Kustodiev painting sells for £2.8 million, almost three times its low estimate, in Sotheby’s Russian art evening sale

JUNE 8, 2009, Sotheby’s London biannual Russian Art Evening Auction achieved the solid total of £7,906,050 ($12,546,901), within its pre-sale auction estimate of £6,740,000-9,920,000, and was very well-attended. The sale was 63% sold by lot and 73.3% by value, and saw new auction records established for four Russian artists: Isaak Brodsky, Boris Kustodiev, Konstantin Kryzhitsky and Vladimir Lebedev.

Commenting on this evening’s sale, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and Head of the Russian Art Department in London, said: “Tonight’s sale was the first test of the Russian Art Market at Sotheby’s in London this year and we are extremely encouraged by the results established. The prices realised for the rediscovered painting by Brodsky and the work by Kustodiev, both of which set new auction records, demonstrate that the buyers and bidders in this adjusted market are prepared to compete hard for high-quality works that are fresh to the market and rare. This evening’s sale has provided us with valuable information about the Russian art scene in the recalibrated market and we very much look forward to the sales of Russian Art that follow at Sotheby’s this week.”


Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 8:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Tsarist Treasures to be Sold at Sotheby's Russian Art Sales

The tea service was made as a wedding gift on the occasion of Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna’s marriage to Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who was related to Emperor Alexander III. The service is estimated to sell for $320/380,000 and will be a highlight of Sotheby’s upcoming sale of Russian Art on April 22, 2009

Sotheby’s will be offering a number of extraordinary objects with Russian Imperial provenance in its spring and summer 2009 Russian Art sales. An Imperial Russian silver tea service by Nichols and Plinke, St. Petersburg, 1879 from the Collection of Anastasia Mikhailovna – grand-daughter of Emperor Nicholas I – is one of the highlights of the Russian Art Sale in New York on 22 April 2009. Sotheby’s biannual sale of Russian Works of Art in London on 10 June 2009 will feature the two largest vases ever offered for sale at Sotheby’s estimated at £1.2 – 1.8 million and formerly in the collection of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich – the son of Tsar Nicholas II’s first cousin.


Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 1:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Auction House Dr. Fischer

Auction House Dr. Fischer is glad to announce the upcoming sale “Works of Art, Fabergé, Icons and Paintings” in Heilbronn/Germany on 23 April 2009. There will be an high qualitative offer of Silver, for example Fabergé, Porcelain, Glass, Icons and Paintings.



Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hard Russian sales

N. Kasatkin. Portal. 1932. Oil on canvas. Estimate £15 000−20 000. Christie’s. Russian Pictures Incl. Post-War & Contemporary Art Part II. London, November 26

For a week prior to the beginning of Russian week held in London from November 24 – 27, Christie’s cut down the catalogue of painting of the 19th–20th centuries. According to the head of the Christie’s international department of Russian Art Alex Tithengauzen, the auction house put off the sales over 20 lots in middle price category having taken only the most qualitative (expensive) works. ”Nobody want to buy average works by Russian artists”, – the expert comments on a situation.


Russian week in London made a good start

н. Larionov. Lying nude. 1906–1907. Oil on canvas. Lot sold for £1 385 250. Sotheby’s. Russian Art. London, November 26

Sotheby’s published the results of the Evening Sales Russian Art held in London on November, 24. The sales of 32 works totaled £14 155 600. The number of sold lots exceeded 60 % from their total number.

Michael Fedorovich Larionov’s picture Lying Nude was the most expensive sold at the auction. The picture was sold for £1 385 250 (estimate £1 200 000–1 500 000). The picture was made in 1906−1907 in Paris where the artist arrived on Sergey Dyagilev’s invitation. Under the influence of postimpressionism art Larionov started to elaborate a new art system. Lying Nude is its embodiment.


Published in: on January 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Russian sales at Bonham’s

б. Exter. Seven against Thebes. Oil on canvas. Estimate £600 000–800 000. Lot is not sold. Bonham’s. The Russian Sale. London, November 24

On November 24 – 27, the traditional week of Russian art was held in London. The largest auction houses of the world including Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonham’s exposed on sales thousands of works by Russian masters – classical and modern painting, icons, works of graphic and applied art. Certainly, the depression of art market affected the results of a week – results of the sales did not justified expectations of auctioneers. On the other hand, Russian art proved its popularity. It shows acceptable percent of sales and some large records. Sotheby’s and Christie’s showed the best results while Bonham’s and Mac Dougall could not compete. There are some reasons. Participants of MacDougall auction noted very high estimates and expressed readiness to wait for the reduction of prices.


Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Korovin − but not him

S. Korovin. Children picking strawberry under governess’ care. 1893. Estimate €12 000. Oil on canvas. Düsseldorfer Auktion. Dusseldorf, December 6

Düsseldorf – On December 4 – 6, the German Düsseldorfer Auktion house will hold winter sales. First two auctions will represent collectors a large selection of works of applied art. Jewelry, furniture, porcelain, watches, sculpture and table silver will be included. In the end of a week, on December 6, Düsseldorfer Auktion will put up on sale a collection of painting and graphic art including more than 700 lots.

The geography of works of painting represented at auctions is extremely wide. The catalogue features pictures by the artists from all the corners of Europe but the overwhelming majority of lots are works by German artists of the 19th century. There are not so many works by Russian school. However there is one indisputable top lot of the auction – Sergey Alekseevich Korovin’s (1858−1908) picture put up for sale (estimate: €12 000). It represents a group of children collecting strawberry. Today there is not so much information about the artist who kept the most part of his life in background of his brother, great painter Konstantin Korovin. At the same time Sergey Korovin’s creative heritage totals a lot of excellent pictures, many of which today are in collections of such museums as Russian Museum and Tretyakov Gallery.


Published in: on January 11, 2009 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Stockholm Auktionsverk was Lucky Thanks to the Icons

Ivan Aivazovsky. A Corner of Constantinople from the Sea by Moonlight. 1878. Canvas, oil. Lot was sold at a price of SEK 3 300 000. Stockholm Auktionsverk. The Russian Auction. Stockholm, October 2

Stockholm Auktionsverk auction house held a big Russian bidding that took place on the 2nd and 3rd of October in the capital of Sweden. The unique collection of paintings, graphics and icons as well as miniature plastic arts, jewellery and other works of decorative art was presented to the collectors, most of them Russians. Stockholm Auktionsverk put up for sale 459 lots in total.

More than half of the lots were presented on October 2 during the first auction session which became an absolute failure. According to the results less than 50% of lots were sold and most of the top lots were not passed out while some of them were sold at a price much lower than the estimate.


Gene Shapiro: from Rodchenko to Melamid.

Sitnikov V. USSR 1975. Moscow. Oil on canvas. Estimate: $500 000−700 000. Gene Shapiro. Auction LLS. New York, November, 5

Auction House Gene Shapiro will hold the auction of Russian and European art of XVII – XX centuries on November, 5. 225 works of painting, graphics, sculpture will be exhibited on sales with total estimate $4 000 000−6 000 000. Thereby the majority of all lots (196) represents Russian art and in most cases dated the first half of XX century.

The painting “USSR 1975” by one of the most distinguished painters of unofficial post-war art Sitnikov Vasilij got the highest estimate $500 000−700 000. An expressive, bright work was created not shortly before the author’s emigration to Russia and Austria in 1975. The style of the work resembles very much the style of a painting “Moscow 1973” sold by MacDougall auction for £321 100 in Jule. For the moment this sum is the author’s record on the open sales. Soon after its creation “USSR 1975” was acquired by Canadian diplomat who lived in Moscow at that time and brought abroad. The painting has been in the private collection for more than 30 years and has never put up for sales before. 4 other paintings by Sitnikov are also represented in Gene Shapiro catalogue. Two of them “Blue Cupolas” and “Naked woman on her knees” dated 1985 and are put up for the auctions with the estimate of $30 000−40 000.


Lombrail–Teucquam. Russian Sales at Hotel Drouot

Elijah the Prophet and the fire chariot. Icon. Late XIX century, 215 x 265 mm. Estimate €400–500. Sold for €850

Interest towards the Russian art among the Western collectors and art dealers is constantly rising nowadays. The major international auction houses regularly hold the so-called Russian sales, as these subject auctions are always success with bidders. The Parisian auction company Lombrail–Teucquam held the sale titled «Art Et Histoire Russes» (Art and History of Russia) at the famous auction site Hotel Drouot Richelieu on September 26, 2006. The important auction featured Russian icons, applied and decorative art, silverware, orders, medals, military decorations and memorial badges as well as works created by Russian masters abroad.