The Wolff Collection of Master Drawings

A large number of works from the collection of the Danish lawyer and art collector Benjamin Wolff will come under the hammer at this summer's auction. The selection includes master drawings from Mannerism to the Danish Golden Age.


After a twelve-year posting in 1817–1829 with the English trade agency Cruttenden, Mackillop & Co. in India, the Danish lawyer and avid art collector Benjamin Wolff (1790–1866) returned to Denmark as a wealthy man and acquired Engelholm Manor south of Copenhagen.

Over the course of 30 years, Wolff assembled an extraordinary collection of drawings ranging from 16th century Old Masters to 19th century Danish Golden Age. Except for a national bequest in 1915 and two minor exhibitions in the 1980s, the corpus of the collection, numbering over 2,000 drawings, has remained in the family since Wolff’s death in 1866, intact and unpublished for five generations until today.

Art Purchased Abroad and at Danish Auctions

Wolff, a zealous administrator and an avid traveler, is known to have purchased drawings when abroad. Of noteworthy mention is a collection of drawings by the German neoclassical painter Johan Zoffany – one highlight being an intriguing self-portrait. The majority, however, including a fine collection of Mannerist drawings and prints, were acquired at auctions in Copenhagen, including the estate sales of the following: The art collector and Keeper of the Kunstkammer J.C. Spengler (1839), the art collector and architect Gottfried Schaper (1853), the Danish Golden Age painter C.W. Eckersberg (1854) and the art collector, High Commissioner of War and auctioneer Johan Christian Fick (1866).

Preview and Auction in Copenhagen

Auction: Wednesday 30 May at 3 pm at Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen

Preview: 24-28 May at the same address

View all the lots of the Wolff Collection
View all the lots of the auction
Read more about bidding


For further information, please contact:

Julie Arendse Voss: +45 8818 1123 ·

Søren Kjerk Holmstrup: +45 8818 1127 ·