Information system regarding consignors (Auctions 1934-1945)

One of the greatest challenges for provenance research is to identify previous owners of objects and works of art acquired from auctions. The auction catalogue is often the only reference point for research, which since the enactment of the "Gesetz über das Versteigerergewerbe" in October 1934 has invariably led to the consignor directories in the preface. The consignors are coded here: One encounters initials with or without place names, Roman numerals, code names or completely abstract codings.
To decode such a cipher can mean months of work. The result is not only of interest to the museum, because an auctioned property convolute was usually purchased by various buyers and scattered around the world.
As a result, identical searches are needed at various places today. The exchange in the research process and the results is therefore indispensable. German Sales will shortly be offering all provenance researchers* the opportunity to digitally annotate the consignor ciphers - continuing the tradition of historical annotations that are the authoritative source for your work.

Directly at the auction catalogue you can deposit background knowledge about the consignors, publish research results bound to your own scientist's name and research the deciphering of others online. Please contact us if you are interested in working with us.

First examples can be found here:

Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus <Berlin> [Hrsg.]: Altes und neues Kunstgewerbe, Gemälde, Mobiliar, Bücher: Speise-, Herren-, Schlaf- und Wohnzimmer, Flügel von Bechstein, Blüthner, Steinway & Sons, persische Teppiche, Renaissance- und Barockmöbel, silber, Porzellan, Kleinkunst ; 6. und 7. Mai 1936 (Katalog Nr. 2101), Berlin, 1936

Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus <Berlin> [Hrsg.]: Gemälde alter und neuerer Meister: Antiquitäten und Kunstgewerbe; 9. und 10. April 1937 (Katalog Nr. 2112), Berlin, 1937

C. G. Boerner, Auktions-Institut, Kunst- und Buchantiquariat <Leipzip> [Hrsg.]: Handzeichnungen der Brüder Olivier, Deutsche Zeichnungen des XIX. Jahrhunderts, Handzeichnungen alter Meister des XV.-XVIII. Jahrhunderts, Deutsche Graphik des frühen XIX. Jahrhunderts Chodowiecki, Menzel; 28. April 1939 (Katalog Nr. 201), Leipzig, 1939