Top price at ArtCurial was the €110,000 (£76,000) paid for Boris Grigoryev’s Rue de Village. It sold to a “collector of Russian origin buying for a private museum” against a Russian trade underbidder.

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Snegaroff hailed (like Marc Chagall) from Vityebsk in what is now Belarus. He moved to Paris in 1907 and found work at the Union printing press in Montparnasse, where Lenin (using Cyrillic characters he provided himself) printed revolutionary tracts during his time in Paris (1910-12). Snegaroff became head of the press in 1912, declined Lenin's offer to return to Russia in 1917, and remained in charge until 1958. Along the way he abandoned political works for art books, magazines, posters and exhibition catalogues, and worked with Apollinaire, Breton, Eluard and others. 

Snegaroff's 66-lot collection attracted a packed saleroom, with much of the bidding by (or on behalf of) Russian collectors, and brought just under €1.1m (£760,000) hammer with 92 per cent of the lots changing hands - reflecting the works' market-freshness and Snegaroff's status as one of Russia's most successful French-bound émigrés. The top price was €110,000 (£76,000), over double estimate, for Boris Grigoryev's  Rue de Village, 2ft 4in x 2ft 3in (70 x 68cm), painted soon after Grigoryev arrived in France in 1911, fresh from artistic studies in Moscow and St Petersburg. It sold to a "collector of Russian origin buying for a private museum" against a Russian trade underbidder.

In all, the two-day, 500-lot sale brought €2.6m (£1.8m) and was 77 per cent sold by volume. "The Russian market continues to repatriate its heritage, and is very active for works by Russian artists," noted auctioneer Francis Briest, adding: "Works of lesser value but of good quality found a wide public, with an increasing number of private buyers - although the international trade was very dynamic, dominated by Europeans, mainly from Italy, Germany and the UK."

Some 23 works by the Finnish-born artist Léopold Survage (1879-1968) - the largest Survage collection still in private hands, according to ArtCurial - attracted mainly French buying (both trade and private), led by a  Still Life with Pear (c.1920), 2ft 2in x 20in (65 x 50cm), at €70,000 (£48,300). Two Cubist still lifes in gouache on paper by Jean Puni or Pougny both sold to a Russian private buyer, with his  Cruche Blanche (White Jug) c.1922, on paper stuck to board, 2ft x 18in (61 x 45cm), posting a quadruple-estimate €60,000 (£41,400) to set an auction record for a work on paper by Pougny. Natalia Dumitresco and Alexandre Istrati sold steadily, while André Lanskoy's 1961  Questions Posées à l'Improviste, 4ft 9in x 3ft 2in (1.46m x 96cm), sold to the Russian trade for €68,000 (£46,900).