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 19th century paintings to the avant-garde, official and non-official Soviet art and contemporary art, as well as works by Fabergé, silver, bronzes, icons and Imperial and Soviet porcelain.
In 2018, our London Russian Pictures sales achieved a staggering total of £20.3m, the highest result of any auction house holding sales in this category. This figure does not include the $1.3m made in our first-ever Russian Pictures online sale, Escape Artists: The Non-Conformists Online, held out of New York in October 2018.
In our November sale, Konstantin Makovsky’s Blind Man’s Bluff sold for £4.3m, establishing a new auction record for the artist. Other notable results achieved in 2018 include Niko Pirosmani’s Georgian Woman Wearing a Lechaki which sold for £2.2m, Nikolai Fechin’s Portrait of a Young Girl which made £610,000, as well as Harlequin by Alexander Yakovlev which sold for £730,000.
The 2018 Russian Works of Art sales achieved over £10m and established outstanding results. These include A Rare and Important Imperial Silver-Gilt and Enamel 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 silver-gilt and cloisonné 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 to international collectors. A pair of Imperial gilt-bronze-mounted malachite vases by the Imperial Lapidary Works, Peterhof sold for 706,000 GBP.
This year during Russian Week we also presented Rostropovich - Vishnevskaya: The Private Collection, a follow up to the extraordinary sale of 2007, showcasing the works from the home of one of Russia’s greatest musical couples, which realised £4.2m.
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, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of our ground-breaking auction of Russian Avant-Garde and Soviet Contemporary Art which took place in Moscow in 1988.
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