22 de noviembre de 2013

Cologne meeting I - Breker Wonderland

The Auction Team Breker made headlines last year when an Apple 1 computer sold for half a million euros. For collectors of antiques, Breker is a worldwide fixed reference, with auctions in Spring and late Autumn every year. See their website for details. Closer to us, Mr. Breker himself is a renowned expert for antique typewriters, and co-founder of the German collector's club IFHB and it's magazine, Historische Bürowelt. You should subscribe, by the way, it certainly improves your German --> and there is also an expert English translation of the monthly newsletter done by a prominent member of the typosphere --> so do subscribe (ok, I admit I am on the IFHB's board. But I recommend it regardlessly).

Anyway, this is how Cologne (Köln - Keulen - Kölle) works for collectors of typewriters and other office machines: the Breker auction always starts with a preview on Friday evening, snacks and refreshments are provided. The auction itself is on Saturday morning. Before the start at 10 a.m., there is again ample occasion to view and inspect the auction items. The auction then proceeds in the usual way (and if you can't attend in person, you can always place your bid over the internet and on the phone). So this is Breker side of the Cologne meeting. And this is part I of my report on the Cologne meeting 2013. A few impressions:

On the way to the auction: first rule: you better have a car. Or you will walk for miles. Or spend a fortune on a cab.

Auction Team Breker is located in an industrial zone west of Cologne. You can reach it easily from the Autobahn, plus there is almost no traffic on Saturday mornings. It was a lovely sunny day after the fog cleared up.

Here we are! Just off the IKEA building.

The mighty Dome - what treasures will it reveal?

I start with the typewriters right away. You will recognize some if not most of them. A good mix, I would say. The staff was very helpful and I was granted permission to take a few pictures. Some prices: Odell 506.15 €, Gloria & Star (package of two): 319.71 €, 3 toy typewriters: 270.53 €. GSN junior & Lilliput: 319 €. A Linemar toy, "Busy Secretary", sold for 430.38 € (mind it, not mine!)

The Helios Climax sold for 1138.38 €, and the Williams for the good price of  430.38 € only

Typewriters and calculating machines only make for a small part of the auctioned items. There is the most amazing automated figures and puppets, and the Auction Team maintains a youtube channel for preview (mostly the videos disappear after the auction, but is is updated every time before the next auction)
The puppet on the left look familiar? See Oval Office, USA. So, a rather new item. The nagilah smoker on the right is much older.

Whereas the average bidder was 60+, male, suit or dustcoat, the hostesses (is this still PC?) were the exact opposite

Tin, no lead.

More Apples!

Board meeting of the IFHB

Should you object to nudity, please close your eyes. Otherwise, enjoy this beautifully crafted Cleopatra. It's a life-size animated Egyptian queen, but !! the snake already moving in!!

We were not sure about this, but it seemed to be some pre-NSA listening device (Breker always ahead of the news)

The first floor of the building features a café, and also a corridor adorned with a nice collection of beautiful typewriter posters. Here the German painter Konrad Klapheck, whose typewriter paintings are famous.

you get it: monkeys - Shakespeare. And a Valentine.
Brief cutback: the Williams, and a beautifully restored Mentor (which I happen to know to come from the collection of a friend). It sold for 1045.22 €

We say good-bye with this resurrected Napoleon
Breker was a nice impression to start with. We then continued to THE PARKING LOT. See you in Part II - THE PARKING LOT.

2 comentarios:

  1. All kinds of interesting things. I wish I could be there in person.

    1. We could swap and next year, I go to Virginia and you come to Cologne.