Since its establishment in 1998, Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen has become one of the leading international auction houses for Applied Arts and Fine Arts from 1880 until today.
Averaging eight auctions annually, the Munich based company presents high-quality furniture, glass, ceramics, silver and jewelry as well as paintings and graphic arts, ranging from the 1880’s to present time, to an international clientele. Its exceptional expertise in Art Nouveau and Art Deco, Design, Murano glass, African tribal art and fine art, has gained Quittenbaum a reputation as a forum for dedicated collectors and specialists.
The history of the company dates back to the year 1956 when Ellen Piper, mother-to-be of present managing director Askan Quittenbaum, opened an African Art gallery in Düsseldorf. Later, in 1968 she set up shop in Hamburg, specialising in jewelry and Art Nouveau as well as antiques.
When Askan Quittenbaum joined forces with her in 1992 they founded the Galerie Quittenbaum in Hamburg-Blankenese and subsequently focused more and more on Art Deco, Design of the 20th century and Murano glass. In 1998 the operation was finally moved to Munich, the hub of the German art business. On 11 May of that year, the very first auction under the moniker Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen took place.
Next to the two large auctions Art Nouveau – Art Deco – Fine Art taking place usually in spring and in autumn, Quittenbaum undertakes additionally three auctions focusing on design. Moreover, twice a year, Murano glass is being highlighted and a special sale of African tribal art is held annually. The end of the year usually sees a comprehensive prestige auction called ‚Highlights of Design History’. The additional one or two sales of private collections have always been a great success.
Highlights of design history at Reuschel & Co.
In 1999, Quittenbaum undertook their first highlight-auction, featuring 400 Bauhaus items to celebrate the Bauhaus’ 80th anniversary. This was to become the cornerstone of increased specialisation in the realm of Modern Design, thus further shaping the companies’ profile. In 2009, in collaboration with Kettererkunst, Quittenbaum organised another high-quality Bauhaus sale for the 90th jubilee of the school. Since 2004, auctions titled ‚Highlights of Design History’ have taken place.
In 2006 the theme of that series of auctions was “Design made in Germany”. 2007’s “Flower Power” consisted of a selection of seemingly nature-inspired designs, furniture and lamps. 2008 saw an ‚Illuminated’ sale at the Haus der Kunst in Munich and in 2009 an 2010 the main theme was ‚Table culture’. Each year, experts and curators of Museums such as for instance, Chris Dercon (Haus der Kunst München), Volker Fischer (Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt/Main) and Rüdiger Joppien (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg), lectured at and accompanied the previews for these special auctions.