Sotheby, Parke Bernet & Co. (London)
The Robert von Hirsch collection : Volume two : Works of art (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby, Parke Bernet & Co., London, 22 June 1978)
London, Sotheby, Parke Bernet & Co., 1978
(27 cm), xvi, 233 (3) pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 201-297, 301-408. Publisher's printed boards, pictorial dust jacket. - Top price of the sale was £1.2m paid by Rainer Zeitz (on behalf of the state museums in West Berlin, against Giuseppe Eskenazi) for a Mosan enamel roundel from a shrine and retable made for the Abbey of Stavelot in Belgium; Peter Wilson, chairman of Sotheby’s, called it “the single most beautiful object” that the firm had ever handled (saleroom report in The New York Times, 23 June 1978, p.1). Agnew’s paid £1.1m (on behalf of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, underbid by Eskenazi) for an armilla believed to have been made for the coronation regalia of Frederick I Barbarossa. The British Rail Pension Fund paid £550,000 (against the Cleveland Museum of Art) for a 12th century bronze candlestick attributed to a Gloucestershire foundry, a record price for an English work of art. The chess piece selected to illustrate the cover of the catalogue, described as South Italian and late 13th century, sold for £14,000, an auction record for a chess piece (returned to Sotheby’s on 6 July 2016, when described as probably produced in Cologne, c. 1300-1320, and sold for £540,000).The two-session sale made £7,248,930 ($13.4m), with three lots left unsold worth £11,280 (sale report by Geraldine Norman, in The Times, 23 June 1978, p.1).