Oldest Auction House in Bonn – a Story of Success

Carl Virnich, descendant of an old family from Bonn, began working as an expert and auctioneer initially on Wilhelmstraße. He started his work in 1929 and established his own salesrooms in the badly damaged city centre of Bonn after the Second World War. Through numerous auctions, he was involved in estate sales but also in embellishing many significant houses in Bonn.

After Carl Virnich's death in 1967, the auction house passed to co-owner Peter Plückbaum, who also worked as an expert and licensed auctioneer. The inauguration of Peter Plückbaum's own spacious auction house on the northern outskirts of Bonn in 1971 was a milestone in the company's history. Since then, numerous auction items can be properly exhibited and generously presented on the premises measuring some 450 square meters.

Valuable collections, estates and individual items, such as the history-charged inventory of the hotel on the Petersberg in Bonn in 1979, have since been auctioned here successfully.

The continued existence of the traditional auction house was ensured in the third generation when graduated art historian Brigitte Plückbaum-Burgardt, who had successfully completed her studies at the University of Bonn with a dissertation on paintings from the 19th and early 20th century, joined the firm.
Her husband Ulrich Burgardt also joined the company in 1992. Since 1996, after having founded the Auktionshaus Plückbaum GmbH, the couple has taken over more and more of the management. Both managing directors are publicly appointed and sworn as auctioneers by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Bonn. Ulrich Burgardt is also the chairman of the expert committee of auctioneers of the IHK Bonn.
Peter Plückbaum went into retirement at the age of 80 in 2007.

Since then, the long-standing tradition has continued to be cultivated, while the family business has been developing more and more into an internationally renowned and valued art auction house with customers from all over the world.

A broad variety of old and new art, paintings, icons and graphic art, furniture, oriental carpets, jewellery, silver, china, sculptures, bronzes, clocks, glass and other valuable antiques or entire collections are successfully auctioned in four big art auctions per year.
In addition, six auctions per year of pawned goods take place for the old pawn shop Greven in Bonn.

The revenue from auctions has increased continuously over the past years. In 2009 especially, the 80th anniversary, numerous significant results were achieved. A small-sized zoo motif by Max Liebermann was sold for €160,000, Abraham van Beyeren's "Großes Stillleben mit Nautiluspokal" (Large Still Life with Nautilus Trophy) changed hands for €47,000 and Johann Sperl's "Vergnüglicher Ausflug" (Pleasure Trip) yielded €23,500 (all prices plus premium).
Cataloguing in all areas is performed not only with expert knowledge, but also with a great sense of responsibility towards consignors and bidders.
For the two managers and all employees, it is both an incentive and a pleasure to enjoy the trust that countless customers over several generations have placed in us.