Colin Gleadell gave us a good wrap-up of the Russian sales in London a few weeks ago where there was plenty of money to chase up Imperial works of art but a cooling interest in Russian painting, except at MacDougall’s which was able to generate some excitement.
Altogether, the sales made £46m which Gleadell puts in context:
Three years ago, Russian pictures and the price of Fabergé were soaring, and a series of sales in London reached almost £100 million. But in November 2008, they crashed to £50 million, and last year, with wealthy Russians increasingly putting their money into Impressionist and modern art, they fell to £40 million. This year, four London salerooms were hoping to halt the decline with at least £43 million of paintings and works of art on the block. […]
The biggest sale was held by MacDougall’s, a specialised Russian art auctioneer founded in 2004. Its £16.2 million sale included a picture of a boy dressed up as a cowboy by Nikolai Fechin, which sold for £6.9 million, more than 10 times the estimate, and an early work by the 19th-century landscape artist Ivan Shishkin doubled estimates to sell for £1.9 million. Even so, more than half of MacDougall’s 600 lots, mostly paintings and watercolours, did not sell.
Art Sales: A Triumph of Objects Over Oils (Telegraph)