White Guard at a Paris Sales

Order of St. Vladimir. St. Petersburg. Late XIX century. Gold. Diameter 9.0 cm. Estimate €8,000–10,000. Sold for €8,500

Sales of Russian artworks organized by an auction house Coutau-Begarie took place at Druot center in Paris on March 13.

Alongside with renowned French companies Tajan and Le Roux-Morel Mathias Baron Ribeyre et Associes, Coutau-Begarie pays close attention to Russian paintings, silver and porcelain art pieces and regularly holds specialized «Russian sales».

Collection of 17 photo-postcards. The White Army. 1920–1922. Estimate €150–200. Sold for €280

The important March auction comprised interesting selection of photographs of the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicolas II as well as various items related to the history of the White Guard movement. Estimates of the majority of the auctioned lots did not exceed €1,000, with only 35 of 260 lots bridging this border.

Among the highlights of the photograph collection was a rare picture representing Nicolas II aboard the Imperial yacht «Standart» in June 1912. Estimated at €700–900 the lot fetched €1,600. Selection of 17 photo-postcards attracted attention of bidders too. They were made between 1920 and 1922 and unveil history of the White armies commanded by General Kornilov and General Denikin. Estimate €150–200. Final price €280.

Nicolas II aboard the yacht «Standart». Photograph. June 1912. 27.0 И 33.0 cm. Estimate €700–900. Sold for €1,600

The sales also featured a wide range of cold steel arms and firearms of XIX century offered for quite modest prices. A dirk of a marine officer incrusted with ivory was sold for €1,000 (estimate €600–800) despite minor damages. A gilded gratuity saber dating 1855–1857 with the Romanov coat of arms on its hilt fetched impressive €3,600 thus effectively exceeding its estimate €1,200–1,500.

One of the most expensive lots at the sale was a golden Order of St. Vladimir awarded to civil servants. Preliminary estimated at €8,000–10,000 the exceptional order was acquired by an anonymous collector for €8,500. The order had been made during the early reign of Nicolas II.

Unknown artist of Russian painting school. An Imperial Navy ship. 1891. 47.0 И 30.0 cm. Estimate €1,500–1,800. Sold for €1,500

The painting section of the auction featured a number of works by Russian artist including some pictures by unknown artists. Among them were two 1891 watercolours depicting an Imperial Navy ship. The pictures had belonged to Vladimir Dmitriev, the last military attach? of Nicolas II at the French, Belgian and Portugal embassies. The watercolours combined in one lot were purchased for the lower estimate (€1500–1800).

For some reasons works of art created during the Soviet period failed to do well at the auction. For example, «Woman’s Portrait» (1947, oil on canvas, 50,0 x 60,0 cm, estimate (€500–700) by Nikolai Polyakov remained unsold.


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