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ROY LICHTENSTEIN, ... Huh?, 1976

Zurich  |  Switzerland  | 

Caffeine Fix

If you think you’re passionate about coffee – think again. German coffee entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs assembled an extensive art collection solely including works that are united by their connection to his company’s leading product.

Born in Bremen in 1936, Klaus J. Jacobs made his name as one of Europe’s most prominent personalities in the world of business when he took over his grandfather’s coffee house and moved it to Switzerland, which would in-turn result in Jacobs becoming a household name in the world of coffee in Switzerland and beyond. It was Jacobs passion for the history of his own product and his love for collecting art in conjunction with an interest in social issues that led to the opening of the Jacobs Suchard Museum in 1984 – which has since then functioned as the main space to showcase Jacobs’ collection.

Jacobs’ collection leads us from the revolutionary sentiments propagated in the coffee houses of Europe’s great cities, to the establishment of coffee as an everyday beverage and, finally, a lifestyle product.

Following coffee’s journey within Europe, the Klaus J. Jacobs Collection is detailed and varied, containing sentiments and objects dating back to the 1600s including coffee-inspired Lichtenstein paintings, intricate pots and urns from all corners of the continent and important works from German-Jewish Impressionist painter Lesser Ury, among others.

Since the passing of Jacobs, his children have been dedicated to broadening the scope of the collection, opening the focus to other products that have shaped European history, such as tea, silk, silver and oil. It is this re-organisation within the museum that has resulted in the single-owner-sale of parts of the coffee collection, the first of which is taking place on 16th November 2017 at Kunsthaus Lempertz.

Our Independent Collectors editorial team has picked their favorite pieces from the upcoming auction. Have a look at our selection below and pour yourself a cup of one of Europe’s finest coffee art collections.

It would be nice if they said of me: He was an entrepreneur, not a bore.

Klaus J. Jacobs
An Etienne Louis coffee machine
An Etienne Louis coffee machine
A Vienna silver mocca pot
A Vienna silver mocca pot
HERBERT RENDL, Neue Ernte Nosko-Kaffee, Innsbruck (Poster design)
HERBERT RENDL, Neue Ernte Nosko-Kaffee, Innsbruck (Poster design)
HERBERT RENDL, Titze. Der beste Feigenkaffee (Poster design)
HERBERT RENDL, Titze. Der beste Feigenkaffee (Poster design)
UNKNOWN ARTIST, Riedl Kaffee
UNKNOWN ARTIST, Riedl Kaffee
A Parisian Art Deco silver coffee and tea service
A Parisian Art Deco silver coffee and tea service
A silver coffee service SCULPTURA
A silver coffee service SCULPTURA
A Vienna silver coffee machine
A Vienna silver coffee machine
DANIEL SPOERRI, Aktion Rest (Tableau Piège). 1972
DANIEL SPOERRI, Aktion Rest (Tableau Piège). 1972
ROY LICHTENSTEIN, ... Huh?, 1976
ROY LICHTENSTEIN, ... Huh?, 1976
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1971
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1971
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1972
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1972
MAX BILL, Untitled, 1973
MAX BILL, Untitled, 1973
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1977
CAMILLE GRAESER, Untitled, 1977
ARMAN, Accumulation colombienne-moccaccumulation, 1978
ARMAN, Accumulation colombienne-moccaccumulation, 1978
FELIX V. WASER, Colorchange. 1971
FELIX V. WASER, Colorchange. 1971
JAN CZERWINSKI, Aus: Sechs Tassen, 1997
JAN CZERWINSKI, Aus: Sechs Tassen, 1997
VARLIN (WILLY GUGGENHEIM), 
Brasserie Viennoise. 1942–1943
VARLIN (WILLY GUGGENHEIM), Brasserie Viennoise. 1942–1943
ÉDOUARD MANET, Le Café (Deuxième planche), 1874
ÉDOUARD MANET, Le Café (Deuxième planche), 1874
A Milan silver coffee pot
A Milan silver coffee pot
An Italian Art Deco espresso machine and coffee pot
An Italian Art Deco espresso machine and coffee pot
A silver-plated metal coffee service by Gebrüder Kühn
A silver-plated metal coffee service by Gebrüder Kühn
A Fürstenberg white porcelain coffee service
A Fürstenberg white porcelain coffee service "Eos"
Two Rosenthal artist designed cups
Two Rosenthal artist designed cups

For a more comprehensive view of the collection, browse the full catalogue here. If you would like to add to your own collection, you can register to take part in the auction here.