Sotheby's Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Icons auction realised $4.7m in New York yesterday (April 17) following a week of important Russian sales.
The auction came just a day after Christie's held its own Russian Works of Art event, which brought impressive results from Fabergé enamels.
The top lot of the Sotheby's sale came in the form of an intriguing bronze by Evgeny Lanceray. Depicting a warmly dressed couple in a speeding sledge, the piece is thought to have been a gift from Umberto I Savoy, King of Italy to the president of the Italian senate, Count Domenico Farini.
Despite the item's Italian provenance, the piece was created by Evgeny Lanceray, a prominent member of Russia's Mir Iskusstva movement, who was later awarded the Stalin Prize. The item brought $206,500, a 29% rise against estimate.
A gilded silver pictorial enamel box, similar to the Fabergé boxes sold at Christie's earlier this week, auctioned for $182,500. Featuring intricate surrounding designs, the box has a central enamel en plein depicting Napoleon Bonaparte watching the Moscow Kremlin burning. It was made to commemorate the centennial of Russia's victory over the French leader.
This week's two strong Russian sales are further evidence of the sector's growth. The Russian middle class have seen incomes double since the end of Communism in 1991, helping to explain the increasing market interest.
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