Bibliography of Auction Catalogues

The bibliography records all auction catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The catalogues are organized first by country and city and then alphabetized by auction house, indicating each firm’s street address, primary owner, period of operation, and a bibliography of related literature. This data is supplemented with information on specific auctions such as scope, number of lots, type of objects, collector name, estimated price list, location of extant annotated copies, and secondary literature, including statistical analysis of the period’s art market.

The bibliography began with the collections of auction catalogues at the Art Library of the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and the Heidelberg University Library, ultimately involving the holdings of 36 libraries, institutions, and archives in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Duplicate copies of auction catalogues were recorded only if they contain hand-written annotations or other unique information. Individual catalogue records include auction title, name of the auction house, catalogue contents (pages, lot numbers, illustrations), existence of an estimate price list, information on the sellers and artists, and a general auction category. In total, the bibliography accounts for some 3,000 auction catalogues from 175 auction houses. Additionally, 2,000 annotated copies have been recorded, containing prices and buyer and seller names. The bibliography therefore offers the first comprehensive overview of auction catalogues published in this period.