There were several charming surprises in the April 9th Christie's Sale of Russian Works of Art in New York. A Fabergé icon of Saint Ksenia from the Collection of HIH Grand Duchess Ksenia Alexandrovna of Russia was estimated at 8,000-12,000 but the final price was almost four times the high estimate, finally selling for 47,500. An unusual and interesting mixed-metal dessert service by Fabergé in the "Japonaisme" style was estimated at the very low 4,000-6,000 and sold closer to its actual value at 35,000. Imperial objects, shaded and cloisonné enamels all sold well, but the real record was set with the important works of sculpture in the sale.
Mark Mohrke, New York Department head noted: “The market responded enthusiastically to rare and fresh works from private collections, including A Marble Bust of Ivan the Terrible by Mark Antokol'skii from the Collection of Prince Ivan Obolensky, which realized $269,000 a world auction record for the artist against an estimate of $100,000-150,000, and Viktor Vasnetsov’s Portrait of I.E. Repin from the Descendants of Alexander Siloti, which realized $112,500. Works by Fabergé continued to perform well, with a Silver-Mounted And Sandstone Match Holder realizing $161,000 (estimate: $25,000-35,000) and A Silver-Gilt Cloisonné And En Plein Enamel Kovsh realizing $143,000 (estimate: $20,000-30,000), both over four times their high estimates. Christie’s continues as the auction market leader for Russian Works of Art obtaining the top lot of the week, The Bust of Ivan the Terrible by Antokol’skii. We look forward to our next sale of Russian Art taking place on June 2nd in London, which will feature two works by Russian Master Vasily Vereshchagin from The Collection Of The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College to be sold to benefit the acquisitions fund as well as exceptional paintings by Vladimir Borovikovsky (1757-1825) from the Collection of Prince Ivan Obolensky.”