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STIEBEL, LTD.

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Contact Gerald G. Stiebel
Company History Stiebel, ltd. is a fourth generation family concern dealing in a choice selection from a broad range of continental European works of art including old master paintings and drawings, sculpture, French 18th century furniture, German and French ceramics.

Formerly known as Rosenberg & Stiebel, in 2000 when the Stiebels left their premises at 32 East 57th Street that they had occupied for over half a century, in order to deal privately, the name was changed to Stiebel, ltd.

The firm continues a tradition of dealing with serious collectors and institutions. There are over 300 works of art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that came from the firm either directly or through private collectors. Other museums in the United States that have bought from the firm include, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

History of the firm: "From Frankfurt to New York"

My great-uncle, Jacob Rosenbaum, founded the firm somewhere between 1860 and 1870 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He started dealing from his home, handling what was known as "Kleinkunst", small works of art which included porcelain from the German factories as well as renaissance and medieval objects. His son Isaak Rosenbaum continued the business and moved to a shop on the Rossmarkt, the fashionable shopping street of Frankfurt. Isaak had no children so he took his nephews, Saemy Rosenberg, Hans and Eric Stiebel (the latter being my father) into the business.
By the turn of the century the firm had added old master paintings to the inventory and in the 1920's my uncle Hans moved to Paris where he started dealing in French 18th century furniture and objets d'art.

When Hitler came to power I. Rosenbaum set up shop in Amsterdam, Saemy opened a place of business with his brother Raphael in London, and, in 1939, my father started the gallery in New York. After World War II started Saemy and Hans came to New York.

Over the years the firm developed access to many important collections, dealing with families such as the Rothschilds, who also originated in Frankfurt. After World War II many great European families needed funds to rebuild their properties and their lives so the Rosenbergs and Stiebels often acted as agents bringing great works of art from Europe to the U.S.

The most famous painting we ever handled is the Merode Altar by Robert Campin. It was sold to pay for a family wedding. In order to acquire this masterpiece for the Cloisters the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum, contrary to their established policy, were obliged to comply with the terms of the Comte de Grunne and pay for the picture before it actually came to the United States.

When families like the Rothschilds sold, museums and collectors took full advantage of the opportunities afforded by these deaccessionings. Many of the acquisitions made by private collectors such as Jayne and Charles Wrightsman and J. Paul Getty were later donated to museums (the Wrightsmans to the Metropolitan and Getty to his own institution). In one instance, a pair of Fragonards, sold by the French Rothschilds, ended up as stellar pieces split between the Thyssen Collection, now in the museum in Madrid and the Toledo Museum of Art... no not the town near Madrid but rather the great mid-western museum in Ohio!

By the 1950's dealers started to specialize but the Rosenbergs and Stiebels continued to enjoy dealing the old fashioned way, in many different areas, but always keeping to the highest standard of quality. They were therefore very proud of selling to museums or collectors who would donate or leave their collections to museums. Over 300 works of art from our gallery are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and we sold over 100 works directly to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

My uncle died in 1964 and Saemy Rosenberg in 1970. A few years later I married an enthusiastic young curator, Penelope Hunter, who was in the Western European Arts Department at the Metropolitan Museum. After 13 years there and several as an independent curator and writer, during which time she translated Pierre Verlet's standard work on French 18th Century Furniture, she finally joined my father and me at Rosenberg & Stiebel!

Together we pursued the family tradition of giving meaning to the term "museum quality". Though we are best known for our expertise in the arts of 18th century France, over 125 years of experience allow us to continue in a wide range of European Paintings, drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

In 2000 everything changed. Starting with a move to a town house from which to deal privately and the change of the corporate name to Stiebel, ltd.

After the success of the Stroganoff Exhibition, curated by my wife for the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, she returned to museum work full time.

My father having been a principal of the family firm for almost seventy years, and active until his last day, passed away that September.

Having been left on my own, I continue to be excited by finding "museum quality" treasures for clients we have known for generations, as well as new enthusiastic collectors, and I am enjoying welcoming them to our new home.

-Gerald G. Stiebel





Specialization Old Master Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, European Works of Art.
Established 1860