Icons of Doubtful Provenance

The Main Administration of Internal Affairs of Saint Petersburg and Leningradskaya District is checking up the origin of a series of orthodox icons of the 19th century. Two citizens of the Republic of Belarus inserted an advertisement offering icons for sale in a city newspaper. The price was acceptable but it turned out difficult to find a buyer.

Meanwhile the advertisement interested the police. «The sellers» were arrested. They didn’t say anything about the origin of the icons. In case they turn out to be stolen, the detained men will be tried for theft.


Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lost Icon Placed Stealthily to the Hermitage Doors

Icon on wood in a gilded silver frame. Four hallmarks: р.пчюйоойлпчя; бл1889; 84 and the emblem of the city of Moscow. 1889. Silver, pearls, enamel, beads, wood, painting. 33.5И29.0. Returned on August 8, 2006

The collection of the State Hermitage was “replenished” with another item, one of more than two hundred objects (at the moment the theft was discovered) that had disappeared from the Russian Art fund in summer 2006.

In the morning of October 6 the icon on wood of Our Lady of the Sign (Znamenie) was left at the doors of the museum. The icon was included on the list of stolen items as number 169. Thus, 32 objects were returned to the collection of the Hermitage.


Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 11:12 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

“Unexpected joy” on the Russian sales in Germany

Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God (Unexpected joy). Karl Faberge’s workshop. 1908 – 1917.  Moscow. Frame: silver, chasing, filigree, cabochons. Estimate: €18 000, Dr. Fisher. Russian Works of Art, Faberge & Paintings. Heilbronn, November, 29

A rare and very valuable icon of Karl Faberge´ workshop will be exposed for bidding from Dr.Fisher Auction House that will take place on November, 29. The auction will be held in German city Heilbronn and will represent the series of interesting works of applied and decorative art, including several excellent objects of court goldsmithery for connoisseurs of Russian art.

The icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, known as “Unexpected joy” has appeared in the antiquarian market not for the first time. In 1974 it was sold by Sotheby’s Auction and since “it has been in the small, but rather refined private collection of one banker’s family”. The icon was made by masters of Moscow manufacture by Karl Faberge and dated 1908 – 1917. The depiction of the Mother of God with her son is based on the story of a saint Dmitriy Rostovsky about transforming a sinner into a god-fearing person. The image is encased in silver frame, executed with a high level of excellence, decorated with chasing, filigree and numerous cabochons. The lot was estimated at €18 000, but one should not close out the possibility of a serious rising of the estimate. Russian icons used to be in great constant demand in the antiquarian market. But the ones connected with the name of Karl Faberge provoke special interest, such as, for a example “Christ Pantocrator” sold by Sotheby’ s auction for € 780 000 on April, 16.


Icon «Nativity of the Blessed Virgin» moved to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Cazan

Icon «Nativity of the Blessed Virgin», XVIII century

The icon «Nativity of the Blessed Virgin» was returned to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Cazan from the State Museum of the History of Religion despite the fact it still belongs to the state.

The icon dated XVIII century was one of the most honoured relics of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Cazan from the moment of its sanctification in1811. It was placed in the iconostasis of its southern side-altar sanctified after the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. The icon was moved to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Cazan from the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin built in 1733-37 after the project of Mikhail Zemtsov. It was situated near the cathedral in the Nevsky Avenue and was taken to pieces 1810-11 the day before the sanctification of the new Cathedral of Our Lady of Cazan built in 1801-1811 to the design of A. Voronikhin.