Christie's Russian Art sale realises $12.9m in London


2015-06-26 12:52:22


Christie's Russian Art sale realises $12.9m in London

Christie's sale once again proved the rising popularity of Russian art, on May 28

Christie's confirmed the growing popularity of Russian art with its dedicated sale, whichrealised in excess of 8.3m in London on May 28.

Leon Bakst The Yellow SultanaInspiration for a risqu theatrical costume?

The sale comes just one month after both Christie's and Sotheby'ssaw great success in New York, with two concurrent Russian auctions realising a combined $8.4m.A fantastic nude from Lon Bakst provided one of the many highlights of the auction. The work, entitled The Yellow Sultana, was created by Bakst in 1916, the year in which Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russe embarked on its first US tour. Bakst was a prominent member of the famed Sergei Diaghilev circle and created many exotic sets and costumes for the ballet. The Yellow Sultana, said to be one of Bakst's costume studies,sold as top lot at Christie's, achieving a price of 937,250 ($1.47m) against a high estimate of 450,000 - a 108.2% increase. Another impressive increase was achieved by Orest Kiprensky's portrait of Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich Galitzine. The 1833 work piece sold 137.5% above its 300,000 high estimate at 713,250 ($1.11m).A spectactular jewelled snuff box produced by the Hahn company provided the sale's most intriguing lot. The box, which bore the imperial cipher of Emperor Nicholas II, is one of only 59 produced by Hahn during his reign. It sold for 481,250 ($755,563) against an estimate of 150,000-250,000. In a similar fashionto Christie's April 16 sale, a silver-gilt cloisonn and en plein enamel box sold well. Bearing the mark of Feodor Ruckert, it madefor $145,250 ($228,043). Ruckert was a master craftsman who later served as workmaster for the House of Faberg.The increases achievedat the auction highlight the growing interest in the Russian art sector. This growth may be attributed to the increasing disposable income experienced by Russia's middle class, who have seen wealth double since the end of Communism in 1991.For more expert advice and news from the world of collecting, sign up to our free weekly newsletters. Those looking to invest in art will want to visit our dedicated investmentssection for further tips.

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