Founded 1830
in Berlin

As early as the middle of the 19th century, Joseph Abraham Stargardt was trading in historical manuscripts. Since then, the name J. A. Stargardt has been a synonym for the trade in autographs. No other house in the world can look back on a comparable history in this field.

Our history

The J. A. Stargardt company was founded in 1830 by Johann Carl Klage as a book and music shop. In 1847 Paul Julius Reuter (1816-1899) and Joseph A. Stargardt (1822-1885) took over the company. Reuter resigned as early as 1849 and later founded the Reuter Telegraphenbureau in London, the Reuters news agency that would soon be active worldwide.


Under the direction of Stargardt, whose name our company still bears today, the music and retail book trade fell aside in favor of the antiquarian bookshop. Stargardt built up an important collection and developed the autograph trade into a specialty. Around 150 collection and auction catalogs were published during his lifetime.


Read here what Wikipedia says about our company:

Family-owned since 1885

In 1885 Eugen Mecklenburg junior (1859-1925), son of a book and autograph dealer, acquired the business from Stargardt’s widow. His son, Günther Mecklenburg (1898-1984), had to completely rebuild the company after the Second World War as the Berlin business premises were destroyed by bombs in 1944. A year later, large parts of the outsourced company assets located in East Prussia were lost.


As early as 1946, Stargardt – now in Eutin, Holstein – began publishing stock catalogs again. And autograph auctions took place again as of 1950. In 1952 the company headquarters were relocated to the university town of Marburg, which is more centrally located in Germany and has two large libraries. In the same year, Klaus Mecklenburg (born 1930) entered the business, followed in 1988 by his son Wolfgang Mecklenburg (born 1964). After German reunification, J. A. Stargardt returned to the place where it was founded; since 1991 our autograph auctions take place in Berlin again.


In past decades, we have auctioned a number of internationally important autograph collections, including the Albrecht, Ammann, Geigy and Meyer-Cohn collections. In our auctions, autographs from all classic collecting areas are offered: literature, science, arts, history, and music.


Our company is a member of the Association of German Antiquarian Booksellers (Verband Deutscher Antiquare, VDA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and the Federal Association of German Art Auctioneers (Bundesverband deutscher Kunstversteigerer, BDK). We are committed to the codes of conduct of these trade associations. We are also a member of the Manuscript Society (MS) and the Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC).


A detailed description of our company history can be found in our stock catalog 682, published in 2005 for the company’s 175th anniversary. You can download it here as a PDF file.

J. A. Stargardt (1822–1885)

Some figures about J. A. Stargardt:

  • 137 years of


    Since 1885 J.A. Stargardt has been owned by the Mecklenburg family. Today's managing director in the fourth generation is Wolfgang Mecklenburg.

  • Over 700

    stock and auction catalogs

    An extraordinary number, even on an international scale, and further evidence of our many years of experience and expertise.

  • More than 10.000

    stored items

    In almost 200 years of company history, we have created an extensive inventory of autographs from all areas and epochs. It is quite possible that you will find exactly the items you are looking for to enhance your collection.

  • 2.3 million euros

    award amount

    The hammer prices at our 2020 auction added to this total.

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