an eventful autumn Live Auction in Copenhagen, with million kroner hammer prices for Vilhelm Hammershøi and CoBrA as well as museum purchases from institutions such as Louvre in Paris and the David Collection in Copenhagen. At the same time all eyes of the international press were on the sale of a cassette tape with the sound of John Lennon's voice.

In the last two weeks of September, we held this autumn's Live Auction in Copenhagen and put more than 950 auction lots with art, design, antiques, jewellery and wristwatches up for auction.

Million Kroner Hammer Prices for Two Candles and CoBrA Art

Vilhelm Hammershøi is the artist behind the auction's highest hammer price, which was DKK 2.8 million for the work “Interior with artificial light” from 1904. The dark painting with two candles touches upon some of the artist's most central themes such as melancholy and enigmas, and it was once again confirmed in the fact that Hammershøi is one of the most coveted Danish artists on the auction market. CoBrA art was also popular this time around, and among these artists, the auction's second highest hammer price landed on DKK 2.05 million for Karel Appel's work "Têtes tournantes" from 1959.

Vilhelm Hammershøi: Interior with artificial light. Oil on canvas. 52 x 37.5 cm. Hammer price: DKK 2.8 million.
Karel Appel: "Têtes tournantes", 1959. Signed. Oil on canvas. 114 x 162 cm. Hammer price: DKK 2.05 million.

An Iconic Watch, a Downpour of Diamonds and a Headless Hero

Solitaire ring of 14k white gold with brilliant-cut diamond of approx. 5.00 ct. Hammer price: DKK 500,000.

The wristwatches also attracted a large audience, and this time the highest hammer price in the category was DKK 850,000 for a Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet – a maritime icon inspired by an old-fashioned diving helmet and designed in 1972 by the legendary designer Gérald Genta. We offered what could be described as a downpour of diamonds at the jewellery auction, and here the highest hammer price of DKK 500,000 was achieved by a solitaire ring with a brilliant-cut diamond of approx. 5.00 ct. We also turned our eyes to ancient Rome with a collection of antiques from the sculptor J.A. Jerichau's collection. Here, the almost 2,000-year-old headless marble figure of the divine hero Heracles took flight with a hammer price of DKK 550,000.

To the Tunes of PH and John Lennon

We also focused in on the designer and cultural critic Poul Henningsen (also known as PH) with a number of his design classics. The rare “PH-bow grand piano” from 1937 achieved a hammer price of DKK 320,000, while his early adjustable floor lamp "PH-5/3" from the mid-1920s was sold for DKK 360,000. However, it was a cassette tape with an interview with one of the 20th century’s biggest music icons that caught the global media's attention. The interview was conducted by four Northern Jutland schoolboys in the winter of 1970, where they were allowed to meet their idols John Lennon and Yoko Ono. On the cassette tape, Lennon sings a couple of songs including the never-released "Radio Peace". The sale has been mentioned all over the world in the media, and the cassette tape and the accompanying photographs from the interview were sold for a hammer price of DKK 370,000 to an international buyer who placed the winning bid over the telephone during the auction.

A John Lennon cassette tape from 5 January 1970, accompanied by 29 photos and a school magazine. Hammer price: DKK 370,000

From Louvre to the David Collection

At Bruun Rasmussen, we are always proud when a museum buys art at our auctions. It’s proof that we sell art of very high quality and historical value, which is suitable for museum collections around the world. This time, 11 works found their new home in a museum, and among them was a scenic motif made in 1827 by the Danish Golden Age painter Fritz Petzholdt. The painting depicts Charlottenlund with the towers of Copenhagen in the background, and it was bought by the Musée du Louvre and can thus look forward to a future in the city of light, Paris. Another Danish Golden Age work by the artist Jørgen Roed, which depicts a courtyard in the countryside, went to the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. The Danish museums also made their presence felt at the auction, and Ribe Art Museum bought itself a light blue summer sky over a ripe wheatfield with Laurits Andersen Ring's painting "Summer Day on Enø" from 1913. The David Collection in Copenhagen brought home Martinus Rørbye's masterpiece "Scene of Public Life in the Orient", where the motif is taken from the artist’s trip to Turkey in 1838. The painting achieved the auction's third highest hammer price at DKK 1 million. The National History Museum at Frederiksborg Castle bought no less than six works this time – including Elias Meyer's motif from Kirsebærgangen at Vesterport made in 1800 as well as a handwritten letter from King Christian VII from 1766. We congratulate the museums on their purchases!

Fritz Petzholdt: "Trees at Charlottenlund, painted after nature”. 1827. Unsigned. Oil on canvas. 57 x 49 cm. Bought by the Musée du Louvre for a hammer price of DKK 35,000.
L.A. Ring: "Summer Day on Enø. A ripe wheatfield in the foreground". Signed. Oil on canvas. 79 x 126 cm. Bought by Ribe Art Museum for a hammer price of DKK 800,000.

Recent museum purchases

For further information, please contact:

Customer Services: +45 8818 1010 · customerservices@bruun-rasmussen.dk