10.02.2017 - Christoph Gärtner (G.) offers two lots that will fetch millions
(wm) If an auction house offers two lots that together may fetch five million euros, it must concern something extraordinary. And indeed, this is certainly the case with lot numbers 29.800 ("Arabic World") and 29.801 ("Bella Italia"), both to be auctioned by the German auction house of Christoph Gärtner on 24 February 2017. There might be a problem with the transport of the two lots, but that is of later concern.
The first lot, 29.800 (‘Arabic World’), makes one think about the famous tales of 1001 nights or Aladin's wonder lamp. It concerns 9,5 tons of material of nearly all Arab countries with a catalogue value of approximately 100 million euros. The stamps are stored in 1.624 albums, in 629 small or medium boxes and 247 large crates. The owner, the proprietor of a number of successful companies, acquired the material during more than 40 years. He bought the stamps not only during auctions, but also "on the spot", from one party to another. The result was that he managed to collect a stock with a richness that probably never has been seen elsewhere. The lot covers 170 years of philatelic material (from 1840) of the countries of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan/Trans-Jordan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Persia, Tunisia and many Arab Emirates . If you are interested you will have to invest a lot of time to view the material and you certainly will have to fork out serious money (the opening bid is 3 million euros) when you wish to become the owner of the stamps. Gärtner offers help in the form of a useful visual ‘appetizer’: a small brochure, which can be requested by contacting the auction house.
The title "Bella Italia" may sound a bit misleading for the second lot (opening bid: two million euros). It doesn’t concern a collection of Italian material, but a worldwide stock that has been stored in 185 stamp albums and storage folders. Countless countries are represented with a large amount both classic stamps and more modern material. To name one example: a complete sheet of Venezuela’s first issue is available. It may be a bit old-fashioned to start a ‘World Collection’, but this lot will certainly make it easy to do so.
One might wonder how bidders will react to the two enormous lots. We shall soon know, because Gärtner’s next auction will start – as we mentioned before – on 24 February 2017. At 9 o'clock, to be precise.