Monumental Russian art auction during NY “Russian Art Week”

CRETAN ICON DEISIS.jpg

Cretan Icon, Deisis, 17th century: Egg tempera, gold leaf, and gesso on wood panel measuring 7 inches by 15 1/2 inches. Carries a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.
Photo courtesy Gene Shapiro Auctions.

NEW YORK — Gene Shapiro Auctions LLC has announced their Spring Auction of Russian Art will take place April 16, 2011, during “Russian Art Week” in New York City. Both the auction and a full week of preview exhibition starting on April 9 will take place at the company’s location at 506 East 74th Street, New York, with the auction itself beginning at 10 a.m. on the 16th.

The founder of the company, Gene Shapiro, is upbeat about both the quality and quantity of works that his eponymous firm will be offering: “With rising commodity prices and prominent buying by Russian buyers in the news, many private American collectors decided that now was the time to sell works that have been in their collections for years. As a result, we were able to obtain a lot of great consignments for this auction.” More than 400 lots of paintings, bronzes, icons, enamel, silver, porcelain, rare books and maps, swords and militaria, posters, and works on paper, most of which are fresh to the market, will be offered.

While Shapiro has always sought to include Russian applied and decorative arts and “works of art” in his auctions along with fine arts such as paintings and sculpture, the auction house has significantly widened the breadth of its offerings in this respect. He notes, “We wanted to have something for everybody in this auction – from collectors of antique icons, to rare books, to buyers of Imperial Russian porcelain. We were helped greatly in this regard by several significant consignments from American families whose grandparents were buying and importing artworks from Russia in the 1930s.”

russian lacquer easter egg.jpgEarly 20th century Russian lacquer Easter egg, in two parts, the front finely painted with the Ascension of Christ, the reverse with a view of the Moscow Kremlin (3 1/8 inches high). Estimate: $500-$750.

Amongst the rare and exceptional works of art from consigned collections are a rare 18th century icon depicting the lives and works of Saint Nikolai Chudotvorets and Saint Christopher with elaborate basmany oklad ($5,000-$6,000), a collection of 82 pieces of Imperial Porcelain from the Babigon service, with both Nicholas I and Nicholas II hallmarks ($30,000-$40,000); a finely painted 19th century porcelain tea service by the Popov Factory ($8,000-$12,000); volumes II and IV from Nikolai Kutepov’s “Tsarskaya Okhota Na Rusi” ($4,000-$6,000 each), and an intricately carved wooden presentation dish from the K. Sholtz Workshop in Moscow made in 1902 ($4,000-$6,000).

?Apart from two notable family collections, Gene Shapiro is offering for the first time at auction an exquisite collection of superbly preserved examples of Russian Imperial headgear, most from the Life-Guards regiments at the height of the Russian Empire’s splendor. Highlights from this collection include an extremely rare Russian Imperial Nicholas I era parade “misiurka” helmet of his Imperial Majesty’s own Caucasian-Mountains’ Life-Guards Half-Squadron konvoi escort ($30,000-$40,000), as well as an exceedingly rare Russian Imperial cap of a bombardier regiment’s officer from 1775, during the reign of Catherine the Great ($20,000-$25,000).?

All of the works in the April 16 sale will be exhibited for a full week before the auction at Gene Shapiro Auctions LLC’s location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, 506 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021. Bidders can participate in the auction in person, as well as by telephone and absentee bids, or internet bidding via liveauctioneers.com. The full color catalog is posted online at www.geneshapiro.com and the auction house can be reached during working hours at 212-717-7500.

Russian-themed feature articles from Antique Trader:

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