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.
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.
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".