Our biannual sales of Russian Pictures and Russian Works of Art held in London in June and November cover the full spectrum of Russian art, from icons to contemporary, via 19th century paintings, Fabergé, Imperial and Soviet porcelain, and non-official Soviet art.
Sotheby’s is the clear market leader for Russian Pictures. The June 2019 sale saw results of £10.5 million against a pre-sale estimate of £5.7 to £8.3 million and the highest sell-through rate of any of our competitors. Last year we achieved a staggering total of £20.3 million, the highest result of any auction house holding sales in this category. This figure does not include the $1.3 million made in our first-ever online sale of Russian pictures, Escape Artists: The Non-Conformists Online, run out of New York in October 2018. Following the success of this sale we will repeating the venture in September 2019 and are currently accepting consignments.
Sotheby’s regularly achieves outstanding results for Russian Works of Art. Notably, in June 2019, a Soviet porcelain platter by Timorev made over four times its original estimate, selling for £131,250. Last year Russian Works of Art sales achieved over £10m and established market share. These include A Rare and Important Imperial Triptych Icon of the Feodorovskaya Mother of God, presented to Emperor Nicholas II and his wife on the occasion of their wedding, which sold for £406,000 and A monumental enamel kovsh by Feodor Rückert, which achieved £490,000. We also presented notable Russian decorative works in our mixed-department sales, such as Treasures, achieving additional exposure for international collectors. A pair of Imperial malachite vases by the Imperial Lapidary Works, Peterhof sold for £706,000 and a Fabergé clock from the collection of the Duchess of Hamilton achieved £274,000.
Sotheby’s has unparalleled access to collectors thanks to a global network of specialists based in London, New York and Paris, a dedicated Russian desk in our Private Client Group and a long-established presence in Moscow, where we regularly hold preview exhibitions. In 2017, we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of our Moscow office, the first of any international auction house to open in Russia.