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Sotheby’s is the auction house of choice for Russian Art, consistently achieving strong results across categories and attracting buyers from all over the world. In 2022, we were the only major auction house to continue to offer our sellers an effective platform for selling selects works of Russian art across our locations globally; as a result Sotheby’s maintained its international market by realising strong prices for Russian works of art and paintings.
Sotheby’s continued dedicated sales of Fabergé, winning 67.4% market share and attracting an ever-expanding international buyers’ base. Highlights of these sales included a very rare Fabergé jewelled platinum and rock crystal ‘Ice’ Red Cross pendant which earned a staggering £214,200 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000. We have commenced 2023 with the sale of important icons from the renowned collection of George R. Hann, attaining $453,600 in two lots, both doubling their low estimates.
While dedicated sales of Russian Pictures at Sotheby’s remain on pause, last year we strategically offered several Russian paintings of wide international appeal in our global auctions. Among the highlights was Ivan Aivazovsky’s The Wrath of the Seas, which sold in the Old Masters Evening Auction on 7 December to a European collector for £1,729,000. (est. £600,000-800,000). Other noteworthy results include a view of Tashkent by Richard Zommer, which sold for £56,700 in the October Orientalist sale in London, as well as an early work by the key non-conformist artist Oskar Rabin from 1959, which sold in our Zurich Modern & Contemporary Auction for CHF 69,300.
As the auction house with the most experienced team in this field, Sotheby’s has long led the market for important collections, including our market-defining sales of: Fabergé & Vertu: Property from the Brooklyn Museum; Romanov Heirlooms: The Lost Inheritance of Gran Duchess Maria Pavlovna; the Rostropovich-Vishneskaya Collection; Property from the Collections of Lily & Edmond J. Safra; and the private sale of the Forbes Collection of Imperial Fabergé Easter Eggs. Sotheby’s consistently gains record prices for works by Fabergé, the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Soviet porcelain, enamels, military orders, silver and icons.
Sotheby’s forthcoming sales include a dedicated sale of Fabergé and Russian works of art in London this May and Geneva in November.