The auction portion of the Summer Russian Art Week 2019 is coming to an end with the last two events of the season: MacDougall’s “Important Russian Art Auction” sale held at 10:30AM and Bonhams “The Russian Sale” to be held at 3:00PM this afternoon.
The auction featured several important Russian masters including Ivan Shishkin, Nicholas Roerich, Victor Vasnetsov, Fedor Rokotov, Vasily Polenov, Konstantin Korovin, Isaak Brodsky as well as more modern and Soviet artists including David Burliuk, Georges Annenkov, Alexander Yakovlev, Boris Kustodiev, Natalia Goncharova, Zinaida Serebriakova, Alexander Deineka and many others. The last portion of the auction featured contemporary artists including Pavel Pepperstein and Leonid Lamm, as well as icons and a wonderful selection of porcelain plates and figures.
MacDougall’s morning sale certainly had a slow start. Although the lots were selling, they were failing to hit the lower estimates and were not generating much enthusiasm among the bidders. Lot 6 (“Still Life with Roses” by David Burliuk) was the first to exceed the upper estimate, selling for £8,500. Both Lots 11 (“Portrait of Alexander Bozheryanov” by Georges Annenkov) and 12 (“Bakhchisarai” by Boris Kustodiev) which were among the sale highlights, failed to hit their respective lower estimates. Annenkov sold for just £225,000 while the Kustodiev became the first and only lot of the sale to break the £1m mark — it sold just after the first bid. The first unsold lot of the sale became Lot 13 (“Mexican Riders Crossing a River” by Franz Roubaud). Lot 15 (“Young Dreams (Tsesarevich)” by Viktor Vasnetsov) marked with a high estimate of £650–900k failed to deliver and sold for just £500k — talk about a great investment!
The auction became much more lively during the sale of Lot 28 (“Fishermen Mending a Boat, Villlage of Garusovo” by Konstantin Korovin) which, although marked with a modest estimate between £8–12k resulted in a bidding war and sold for £30,000.
Lot 40 (“St Mercurius of Smolensk” by Nicholas Roerich) another promising picture valued at £200–300k sold for a modest £190,000. Petr Konchalovsky’s “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Olga Vasilievna Konchalovskaya, in Tulle Dress” (Lot 60) as well as “Santi Apostoli, Venezia” (Lot 37) went unsold despite a high appraisal between £200–500k. Several other Konchalovsky pictures also failed to find a buyer.
Lot 64 (“Landscape with Skiers” by Konstantin Yuon) which was another promising lot among sale highlights remained unsold despite a high estimate between £550–800k.
It seems like although the pictures were selling steadily and quickly, with the exception of the more expensive unsold lots, the buyers were often unwilling to exceed estimates. In light of auction results, the MacDougall’s auction was a spectacular investment opportunity and a great chance for collectors and lovers of Russian Art to purchase high quality work by some of the most famous Russian painters across all periods and genre at a low price.
Please stay tuned for auction results from the upcoming last sale of the Summer Russian Art Week 2019 to be held by Bonhams auction house at 3PM this afternoon. Meanwhile you are welcome to check out the results from Christie’s and Sotheby's sales which can be accessed on our page or by clicking through the links.