Shapiro Auctions held a sale last week with some interesting results:
Among the diverse selection of works by Russian and European masters, 19th century country views and seascapes proved to be particularly in demand. A quiet summer landscape by Isaak Levitan (above) from the collection of the Russian Impressionist artist Konstantin Korovin, was acquired by a collector for $120,000. A small view of a Ship in the Black Sea by the celebrated marine artist, Ivan Aivazovsky, brought in $72,000, while Stanislav Zhukovsky’s atmospheric, Midnight Over the Monastery, raised $24,000, twice it’s low estimate. Landscapes by modern masters were sought after, as well, with each of the four paintings by the Non-Conformist artist Alexander Kharitonov greatly surpassing their estimates (lots 166-169).
The works of decorative artists, manuscripts and artist books, including a rare deluxe copy of L`Art décoratif théâtral modern, a collaborative work by the pivotal figures of the Russian avant-garde, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, which sold for $19,200 (original estimate $13,000-15,000) attracted a large number of bidders. Two stunning examples of ‘agitlak’ – varnished papier-mâché with early Soviet imagery painted in miniature – drew an eager audience (lots 356 & 357, sold for $28,800 each). It was a group of four highly important typescripts of screenplays by Andrey Tarkovsky, including an annotated script for the cult sci-fi classic film, Stalker, however, that achieved the highest selling price at the auction, bringing $300,000.