The mid-season Russian Art Sale took place today at Christies
and realized £11,935,750 / $17,330,709 / 14,466,129 selling 76% by lot and 90% by value. The sale had a pre-sale estimate of £7 to £10 million. Enthusiasm and excitement for unique objects and paintings led to a packed saleroom and to a very high bidding participation throughout the day. Christies Russian Picture section result 2010 is up by 92% compared to December 2009 and this season works selling above £100,000 has nearly tripled.
Alexis de Tiesenhausen, International Director of Russian Art at Christies: The sale sent a strong signal to consignors that demand is high and that knowledgeable buyers from around the world are committed to acquiring works of art. Competitive bidding saw seven of the top ten lots sell above their pre-sale estimates and in total 26 surpassing their high pre-sale estimate. The European Royal Collection of Fabergé objects performed very well and realized a total of £746,025 / $1,083,228, highlighted by a bonbonnière in egg form.
The top price was paid for Vasya, by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin which sold for £1,833,250 / $2,661,879 / 2,221,899 against a pre-sale estimate of £250,000 to £350,000. The striking portrait of a Russian boy not seen since its last public appearance in 1932, attracted much admiration and attention whilst exhibited at Christies earlier this week and it sold to an anonymous telephone bidder after a heated bidding contest.
The top price for the works of art section was paid for lot 177 and 188, two exquisite Fabergé objects, one a little turkey and the other a lamp, each selling for £193,250 / $280,599. The Fabergé section of the sale was sold 95% by lot and 97% by value seeing an increased international interest in the finest and rarest objects by Russias most famous jeweler.
Buyers (by lot / by origin) for the entire sale were 70% Europe, 22% Americas, 3% Asia and 4% Middle East.
Further leading highlights of the sale:
"Roses and Apples", by Konstantin Korovin (1861-1939) - a stunning still-life which was executed during one of the most important periods of his career sold for £937,250 / $1,360,887 / 1,135,947 against a pre-sale estimate of £100,000-150,000. This represents the third highest price for a work by the artist sold at auction.
"A Riverside Farm", by Mikhail Klodt (1832-1902), an imposing and very detailed Ukrainian landscape, sold for £769,250 / $1,116,951 / 932,331 against an estimate of £700,000-900,000.
The European Royal Collection of 45 Fabergé works of art realized a total of £746,025 / $1,083,228 / 904,182 and was highlighted by a jeweled and enameled gold-mounted nephrite egg-form bonbonnière, selling alone for £115,250 / $167,343 / 139,683.
Princess Maria Tenishevas two bronze and enamel boxes and covers, one in the form of a fish, selling for £217,250 / $315,447 and the other in form of a pigeon, selling for £157,250 / $228,327 demonstrate the continued demand for rare and exceptional works of art. The Russian works of art section included five works of art selling in excess of £100,000.