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AUCTION TEAM BREKER

Uwe H. Breker



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Press Release


Power & Motion

Auction Team Breker

11 November 2017

Power and motion are the themes of Auction Team Breker's sale of Science, Technology and Toys on 11. November in Cologne, Germany. From hand-turned physical demonstration instruments, to early electrical devices, steam-powered models, all manner of mechanical toys and monumental spring-driven musical boxes, the auction includes something for every collector.

Konrad Zuse's futuristic cityscape of 1991 (Estimate: € 8.000 – 15.000 / $ 9,400 – 17,600) paints a picture of a world pulsing with energy in hues of orange and electric blue – a fitting image for the inventor of the first programmable electro-mechanical computer. Born in 1910, Zuse studied architecture and engineering at the Technical University of Berlin-Charlottenburg. He began designs for the very first self-programming computer as early as 1934, leading to the "Z1" in 1938, the "Z2" in 1940 and his breakthrough – the "Z3" – 1941.

Konrad Zuse's futuristic cityscape, 1991
K. Zuse is presenting his portrait to Bill Gates, 1995


Zuse described his profession as representing the "ideal combination of artist and engineer" and his artistic work is witness to his deep-seated interest in architecture, mathematics and space as a concrete as well as an abstract property.

The 200strong section of early calculating machines, combining precision mechanics with striking visual designs, is highlighted by a stunning, circular Mercedes "Gauss" stepped-disc calculator, 1905, by Christel Hamann of Berlin (Estimate: € 7.000 – 10.000 / $ 8,200 – 12,000), an Original Odhner No. 1, 1886 of 1886 (Estimate: € 4.000 – 6.000 / $ 4,700 – 7,000) and a rare 1907 "Adsumudi", one of only six known examples (Estimate:€ 8.000 – 12.000 / $ 9,400 – 14,000).

"Adsumudi", 1907 Mercedes "Gauss"
calculator, 1905
Odhner No. 1, 1886


Another work combining technology and artistry is a linden wood sewing machine sculpture (Estimate: € 8.000 – 12.000 / $ 9,400 – 14,000) by famous New York-based Japanese artist Fumio Yoshimura. The simple, pared-down lines of Yoshimura's work, which he described as representing the "ghosts of the original objects", is reminiscent of the Pop Art era and the functionalism of Andy Warhol. A sewing machine of a noisier nature is the Steampunk-inspired kinetic sculpture created with found elements, industrial chains and a antique cast-iron treadle (Estimate: € 1.500 -2.000 / $ 1,750 – 2,350).




Linden wood sewing machine
by Fumio Yoshimura, c. 1972

Artist Fumio Yoshimura
in his studio showing his
offered wooden sewing
machine
Yoshimura's other
works



"Le Cochon Electriseur"
('The Electrifying Pig') electric shock machine is part of a remarkable collection of figural penny arcade machines produced in France and Germany at a time when the slogan "Electricity is Life" could be found on electric-magnetic medical devices that proudly claimed to cure all manner of maladies from mild aches and pains to asthma, obesity, insomnia and paralysis. (Estimate: € 20.000 – 30.000 / $ 23,500 – 35,200).

Other characters in the group include "Shocking Jack" the Electric Sailor by Polyphon Musikwerke of Leipzig (Estimate: € 5.000 – 8.000 / $ 5,900 – 9,400), the sunnier "Stork Chocolate Vendor" by MUM-Automaten GmbH of Dresden (Estimate: € 20.000 – 30.000 / $ 24,000 – 35,000) and the cast-iron "Elephant Grip-Test" (Estimate: € 15.000 – 20.000 / $ 17,000 – 24,000).

"Stork Chocolate Vendor",
1905
"Shocking Jack"
the Electric
Sailor, 1910
"Elephant Grip-Test",
1900
"Le Cochon Electriseur", 1898


Fresh from the toy chest comes a fine single-owner collection of Märklin Gauge 0
locomotives, scenery and accessories, many in their original boxes and packaging. Highlights number a rule-blue pinstriped "TWE 700 B" Railcar (Estimate: € 3.000 – 4.000 / $ 3,500 – 4,700), an "HS 700" Electric Locomotive with original box (Estimate: € 3.500 – 4.500 / $ 4,100 – 5,300) and a "TW 800" Express Railcar (Estimate: € 2.000 – 3.000 / 2,350 – 3,500.) with box and manual.

"TWE 700 B" Railcar "HS 700" Electric Locomotive with original box


"TW 800" Express Railcar


By the same maker comes a powerful "4112/1" Vertical Steam Engine (Estimate: € 1.500 – 2.200 / $ 1,750 – 2,580). On a much larger scale is a Ride-in Morgan Model Car with original combustion engine (Estimate: € 3.500 – 5.000 / $ 4,100 – 5,900).

Ride-in "Morgan" Model Car, c. 1970
"4112/1" Vertical Steam Engine, 1919


The mechanical music sale is no less impressive. Featuring a particularly strong section of antique gramophones and phonographs, a particular highlight is an "Expert Junior" Gramophone by the Englishman Ellis Michael Ginn, whose surreal creations would not have been out of place on the pages of Dr. Seuss (Estimate: € 3.000 – 4.000 / $ 3,500 – 4,700). As Scottish writer and politician Compton Mackenzie noted in an April 1933 editorial of the Gramophone magazine, "There are still many people living in remote parts of this Earth for whom a radio-gramophone is an impossibility. For those, instruments like the "Expert Junior" are a wonderful substitute for the electric wonders of today."

While Edison's "Opera" Phonograph, c. 1912 (Estimate: € 3.000 – 5.000 / $ 3,500 – 5,850) is somewhat more sedate than its electric English cousin, the "Model A Phonolamp" by the Electric Phonograph Co. of New York provided an ingenious space-saving alternative to the unwieldy cabinet gramophones of the day (Estimate: € 2.500 – 3.000 / $ 2,900 – 3,500).

"EMG Expert Junior" Gramophone,
c. 1930
"Model A Phonolamp",
1919
Edison's "Opera" Phonograph,
c. 1912


The combination of audio and visual entertainment was just as popular in the 19th century as it is today. With its miniature metal horses galloping across a painted racecourse, the "Panorama" by Kalliope Musikwerke of Leipzig is a gaming device as well as a musical box in its own right (Estimate: € 7.000 – 12.000 / $ 8,200 – 14,000). Mermod Frères' "Station" Musical Box too is a stunning visual attraction, with three Mandarin bell-strikers and a snare drum that seems to play of its own accord
(Estimate: € 15.000 – 20.000 / $ 17,700 – 23,500).

Mermod Frères' "Station" Musical Box, c. 1890 "Panorama" by Kalliope


For those seeking a more scientific study, on offer is a splendid group of 18th and 19th century surveying and measuring instruments, while a significant collection of early studio microphones offers an insight into radio and recorded sound during the first years of the 20th century.

Offering sound and vision is a technical milestone, the 1st commercial televisionset - Baird's "Televisor" of 1928 (Estimate: € 15.000 – 30.000 / $ 18,000 – 36,000).

"Baird Televisor", 1928


Amongst the physical demonstration instruments is a colourful collection of laboratory glass with fantastical forms and functions, such as a group of Geissler Tubes (Estimate: € 600 – 900 / $ 700 - $1,050) and an electro-magnetic motor with rotating filigree tube (Estimate: € 700 – 1.000 / $ 820 – 1,170).

Collection of early studio microphones,
1925 onwards
Electro-magnetic motor with rotating filigree tube
and other early scientific instruments


The sale is rounded off by an exciting range of early office antiques, highlighted by a rare miniature Trebla ("Darling") Typewriter by Sullivan & Co. GmbH of Berlin (Estimate: € 2.500 – 4.000 / $ 2,900 – 4,700) and an American "M-209 B" Cryptographic Machine, of 1944 (Estimate: € 700 – 1.200 / $ 820 – 1,400).

"M-209 B" Cryptographic Machine, of 1944 Miniature Trebla ("Darling") Typewriter, c. 1910


Additional highlights from the auction can be seen at:
www.breker.com, Videos are available at: www.youtube.com/user/auctionteambreker or online catalogue at: www.liveauctioneers.com

Fully illustrated bilingual (English-German) COLOR Catalogue is available against prepayment by PayPal or any credit card of: EUR € 28.- (Europe) or: € 37.- (Overseas - approx. US$ 40.-) incl. airmail.


The Specialists in »Technical Antiques«
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