April Auctions (follow-up)

Russian Art Week wrapped up in New York  last Friday very successfully. Christie’s sold 69% of it’s 390 lots for a total of $13.2 million, just over it’s high estimate of $13 million. The top lot at the auction, Svetoslav Roerich’s Portrait of Nicholas Roerich in a Tibetan Robe sold for $2,994,500 nearly three times its high estimate of $1.1 million. The sale broke the previous record for the artist, set earlier in the week at Sotheby’s sale. The success of the sale is in part the result of reformed expectations. After a disappointing turnout at November’s auction, Christie’s, “had to readjust,” said the head of Christie’s Russian department, Alexis de Tiesenhausen, “The estimates now are about 20 percent less than in November.”

Sotheby’s held their sale before Christie’s on Wednesday. About 65 % of their 308 lots sold for a total of $13.8 million, within their estimates for the auction. The top lot was Ivan Aivazovsky’s Columbus Sailing from Palos, which sold for $1,594,000 million, well over its high estimate of $1.1 million. Svetoslav Roerich’s Three Boddisatvas sold for $262,500, more than triple it’s estimate. In fact, all but one of the ten top lots exceeded their estimates.

Sotheby’s Sonya Bekkerman and Gerard Hill called the sale, “the first test of the season,” and expressed optimism about Sotheby’s performance: “If you consider these results alongside the more than $12 million we achieved for Russian works in last November’s Impressionist and Modern sales in New York, and the nearly $38 million brought in in London in December, it’s clear that the market for Russian art remains buoyant.”

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April Auctions

columbus“Columbus Sailing from Palos” – Ivan Aivazovsky

Later this month Sotheby’s and Christie’s will be holding their Spring auctions of Russian art in New York. They have recently made catalogs for the shows available online.

Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s sale will take place on April 22nd at their office in New York. A pre-sale exhibition of the work to be sold is scheduled for April 17th. Featured artists include Ivan Aivazovsky, Alexandre Iacovleff, Ivan Pokhitonov, Vasili Polenov, Nicholas Roerich, and many others. The top lot is expected to be Aivazovsky’s Columbus Sailing from Palos, which has a pre-sale estimate of $1-1.5 million.

Christie’s

Christie’s sale will take place on April 24th at Rockefeller Plaza. The sale will feature many of the same artists up for auction at Sotheby’s, including Ivan Aivazovsky, Nicholas Roerich, and Ivan Pokhitonov, as well as the work of Sergei Gerasimov, Arkadii Plastov and many others. The top lot is expected to be Svetoslav Roerich’s Portrait of Nicholas Roerich in a Tibetan Robe, which has a pre-sale estimate of $900,000 to $1.1 million.

Link to Sotheby’s catalog.

Link to Christie’s catalog.