Growth in Russian market slows

According to many, the emphasis is shifting to works of higher quality. The starkest example of this phenomenon was at Christie’s 14 June Russian sale, its first ever in the summer, when three paintings accounted for half the sale’s total value. While some works set records, more than one-third of the lots at both auction houses were unsold.

“Future growth in this market will come from high-quality works,” said Alexis de Tiesenhausen, the international director of Russian art at Christie’s. “It is much better to have a small sale with works of high quality than quantity.’’

On 13 June, Sotheby’s sold £22.7m ($44.9m) of Russian art, against an estimate of £19m to £27m. Seven works sold for more than $1m, but only 65% of the 548 lots were sold. Nonetheless, the top lot was Larionov’s Still Life with Jugs and Icon, around 1910, which sold to a Russian in the room for £2.3m ($4.5m, est £1.2m-£1.5m), a record for the artist at auction. Sotheby’s annual Russian art sales have risen more than 20-fold since 2001, totalling $153.5m in 2006. Russian art is now the sixth largest department by sales at Sotheby’s, up from 26th in 2003.


~ by suntravel on July 27, 2007.

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