The Russian Works of Art sale from Christie's exceeded expectations in New York yesterday (Monday 16, 2012), realising $3.7m, with eight lots reaching hammer prices of $100,000 or more.
Paul Fraser Collectibles gave a preview of the Christie's sale yesterday. As predicted, the two top lots in New York were two Fabergé enamel boxes, both depicting former Russian Tsars.
The highest price went to one casket with an enamel plaque showing Tsar Ivan the Terrible and his young wife, Vasilisa Melentieva, which sold for $458,500 - an increase of 52.8% against its estimate.
The second box, from a New York private collection, sold for $362,500 against a high estimate of $250,000.
"Fabergé and cloisonné enamel from American and European private collections led the market, proving that privately sourced works of art remain in high demand and continue to achieve strong prices," Mark Moehrke, director of Russian works of art at Christie's, commented.
The auction held other gems, with a jewelled agate Bonbonniére, also from Fabergé, achieving an impressive 143% increase. The piece sold for $146,000 with the estimate set at just $40,000-$60,000.
A wonderfully ornate jewelled silver and gold maid of honour cipher circa 1904 made $158,500. The piece was presented to Countess Olga Alexandrovna Nieroth, who was given the title by the Empress Alexandra, the last Empress in Russia. A similar item was sold for $181,000 in April 2008 at another Christie's Russian art sale.
Today (Tuesday 16, 2012) will see a very similar sale from Sotheby's, where more Fabergé items are expected to exceed their estimates. Be sure to check the results of this auction with Paul Fraser Collectibles.