Sotheby’s April 2009 Sale of Russian Art. Achieves a Strong Result of $13.8 Million

New York, NY, April 22, 2009 – Sotheby’s annual sale of Russian Art in New York brought a total of $13,842,175, comfortably within the pre-sale estimate of $12.5/17.5 million*. Spirited bidding drove more than 93% of the sold lots to prices at or above their estimates. The top selling lot was Ivan Aivazovsky’s Columbus Sailing from Palos, which commanded $1,594,500 (est. $1/1.5 million). An extremely rare Russian gilded silver and shaded enamel pictorial punch bowl and ladle by FabergК’s regular supplier Feodor RШckert led the section devoted to applied arts, bringing a price of $482,500, more than double the high estimate of $200,000.

Sonya Bekkerman and Gerard Hill, Sotheby’s experts in Russian Paintings and Decorative Works of Art, respectively, said, “We are very excited and encouraged by the results of today’s sale. It was the first test of the season and we saw a great depth of bidding across a number of different collecting areas. Certainly, the market is selective, but in some instances, we saw works double and triple their estimates. If you consider these results alongside the more than $12 million achieved for Russian works in last November’s Impressionist and Modern sales in New York, and the more than $37 million brought in London in December, it’s clear that the market for Russian Art remains buoyant.”

The sale opened this morning with Russian paintings. In addition to the outstanding price achieved for the Aivazovsky, Boris Grigoriev’s Preparing Crepes: A Pair, also sold above expectations, bringing $1,258,500 (est. $500/700,000). Samurai, a powerful work by Alexandre Iacovleff established a new record for a work on paper by the artist at auction when it sold for $602,500, nearly five times the high estimate of $125,000. Nicholas Roerich’s Secrets of the Walls surpassed its high estimate of $200,000, ultimately achieving $530,500. Two other works by Roerich were also among the top ten-selling paintings this morning – Monhegan, Maine 2 (Hope) sold for $434,500 (est. $250/350,000) and Mystery brought $362,500 (est. $300/500,000). A new auction record was set for Nicholas Roerich’s son, Sviatoslav, when his Three Boddisatvas sold for $266,500 (est. $60/80,000). Ms. Bekkerman added, “There was considerable competition this morning for the top works. In the end, nine of the top ten paintings brought prices in excess of their high estimates.”

The afternoon session began with a large group of Icons, with the top lot of the group, an important late Byzantine icon of the Nativity of Christ, Crete, selling for $146,500 (est. $140/160,000). In addition to the aforementioned pictorial punch bowl and ladle, the Russian gilded silver and shaded enamel cake basket, Orest Kurliukov, Moscow, was another highlight, exceeding a high estimate of $100,000 to sell for $134,500. Among the works by FabergК was a silver, translucent enamel and wood Imperial photograph frame, Workmaster Victor Aarne, St. Petersburg, which sold for $122,500 (est. $40/60,000), and a FabergК Icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Moscow which achieved $110,500 (est. $50/70,000). Objects with Imperial lineage demanded strong prices, including a FabergК silver, translucent enamel, and wood photograph frame, Workmaster Anders Nevalainen, St. Petersburg that belonged to Tsarevich Boris of Bulgaria, godson of Emperor Nichols II, which brought $86,500 (est. $40/60,000). Among the strong selection of bronzes that closed the sale, Svyatoslav on the Way to Tsargrad by Evgeny Lanceray sold for $92,500 (est. $80/100,000). Another Lanceray, Don Cossacks on the Banks of the Danube, brought $80,500 (est. $60/80,000)

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 2:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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