Early 16th century icon from Novgorod – €125,000 (£105,930) at Hargesheimer.

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Several spectacular price rises emerged at the auction of icons held by Hargesheimer (25% buyer’s premium) in Düsseldorf on November 4-6.

The biggest surprise emerged when an early 16th century icon from Novgorod came up for sale.

The 11 x 9in (29 x 23cm) panel depicted the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple.

The festival, which is marked on November 21, was first described in the 2nd century apocryphal Gospel of James and entered into the eastern European religious calendar sometime around the late 7th century.

In the west it was adopted only in the 14th century.

Along with several other pieces in the sale, the icon came from an unnamed collector. From 1974-77, it was exhibited at the Musée d‘Art et d‘Histoire in Geneva.

The restrained guide of €8000 inspired numerous bidders, many of them from Russia via the phone.

After five minutes of bidding the hammer fell at a substantial €125,000 (£105,930).

£1 = €1.18