Reiss & Sohn have hosted book and graphics auction sales ever since 1971. The company now ranks among the leading sellers and organisers of auctions for high-quality antique books, manuscripts, maps, and photography. In 2017 the first book edition of Martin Luther’s “95 Thesen” was sold for 1.1 Mio. hammer price and thus achieved the highest auction result for a printed book in post war auction records in Germany.
First Auction in Mainz, the “City of Gutenberg”
The first auction was organised by Godebert M. Reiss at Mainz, where the company had its business location up to 1974. The enthusiasm for antique objects of the 1960s and 1970 together with the committed practical support from friends, especially one of his later colleagues and partners of many years, Detlev Auvermann, also inspired the new auction company. Thus almost 100% increases in turnover could be achieved in the first few business years. The rooms in Mainz soon became too small. For that reason, in 1974, Godebert M. Reiss and Detlev Auvermann, a nationally and internationally reknowned antiquarian bookseller and specialist dealer in periodicals, decided to enter into a partnership and transfer auction business into the larger and more modern premises in Glashütten in the Taunus hills, where the company’s rise into the first league of book auctioneers began.
Transferring to Königstein
In 1989, the two business partners, Godebert M. Reiss and Detlev Auvermann separated again, and the auction company was relocated to the town of Königstein in the Taunus which provided an even better infrastructure and made visits to the company easier for both book dealers and collectors from Germany and from other countries thanks to its favourable transport connections. As early as 1985, Clemens Reiss, Godebert’s son, had started his formation as antiquarian bookseller at a renowned book shop in Nuremberg. One- to two-year trainings at major book auction houses and trade addresses in Munich, Paris and London followed. In 1991, Clemens joined his father’s business, and in 1995 he became a partner: This marked the start-up of the Reiss & Sohn oHG company.
In 2002, Clemens became the managing director of the oHG and has run this company since 2016 as its sole owner with a team of 10 experts, most of them long-standing members of staff.
Follow this link, and you will find a small history with pictures, remarkable and bizarre items from the first four decades of the auction firms history.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers, suppliers, and friends of Reiss & Sohn for their collaboration and trust. We would like to give all new and previously unknown customers a warm welcome, and invite you to see for yourself what services we can offer you. Meet with us the historical richness and fascination of antiquarian books.