Institute for Classical Archaeology at the University of Erlangen examines objects from the Collection of Classical Antiquities
Attic ceramic fragments and other ancient objects are the focus of a provenance research project that has begun at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and is funded by the German Lost Art Foundation. In the course of another research project, it had come to light that many of the red-figure clay shards from the local antiquities collection had been purchased in 1939 by a private Munich collection called "Dehn," which had hitherto been unknown to researchers.
Initial research revealed that it was not, as previously thought, a sale from the estate of a collector by his supposed "widow" Wiltrud Dehn, but that the objects were sold during the lifetime of the collector Georg Dehn. Dehn was persecuted as a Jew under National Socialism, and the objects were sold in the name of his "Aryan" wife before the family fled to Ecuador six months later.
Evidence can be found that Georg Dehn (1887-1967) and the then head of the Collection of Classical Antiquities and Professor of Classical Archaeology Georg Lippold (1885-1954) knew each other from their time together at the University of Munich before the First World War. Documents in the Archive of the Collection of Classical Antiquities show that Lippold also privately acquired objects from the Dehn Collection in 1939. A short time later, he sold them on to the Collection of Classical Antiquities, which he himself headed.
The circumstances ascertained so far suggest that Georg Dehn sold his collection because he had to flee persecution by the Nazi regime. The background has not yet been fully researched or documented; the provenance research project is intended to close this gap.
Results of the research project will be presented by Dr Georg Gerleigner in a lecture at the Erlangen Archaeological Colloquium on July 15, 2021, more information can be found at: http://www.klassischearchaeologie.phil.fau.de/laufende_projekte/die-privatsammlung-georg-dehn-und-die-antikensammlung-erlangen/