Confidence returned to Russian art market

The Pearl Mosque at Agra by Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904) | Price Realised: £3,666,500 at Christie's on June 2nd

The Pearl Mosque at Agra by Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904) | Price Realised: £3,666,500 at Christie’s on June 2nd

This week, Business Insider published an interesting article about Russian art market, analyzing that neither US sanctions nor the worries about Ukraine crisis have made any impact on the willing to collect of Russian art buyers. In fact, auctions of Christie’s, Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s have reached their high this month in London.

“Nearly all the Russian buying was by Russians living in Russia, rather than in the West. There was some encouraging interest and buying by Ukrainians resident in Ukraine; in the past they have been an important part of the market, so it is good to see they are still here in spite of the country’s economic difficulties. Also, Moscow collectors are selling to other Moscow collectors via the London auction market; there is turnover.”

“Christie’s and Sotheby’s dominate the remainder of the Russian art market, with Christie’s claiming in the wake of the June sales that it holds the largest market share for Russian art traded internationally. Christie’s reports that its June 2 auction realized sales of 234 of the 302 lots on offer, for a total value of £24,012,200 ($40,196,423), including the buyer’s premium.”

“Sotheby’s reports that at three auctions of paintings and other works over the first week of June it realized £23.8 million – the highest result in the category since June 2008, and the third highest total in Sotheby’s history. According to Frances Asquith, the head of Sotheby’s Russian paintings department, the outcome “quickly dispelled any pre-sale doubts that had been raised about the market. The appetite for Russian masterpieces has never been stronger. In this market quality speaks for itself.””
Read the full article



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