For sixty years Venator & Hanstein belongs to the leading companies in book and print auctions. The beginnings of Venator & Hanstein go back to the 1930s when the idea was created to re-animate the long tradition of book and print auctions in the historically significant publishing city of Cologne. From 1946 to 1950 auctions were held under the company name "Ringbuchhandlung August Nethe Co." on the Hohenzollernring in downtown Cologne, in 1951 the name was changed to "Nethe and Venator". Rolf Venator has been part of this success story from the very beginning and has lead the company under the name "Venator KG" since 1953. The antiquarian book auction house had its first seat in the Breite Strasse and from there moved to St. Apern Strasse. In 1984 Prof. Henrik R. Hanstein joined the company as a partner and the offices were moved to the Kunsthaus Lempertz building. Since 1988 the company has been managed by the partner Karl-Heinz Knupfer.