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Neumarkt 3


Germany   50667

Telephone : +49 221 92 572917

Fax : +49 221 92 57296

Website :

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  • History
    Lempertz is one of the leading auction houses in Europe and the eldest in family posession. The history of the company reaches back to the beginning of the 19th century. In 1802, Johann Matthias Heberle established the „Antiquargeschäft mit Auktionsanstalt (Antiquarian Book Shop including Auctions)" that held important auctions of rare books and art works. After the death of the founder in 1840, his employee Heinrich Lempertz, at that time 24 years old, took over the company that was than renamed „J. M. Heberle (H. Lempertz)“. On 5 September 1844, the administration of the City of Cologne granted the concession to establish a branch in Bonn that was managed by Mathias Lempertz, brother of Heinrich Lempertz. On 18 November 1844, the first Lempertz auction was held in Bonn.

    Auctions of books and graphic art mark the beginning. Peter Hanstein buys the respected firm in 1875 and gradually moves the auction business to Cologne. In 1918 the building at Neumarkt is purchased. The classicist building is destroyed by bombs in 1943, like most of Cologne’s inner city. After the monetary reform Lempertz succeeds once more in establishing itself as the leading German art and auction house. Since the beginning of 2000, Kunsthaus Lempertz is the only German auction house to be part of the renowned International Auctioneers group (IA), a group that unites eight independent leading auction houses from eight countries.
    Soon Lempertz is one of the leading auction houses in Germany. Lempertz is the first European auction house, in 1908, to hold auctions of Asian art. Since 1958 separate auctions of modern art take place. In 1989 Lempertz becomes the first German auction house to hold independent auctions of contemporary art as well as photography and photographic art, positioning themselves as pioneers. Lempertz is also the only German auction house holding auctions abroad: since 1992 the Brussels branch holds auctions of African and Oceanic art.

    In 1965 the first representative office abroad is opened in New York. In the meantime, there are representatives in Zurich, and in São Paulo. In Germany, Lempertz has branches in Berlin and Munich both with regular auction previews. The Berlin branch also shows exhibitions on their own premises. Our representatives and experts at the Cologne headquarters are available for consultation and are happy to assist you regarding consignments without obligation.

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