The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale established a new Sotheby’s record for an online sale

Ivan Aivazovsky. "Farewell to Columbus before departure". 1892. Photo: Sotheby's

The week of bidding in London has proved that the new auction format, when the hall is empty and everything happens online, is quite successful.

A series of auctions on Russian art was completed in London. Most of them were held in the absence of buyers in the auction hall. In total, the auction brought £32 million.

As expected, the top lots of the auction of Sotheby’s paintings were Ivan Aivazovsky’s paintings: “Shipwreck on the Black Sea” – £2.314 million (estimate £ 1.2-1.8 million) and “Farewell to Columbus before sailing” – £ 1.043 million (estimate £ 1-1.5 million). At the same time, “Winter Night” by Natalia Goncharova (estimate £ 1.5-2 million) did not find its buyer, as well as “Winter Street Scene” by Mikhail Larionov (estimate £ 400-600 thousand). Repetition of the curtain of the Lviv opera “Parnassus” by Heinrich Semiradsky went for £680 thousand (with an estimate of £400-600 thousand). The sale of “Portrait of Count Bezborodko” by Dmitry Levitsky was in the expected range of £438.5 thousand (with an aesthetic of £350-500 thousand). But a small oil Konstantin Somov “Lady sleeping in a room in a dress of the XVIII century,” which was previously estimated at £ 300-500 thousand, eventually left the hammer with more than two-fold excess for £ 1.13 million.

The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale established a new Sotheby’s record for an online sale
Konstantin Somov. “Sleeping lady in the rooms in an 18th century dress”. 1919. Photo: Sotheby’s

At the auction of Sotheby’s decorative and applied art top lots – Christmas gifts of Nicholas I – remained unsold, but most of the other items were sold with success. “The auction of Russian paintings brought £13.9 million, the collection of Fabergé from the Brooklyn Museum – £3.3 million (at the auction were sold absolutely all the lots, and the result was almost three times higher than the total upper estimate). The amount received at the auction of Russian decorative and applied art was £3.1 million,” – informs the press service of Sotheby’s.

Reto Barmettler, director of the Russian Art Department at Sotheby’s auction house, told us that “at the auction of Russian art between Russian and foreign collectors there was a real struggle, especially for lots of exceptional quality, thanks to which the final prices for works were high”.

He recalled that “in September, the online auction of works by Soviet nonconformists was an unprecedented success, and the December London auction was another highlight of a good season for Russian art.

“And we hope that next year the demand for Russian art will be even higher. Despite the fact that this year it was not easy to work in some respects, the market is still very busy and our clients now have more time to think about selling and buying works of art for their collections,” concluded the expert.

The Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale established a new Sotheby’s record for an online sale
Konstantin Somov. “Sleeping lady in the rooms in an 18th-century dress”. 1919. Photo: Sotheby’s

The auction of Russian art Christie’s was held on November 23. It brought the result of £8.4 million. The top lots were Konstantin Korovin’s canvas “In the Garden”, which left the hammer for £1.2 million, and a rare Soviet agitation dish under the sketch of Rudolf Wilde 1921, sold for £ 275 thousand.The auction house Bonhams held auctions on November 25. They were headed by “Savior Nerukotvorny” Mikhail Nesterov (estimate £80-100 thousand), which was sold for only £ 56.5 thousand. The most expensive works were “Still Life with fish and flowers” by Mikhail Larionov and jade clock firm Carl Faberge (both for £ 75 thousand). The final total result was £1.02 million.

Russian auction MacDougall’s held this year earlier than usual, on October 15, and collected £ 2.3 million, a notable contribution to which made two canvases of Ivan Shishkin, sold for £ 508 thousand and £ 452 thousand.



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