Faberge presentation snuff box brings $1.4 million

LONDON — Christie’s welcomed buyers from a record 27 countries to their Nov. 29, 2010, Russian Art sale. The buzz in the saleroom was heightened by strong telephone bidding as well as keen Internet participation. Buyers responded enthusiastically to the rarest and most important works of art offered during Russian Art Week 2010.

A new world auction record was established for an imperial presentation snuff box with miniature, by Faberge; it sold for $1,463,985 — more than double its low estimate. From a European private collection, the piece had impeccable provenance. It was presented by Emperor Nicholas II in 1913 to Turkhan Pasha, the Turkish Ambassador to Russia from 1908 to 1913 and was acquired by the family of the present owner in 1919, after which was descended through the family.

The highlight of the porcelain section was the pair of monumental porcelain vases by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, estimated at $910,000 to $1.4 million. The pair sold for $1,551,457.

The Russian Pictures section was 73 percent sold by lot and testified to the continued demand for privately sourced paintings of exceptional quality and rarity. The majority of the picture lots in the top 10 had never been seen on the market before and justifiably incited international interest.

In 2010, Christie’s sold Russian Art for a total value of more than $46 million, an increase of 33 percent against the previous year.

The top lot in 2010, “Vasya,” by Kuzma Petrov Vodkin sold in June for $2,661,879 and established a new world auction record for the artist.

For more information on Christie’s and their international sales, contact them online or call the New York office at 212-492-5485.


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