Highlights: Sotheby’s Russian Art Week

Image courtesy of Sotheby's

A week of impressive Russian art sales at Sotheby’s concluded on Wednesday (28 November 2018), realising a combined total of £23 million.

All three sales reached totals above their pre-sale estimates, but the Russian Pictures sale alone raised £13.4 million and set two artist records. The first, for Konstantin Makovsky—whose epic canvas Blind Man’s Bluff (c.1839-1915) sold for £4.3 million. The second, for Georgian primitive painter, Niko Pirosmani. Georgian Woman Wearing A Lechaki tripled its high estimate, making £2.2 million.

See also: Olga Lomaka’s Artistic Journey Through Time and Space

Highlights: Sotheby’s Russian Art Week
Niko Pirosmani
Oil on oilcloth 105 by 85cm Image courtesy of Sotheby’s
Estimate: 500,000 — 700,000 GPB
Sold: 2,230,000 GBP

The same sale hosted some of the biggest names in Russian art and notably featured Nicolai Fechin’s Portrait of a Young Girl (c.1910) (£610,000), Robert Falk’s Greek Woman (Portrait of Inna Costakis) (c.1955) (£442,000) and Yuri Pimenov’s Street Scene in Novorossiysk (1929) (£212,500).

Leading the Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Icons sale were exquisite silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel decorative arts crafted by goldsmith, Feodor Rückert. The top lot of the sale—a monumental kovsh—sold for £490,000; eight times its estimate.

The sale totalled £5.9 million, with further highlights including Russian portrait miniatures from the collection of Dr Erika Pohl-Ströher—one of the most important private collections ever created and featuring a number of works of the Russian Imperial Family. A portrait by Vladimir Borovikovsky of Count Alexei Ivanovich (1794), who served under Tsar Alexander I, sold for £106,250.

The week’s Russian sales concluded with the auction of the private collection of Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishneskaya, which realised £4.2 million.

Following the 2007 sale of the Rostropovich-Vishneskaya art collection, the auction offered a more intimate look into the lives of the celebrated musical couple.

The first time one of the maestro’s personal musical instruments has been sold, the 1783 Guadagnini cello achieved £1.9 million. Jewellery belonging to Vishneskaya also performed well—with a Cartier emerald and diamond ring selling for £150,000 and an emerald and diamond pendant necklace fetching £87,500 after competitive bidding.

Jo Vickery, Sotheby’s international director of Russian art and head of the sale, said: ‘Two of the cellos made world auction records and the best result of the day was for the Guadagnini cello, which sold to a round of applause in the saleroom for $2.4 million, demonstrating unprecedented demand for this rare and sought-after Italian maker.’

If you enjoyed this article, head to ‘Sotheby’s View’ at Arts & Collections for more memorable upcoming auctions and impressive sale results.

See also: Lost Portrait of Charles Dickens Found at Junk Sale

Artist Buys Banksy’s ‘Slave Labour’ to Whitewash It

Christie’s to Offer ‘Bowler Hat’ Magritte Masterpiece

Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world’s finest items.

© 2024 Arts & Collections - All Rights Reserved