Hammer Prices and Museum Purchases

The art market is booming, says CEO Jakob Dupont, and this year's first Live Auction in Copenhagen was, despite COVID-19 restrictions, a great success with surprising hammer prices and nine museum purchases.

The year's first Live Auction has just been held with a very positive result. A large number of artworks, design classics, antiques, wristwatches and jewellery were presented by Jesper Bruun Rasmussen and the team of auctioneers at the podium. We had fewer bidders physically present in the old saleroom in the centre of Copenhagen due to COVID-19 precautions, but that did not result in fewer or lower bids:

The restrictions of the past year have meant that the digitalization of the auction market has accelerated. Today, both our Danish and international customers primarily prefer to make use of our digital opportunities to follow the auctions and bid from their smartphones, tablets and computers. We are constantly improving the technology so that the user experience is as good as possible. As something new at this auction, you could get even closer to the exhibited art objects from home via a virtual preview of our showrooms, which became a major attraction for our customers. The fact that it is easy to access our auctions and previews – even from a distance – is a big part of the reason why our business is in a strong position right now, and we are proud to be one of Europe's most digitalized auction houses.” 

Jakob Dupont

CEO of Bruun Rasmussen

Bertha Wegmann: Trompe l'oeil. Signed. Oil on canvas. 121 x 57 cm. Hammer price: DKK 650,000.

Precious Diamonds and Fine Art in High Demand

The highest hammer prices of the auction were achieved by two exquisite diamond rings. DKK 1.35 million was the price for a ring with a beautiful and clear white diamond, while a rare pink diamond from the Argyle mine in Australia was sold for DKK 1.1 million.

We began the auction on the International Women's Day and therefore placed a special emphasis on female artists from the 19th century. A work by Bertha Wegmann with a girl under a flowering tree was sold for 325% of its original estimate with a hammer price of DKK 650,000. However, among the older paintings, it was Peder Severin Krøyer, the famous Skagen painter, who ended up as the champion of the category with a depiction of the final love of his life, Henny Brodersen, at a hammer price of DKK 850,000.

Ring with a pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamond weighing approx. 5.24 ct. Hammer price: DKK 1.35 million.

Big Names from the 20th Century

As we turned our attention to modern art, a beautiful work by Per Kirkeby was sold for DKK 750,000. The same price was achieved by the evening's second high scorer in the form of the sculptor Johannes Bjerg's graceful Pan figure. The figure's impressive hammer price was almost 940% of its original estimate. The master of ceramics, Axel Salto, was the maker of a large vase in budded and sprouting style, which with a hammer price of DKK 700,000 became one of the auction's other great achievements. Up for auction were also design classics by the biggest names in Danish design history, where Finn Juel led the way with a pair of "FJ 45" chairs for DKK 340,000, followed by Frits Henningsen with an example of the coveted "Coupe" sofa that landed on a winning bid of DKK 280,000.

Finn Juhl: "FJ 45", two easy chairs of Brazilian rosewood. Hammer price: DKK 340,000.

The Museums at the Auction

At Bruun Rasmussen, we work closely with the Danish museums. We use them for artistic consultation and authentication of artworks. Conversely, we provide them with information about special works on the auction market and mediate the contact to collectors in connection with loans of works for museum exhibitions.

At the auction, nine works were this time sold to Danish and international museums. We have gotten permission to announce the Johannes Larsen Museum's purchase of Fritz Syberg's depiction of the daughter Besse in a flowering garden from 1913 and the Skovgaard Museum's purchase of P.C. Skovgaard's equally summery landscape motif with grazing cows from 1843. In addition, the Royal Danish Collection in Copenhagen bought Gerdt Dittmer's portrait from the 17th century of King Frederik III wearing a fashionable suit and collar boots, while the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm added two new works to their collection – an Italian motif from 1845 by Anders Lunde and C.F. Aagaard’s depiction of the white cliffs of Møn.

Fritz Syberg: The artist's daughter Besse in the garden, 1913. Purchased by the Johannes Larsen Museum.

We congratulate the museums on their new acquisitions and look forward to seeing the works on display in their collections!


Museum purchases