concluded its autumn sales of Russian Art in London achieving a combined total of £16.7million/US$26.7 million/20,6 million. The sale of Important Russian Art on 26 November was highlighted by Boris Kustodiev's "The Coachman‟, which achieved a world record price at auction for the artist realising £4.4 million (estimate: 1,500,000-2,000,000). A further highlight was an important badge and star of the order of Saint Andrew which achieved £481,250 (estimate: £120,000-180,000). Top lots in the auction of An Important Collection of Russian Books and Manuscripts with Imperial Provenance on 29 November included Heraldry, an illuminated manuscript drawn by Assessor Andrei Grekov, which realized £205,250 (estimate: £50,000-200,000).
Sven Becker, Director of Books and Manuscripts, London, says: We are very pleased that, on the eve of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Romanov dynasty, Christie's achieved such a resounding success for this unique collection of books and manuscripts with Russian Imperial provenance. Material of this quality is seldom offered for sale, and never in such quantity; it would be nearly impossible to form another collection of this scope and calibre today. Collectors around the world sensed that this was a remarkable opportunity and competed fiercely. This wonderful result underlines Christie's market-leading position in the field of Russian books and manuscript - Christie's Books Department having previously achieved the record price at international auction both for a Russian printed books, and for a Russian literary manuscript.
Sarah Mansfield, Head of the Russian Art Department comments: We are extremely happy with the fantastic result achieved for "The Coachman‟ by Boris Kustodiev reflecting exactly what collectors are looking for in this particular market: the best works by the best Russian artists, unseen for decades. All of the top ten works sold today came from private collections and were offered for sale for the first time.
Mark Moerhke, Director of Works of Art, London and New York, declares: Christie's continues to lead the Russian Works of Art market internationally. The works of art offered during this sale were privately sourced and were fresh to the market. We were happy to witness that high prices were achieved across many categories, from Fabergé works, which continue to be sought after globally, to a strong group of militaria.
In the following weeks, Christie's will offer a collection of Fabergé works from the collection of H.R.H. The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (1897-1965), as part of the auction Harewood: Collecting in the Royal Tradition, a set of two auctions, the first of which will take place at Christie's King Street, London, on Wednesday 5 December 2012. It is thought that Princess Mary's collection of these treasures were gifts from her parents and her grandmother H.M. Queen Alexandra (1844-1925).