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Sotheby's Evening Auction of Important Russian Art realises $18.3 million
Valentin Alexandrovich Serov, Portrait of Praskovia Anatolievna Mamontova. Estimate: £300,000-500,000. Sold for: £1,217,250/$1,951,008. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s Evening Auction of Important Russian Art brought £ 11,471,250/$18,386,120, comfortably within pre-sale expectations of £9,040,000-12,840,000. The sale achieved sell-through rates of 89.3% by lot and 84.3% by value, and established six new artist records. Sotheby’s Russian Art sales continue tomorrow with the Russian Paintings Day Sale and the Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons Day Sale.

The top-selling lot of this evening’s auction was Valentin Alexandrovich Serov’s exceptionally rare oil on canvas Portrait of Praskovia Anatolievna Mamontova, which sold for the well-above expectations sum of £1,217,250/$1,951,008 (est. £300,000-500,000), setting a new record for the artist at auction. Three bidders competed for the work, which finally sold to an anonymous buyer in the saleroom. The painting was executed by the artist at the age of just 22 and is one of Serov's earliest finished paintings.

Discussing the results of this evening’s auction, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and Head of Sotheby’s Russian Art Department in London, said:“We are delighted with the results achieved for this evening’s auction. The Russian Art market has become increasingly selective, and by tailoring our auction tonight to current market conditions and offering appropriately estimated, gold-standard artworks by among the most important 19th and 20th century Russian artists, we were able to sell 25 of the 28 lots offered and achieve a total comfortably within expectations. The results achieved this evening are a positive indication of the health of this market.”

The joint second-highest price of tonight’s sale was established by two works:

Vasily Vasilievich Vereshchagin’s magnificent military scene-inspired by the Russo-Turkish war -oil on canvas Transportation of the Wounded, which sold within expectations for £937,250/$1,502,224 against a pre-sale estimate of £800,000-1,200,000. The work is among the largest works by the artist to be offered at auction and has remained in private collections since 1891.

Lado Davidovich Gudiashvili’s 1952 oil on canvas By The Black Stream also sold £937,250/$1,502,224, above its pre-sale estimate of £800,000-1,200,000. This sum realised also established a new record for the artist at auction.

Additional Top-Prices Achieved This Evening Include:

• Ivan Shishkin’s oil on canvas Pine Forest sold for £881,250/$1,412,468 (est. £ 700,000-900,000).

• Highlighting the works in the sale by Ivan Aivazovsky is his 1845 oil on canvas The Galata Tower by Moonlight which brought £825,250 /$1,322,711 (est. £500,000-700,000). This painting is the earliest view of Constantinople by Aivazovsky to appear on the market for over a decade. It was painted after the artist’s very first visit to the city in 1845, when he accompanied the Imperial Navy’s expedition to Asia Minor.

New Artist Records:
• Lot 10
Valentin Alexandrovich Serov
Portrait Of Praskovia Anatolievna Mamontova
Estimate: £300,000 -500,000
Sold for £1,217,250
Previous record: 4,200,000 SEK ($505,609) HAMMER PRICE

• Lot 18
Martiros Sergeevich Saryan
The Poet (On The Foothills Of Aragats)
Estimate: £500,000 -700,000
Sold for £623,650
Previous record: £388,800

• Lot 20
Sergei Yurievich Sudeikin
Russian Winter Carnival
Estimate: £200,000 -300,000
Sold for £601,250
Previous record: £517,500

• Lot 23
Lado Davidovich Gudiashvili
By The Black Stream
Estimate: £600,000 -800,000
Sold for £937,250
Previous record: £580,500

•Lot 26
Aleksandr Nikolaevich Samokhvalov
The Field Workers A. Fedorova And A. Egorova
Estimate: £120,000 -180,000
Sold for £361,250
Previous record: £91,038

•Lot 29
Dmitri Nalbandian
Estimate: £80,000 -120,000
Sold for £175,250
Previous record: $79,000

New Benchmark For Artist Whose Previous Two Works Offered At Auction Were Unsold:

•Lot 27
Nikolai Alexandrovich Zagrekov
Rhythm Of Labour
Estimate: £300,000 -500,000
Sold for £301,250

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