THIS Russian icon depicting St George slaying the dragon generated a lively competition when offered on the third day of Bellmans' sale in Wisborough Green, West Sussex.
Catalogued as 19th century at their auction on on August 5-7 and
estimated at just £200-300, the 141/2 x 111/4in (37 x 29cm) panel
drew bidding from three telephone lines as well as a buyer in the
room and was taken up to a final £23,000 plus 20 per cent buyer's
From a private source and in exceptional condition, it is now
thought to be an original 17th century piece.
St George is one of the most popular subjects in Russian
iconography. Not only the patron saint of England, the third
century Roman dragon slayer is also the patron saint of the city of
Moscow, as well over ten other cities worldwide.
The Bellmans sale saw two further Russian icons from the same
source and with the same estimate sell for high prices. One
depicting The Mother of Christ made £5200, while another of Jesus
and Attendants made £5000.