More on the Russian Art Market

A couple of days ago I posted on an Art Newspaper article about the sluggish Russian art market and how the category was overly reliant upon Russian national collectors (click HERE to read).  The London paper the Telegraph just published a short post about how the recent London arts sales performed, and the results were not good.  It is a short post of only two paragraphs, but the message is clear with supply being down 50% of lots being bought in with demand waning.

The Telegraph reports
Statistics for London’s Russian art sales last week make pretty stark reading. Supply had fallen by nearly 40 per cent from the market peak and demand had also contracted. Some 50 per cent of the lots offered were unsold throughout the week which mustered a total £21.1 million from the four auctioneers, half the pre-sales estimate, and one fifth of the market peak in 2007. Russian or CIS collectors were picking off the best pieces for reasonable prices. At Christie’s, for instance, billionaire Georgian businessman, Bidzina Ivanishvili, picked up the top lot, a 1907 painting of the Arsenal Hill by Georgian artist, Nico Pirosmani, with a bid of £800,000, against minimal competition. Five years ago it had cost the seller £1.6 million. FabergĂ© Museum owner, Alexander Ivanov, also found competition less heated than in the past was able to snap up over 20 items of FabergĂ© for around £500,000.

The biggest Russian art surprise of the week took place at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury where two paintings described as French School, and estimated at £400 and £600, sold for £25,700 each. London dealer Julian Hartnoll was one of the posse of bidders who had recognised the style and the phallic monogram as that of Russian artist, Nicolas Kalmakoff, whose symbolist paintings he had exhibited in 1970. Kalmakoff’s paintings normally appear in Russian art sales where the best have made as much as £330,000.
Source: The Telegraph 

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