Detail of interior of Schloss Marienberg, Hanover.
House Sales & Private Collections

50 Years of Sotheby's in Germany: Remembering the Royal House of Hanover

By Gallus Pesendorfer

N early 15 years ago I was very fortunate to be given the chance to oversee the logistics of one of greatest House sales of all times, the Sale of the Royal House of Hanover in 2005. After graduating from University I did an internship at Sotheby’s Munich to bridge my time before finding a job somewhere in the art world.

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Gallus Pesendorfer. Photo: Julian Cassady Photography LTD

As very often in life, I got this tremendous opportunity through being at the right place at the right moment. Sotheby’s needed a native German speaker to help set up the sale in Northern Germany. Since there was no capacity within the team of Sotheby’s Germany to be away from their offices for such a long time, they asked me. Obviously I was more than happy to accept this great opportunity.

Detail of interior of Schloss Marienberg, Hanover.
Objects from the interior of Schloss Marienberg, Hanover.

Although it was freezing cold, hard work and long working hours, it is still one of the greatest and most exciting experiences I had in my life so far. Not only being trusted with such a renowned project, it was an absolute honour meeting all the experts from various fields, working alongside and learning from them.

Twenty thousand objects were catalogued in to five thousand lots, thousands of visitors attended the viewing and finally the ten-day auction at Schloss Marienburg concluded with an amazing result of more than €40 Million, nearly 4 times the pre-sale estimate.

Being part of such a large project has the great advantage that colleagues from around the globe come to visit. Especially as a junior member of staff working on these house sales, you have the chance to get a glimpse of all sale related departments as well as an insight of the auction process.

Throughout my career at Sotheby’s the months spent on the Hanover Sale were key to my network and friendships within the company, as well as the understanding of the running of an international auction house. After my time on the Hanover Sale I was, and still am, convinced that Sotheby’s is the best place in the world to work if you love art.

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