Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:41 UK

Russian art auction fetches 18m

Gold-plated poreclain vases
The gold-plated vases date from 1848

A pair of gold-plated porcelain vases once owned by a relative of murdered Russian Tsar Nicholas II have been sold at auction for £2.6m.

The vases, decorated with copies of Old Master paintings, had been expected to fetch up to £1.8m at Sotheby's Russian art sale.

The four-day sale raised a total of £17.65m, within the pre-sale estimate.

Other highlights included Boris Kustodiev's The Village Fair which sold for £2.8m - a record for the artist.

Another oil painting, Nanny With Children by Isaak Brodsky, dated 1912, also set an auction record for the artist when it sold for £937,250 - around twice its estimate.

The work was acquired in the 1950s by a collector in Italy who believed he was buying a long-lost work by Claude Monet.

High quality

Jo Vickery, senior director and head of the Russian art department at Sotheby's, said the sale provided the latest indicator as to the strength of the international art market.

She said: "Whilst it is clear that our clients are more selective than ever before in the new reality, they are prepared to compete tenaciously for works of high quality that are both fresh to the market and rare.

Boris Kustodiev's The Village Fair
Kustodiev's work sold for almost three times its low estimate

"The rediscovered Brodsky and the painting by Kustodiev represented unprecedented saleroom opportunities to collectors and the prices achieved - driven by competition from several bidders on each lot - set new auction records."

Sotheby's had expected the sale - which raised £17.65m - to raise between £15m and £22m.

That compared with pre-sale estimates of £29 to £41m at the same time in 2008.

The actual amount raised in June 2008 was £39.7m, including buyer's premium.

Ms Vickery added: "Overall, we are extremely pleased with the sale series total and sell-through rate achieved and with the activity we saw."

She said the success of the sale demonstrated "that the Russian art market in the adjusted reality is solid and healthy".

Print Sponsor

Russian art bubble bursts
28 Nov 08 |  Europe
Royal Academy hails Russian hit
27 Nov 08 |  Arts & Culture

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific