Coffee in Vienna

At Auctionata, we regularly provide valuations for items from all over the world. One day, a request arrived from a suburb of Vienna. The attached photos revealed a small collection of Old Vienna, Augarten and Meissen porcelain. It was an inheritance, now destined for auction. I was eager to see the porcelain with my own eyes – and it just so happened that I was in town. I called the seller and made an appointment.

Just a few hours later I was sitting in the kind lady’s living room, studying her inventory. She served me coffee in an oriental-style coffee service. There was something extraordinary about it that made it stand out, even in that beautiful Viennese setting. I was struck by the beauty of the glaze, the sheer weight of the individual pieces, and the delicacy of the painting. As we talked about her porcelain collection, it soon became clear that she was also offering it to other auction houses. In these cases, it usually comes down to which house provides the best valuation.

Antoine Bauernfeind

  • Folk Art
  • Furniture 17th - early 19th C.
  • Decorative Arts Gothic - Historism

“Tell me…is this coffee service also for sale?”
“Yes, but it’s not worth anything.”

We agreed that I could keep a copy of the inventory and would get back to her in a few days. I drank the final sip of coffee from my cup and got up to go, but couldn’t resist asking one more question. “Tell me…is this coffee service also for sale?”

“Yes, but it’s not worth anything,” she replied. I can still see the sorry expression on her face. “If that’s the case, would you mind if I show it to one of my colleagues?”

I took the coffee service away with me for a more detailed analysis. As it turned out, the lady’s porcelain collection went to another auction house – but no matter. We sold her coffee service at auction for even more than all the porcelain was worth: an incredible €22,000.