Auction of Russian Works of Art on January 31, 2018
Presented as a Section of the Sale of English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts and Old Master Paintings
Featuring Property from the Descendants of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
NEW YORK, NY -- On January 31, 2018, Doyle held an auction of Russian Works of Art. It was presented as a special section of the sale of English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts and Old Master Paintings. Showcased were more than 135 lots of Fabergé, icons, silver, bronzes and memorabilia from private collections across the United States, including important works from the descendants of Russian Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna and Russian Grand Duke George Mikhailovich.
Property from the Descendants of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich
A section of the sale was devoted to property from the descendants of Russian Grand Duke George Mikhailovich (1863-1919), grandson of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855), and his wife Princess Marie Georgievna (1876-1940), née Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King George I (1845-1913). Having remained in the family over the course of the last century, the collection comprised 35 lots of Fabergé, silver, icons, books and memorabilia with close connections to the Russian Imperial Family.
Highlighting the collection was an important group of four World War I photograph albums, never before seen in public, that document Grand Duke George’s important diplomatic mission to Japan in 1915. Sent as the representative of Emperor Nicholas II, the Grand Duke’s mission led to a secret Russo-Japanese alliance signed in 1916. The albums garnered much interest, sending the bidding soaring over their estimate of $4,000-6,000 to achieve a remarkable $34,375. A lot of two guest books belonging to Grand Duchess Marie Georgievna together with photographs of the Russian Imperial Family and a ribbon labeled "Ribbon of Emperor Alexander II" fetched $20,000, far exceeding its $2,000-3,000 estimate.
An icon depicting the Mother of God, Christ and John the Baptist closely related to one produced for Empress Alexandra Feodorovna more then doubled its $7,000-10,000, selling for $27,500. An icon of similar design from the collection was bequeathed by the Grand Duke’s daughter, Princess Xenia, to Middlebury College Museum of Art in Vermont.
Produced in Fabergé’s Moscow workshops, a silver samovar applied with the coat of arms of the Berdyaev family was the top lot of the sale, selling for $50,000 against an estimate of $35,000-55,000. An important aristocratic military and literary family in Imperial Russia, the Berdyaev family produced a long line of high-ranking military officers and the important political and religious philosopher Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev.
Among a wide range of bronzes by various artists were an 1897 depiction of Emperor Nicholas II by Léopold Bernhard Bernstamm (1859-1939) and a 1910 portrait of The Younger Daughter of Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt by Prince Paul Troubetzkoy (1866-1938) that each achieved the identical price of $34,375.
A selection of Russian porcelain figures from a Philadelphia Private Collection included examples by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory and the Gardner, Popov and Kornilov manufactories. Highlighting the collection was a rare Russian porcelain Group of Pranksters, after a model by August Spiess that sold for $20,000, surpassing its estimate of $9,000-12,000.
We Invite You to Auction!
Consignments are currently being accepted for upcoming sales of Russian Works of Art. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection. For information, please contact Mark Moehrke, Director, Russian Works of Art, at 212-427-4141, ext 272, Russian@Doyle.com