Published: June 12, 2007
Christie’s sale of Russian paintings and works of art on April 18 presented collectors with a wide range of works from the great masters of Russian painting, as well as a strong selection of top decorative works of art, including rare pieces of Fabergé, imperial porcelain and bronzes. Comprising more than 330 lots, the sale exceeded its presale estimate of $13/19 million and was 94 percent sold by value and 81 percent sold by lot.
“We are thrilled with the results of our sale, which, at $19.2 million surpasses the presale high estimate and exceeds the results achieved in New York last April in our inaugural dedicated sale of Russian pictures and works of art by $10 million,” commented Alexis de Tiesenhausen, international head of Russian works of art at Christie’s.
Leading the day was Vasilii Vereshchagin’s “Solomon’s Wall,” which realized $3,624,000 and set a record for the artist at auction. “From the very start, we have been extremely pleased by the incredible interest this work has generated both privately and publicly during its international tour to Tel Aviv and Moscow, particularly the amazing response surrounding its exhibition at The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in March, an exhibition that marked the first time the work had been on view in Russia,” said de Tiesenhausen. “We are also extremely pleased with the results achieved by the selection of Fabergé, especially the rare carved carnelian figure of a gnome mounted as scent flask which realized $1,384,000 †$1 million over its presale high estimate.”
Two other Fabergé lots achieved top prices, including an important jeweled gold and guilloche enamel covered box, marked Fabergé, which sold for $992,000 to a Russian private buyer, and a rare silver gilt mounted bowenite table clock, marked Fabergé, circa 1900, which made $456,000.
Leading a group of paintings from Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (1874‱947) was “Grand Canyon, Arizona,” tempera on canvas, which sold for $420,000. Roerich’s “Gilgit Road,” one of 12 works from the artist’s “Lakes and Gilgit Path” series completed in early 1925, brought $384,000.
Rounding out the sale’s top ten lots were Boris Dmitrievich Grigor’ev (1886‱939), “Une Francaise, Portrait of Mrs Adeline Harold Pynchon,” oil on canvas, $384,000; Boris Izrailevich Anisfel’d (1878‱973), “Flowers, oil on canvas,” $384,000; Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (1874‱947), “Sanctuaries and Citadels,” tempera on canvas laid on board, $360,000; and Boris Dmitrievich Grigor’ev (1886‱939), “Russian Peasant Woman,” gouache and watercolor on board, $360,000.
“The results of this sale continue the momentum generated by our extremely successful fall season of Russian sales here at Christie’s, highlighted by the record $54 million sale in London in November, a sale that stands as the highest combined sales total ever achieved in the Russian pictures and works of art category worldwide, and in which Christie’s set the current world auction record for any Russian painting included in a Russian sale ⁓omov’s Pastorale Russe, $5,251,808,” said de Tiesenhausen. “My colleagues and I are now looking forward to further success with our next sale of Russian art to be held in London on June 13.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.Christies.com .
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