Even before the latest Russian art sales in London started this week, the enormous sums of money being spent in this sector became evident when Sotheby’s announced the private sale of their two star lots in advance of their auctions.
Due to be offered on November 25, both Robert Falk's (1886-1958)
Man in a Bowler Hat and Petr Konchalovsky's (1876-1956)
Family Portrait in the Artist's Studio sold for sums in
excess of their top estimates to an 'important private Russian
While the price of the Robert Falk was not disclosed (it had
been estimated at £2.5m-3.5m), the sum for the Petr Konchalovsky
Sotheby's raised a further £16.1m hammer from their four Russian
sales across the week.
Christie's meanwhile generated £14.1m from their single sale
with the highest price coming for The Bathers by Ilya
Mashkov (1881-1944) that overshot its £600,000-800,000 estimate and
was knocked down at £3.6m to a private buyer.
The major sums continued through the week as MacDougalls' raised
£6.77m hammer from their sale. Their auction on November 27 was led
by Nikolai Dubovskoy's (1859-1918) Blagovest, a view of
the monastery in Sergiev Posad, near Moscow that made an artist's
record when it sold at £600,000. William MacDougall said
afterwards: "The market continues to be exceptionally strong, with
good works in all sectors - from 19th century to Soviet art -
achieving record prices."
Bonhams' Russian sale on the same day made £4.83m and the top
lot here was Kanchenjunga, a view of the Himalayan
mountains by Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947) which was knocked down at
Excluding the private sales at Sotheby's, the hammer total for
the week was £41.77m. This compared to £42.66m seen for the Russian
art sales in London in June and £36.9m for the equivalent series