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Sotheby's sales of Russian art concluded this week bringing $95.5 million
A visitor eyes the painting of Ilya Repin 'Portrait of Vera Repina, the Artist's Wife. 1878' during an exhibition focused on the Sotheby's Masterpieces of Russian Painting, at the State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia. Sotheby's Masterpieces of Russian Painting Art Evening Sale took place in London on 06 June 2011. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Sotheby’s global auctions of Russian Art in 2011 concluded this week realising a combined worldwide total for Russian Art sold by the company of $95.5 million, an increase of 16%($13.5 million) on our 2010 global total for sales in this field. This total of $95.5 million confirms Sotheby’s position as global leader in the market for Russian Art, for the ninth consecutive year.

Discussing the results of Sotheby’s Russian Art Sales in 2011, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and Head of the Russian Art department in London, said: “Participation from serious collectors of Russian Art in Sotheby’s global sales has remained resolutely steadfast for several years, and have also become increasingly selective. Collectors want the very best and this is driving prices up for museum-quality works or paintings with a solid provenance. This week’s unprecedented 100% sold “white-glove” auction of paintings from the descendants of Alexander Benois demonstrates just how much competition is generated when unique saleroom opportunities come to market.”

The New York Sale of Russian Art in November: was led by Natalia Goncharova’s Street in Moscow, which sparked an intense competition between bidders both in the saleroom and on the phone that propelled the work to achieve $6,354,500 – more than four times its high estimate of $1.5 million*, and the new highest price for a painting in any Russian Art sale at Sotheby’s worldwide.

The highlight of the November Russian Art series in London this November: was the 127-lot sale of works by Alexander Benois from an Important Private Collection, which was 100% sold by lot and by value, and concluded achieving a total of £1,997,225 ($3,101,491), almost double pre-sale high expectations (est. £805,500-£1,100,000). The top-selling lot of the sale was the Set Design for Act II of Le Rossignol, 1914, which depicts the Emperor’s Palace. The set design sold for the exceptional sum of £235,250 ($365,320), almost five times its pre-sale high estimate (est. £30,000-50,000) and established a new auction record for a set design by Benois. This lot was one of many works in the collection that sold for multiples of their pre-sale estimates.

The top-selling lot of Sotheby’s Russian Art Sales Series in June, in London: was Vasily Vasilievich Vereschagin’s oil on canvas The Taj Mahal, Evening, which commanded £2.2/$3.7 million – 5-times its pre-sale high estimate of £450,000.

Sotheby’s Russian Art auction in New York in April: was led by Henryk Siemiradzki’s work The Sword Dance more than doubled its pre-sale high estimate in achieving an impressive $2,098,500, marking a new record for the artist at auction. On offer from the Slotkowski Collection, The Sword Dance is one of the 19th-century Polish artist’s most recognizable and accomplished compositions.

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