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By
AFP
Published
Nov 27, 2007
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Russian art auctions in London smash records : Sotheby's

By
AFP
Published
Nov 27, 2007

LONDON, Nov 27, 2007 (AFP) - A pair of Russian art auctions in London this week smashed records with 80 million dollars worth of art changing hands, auction house Sotheby's said on Tuesday, November 27th.


A visitor looks "Bluebells" by Russian artist Natalia Goncharova during an exhibition of Sotheby's - Photo : Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP

Sotheby's first two auctions sold 38.7 million pounds (54 million euros, 80.1 million dollars) worth of art, including three million pounds for "Bluebells", an avant-garde piece by Natalia Goncharova and the most valuable work sold at either auction.

In all, 14 separate records were set for works of art by Russian artists sold at auction.

The sales are part of a week-long set of auctions by Christie's, Sotheby's, Bonham's and McDougall's of Russian art, with the likely highlight a newly discovered Faberge egg, which is tipped to fetch up to nine million pounds.

"Tonight we have witnessed history in motion," Jo Vickery, head of Sotheby's Russian Art department in London, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Russian art market has finally come of age and is now fully recognised on the international art market. What is even more astounding is the sense that this market is still evolving ... we can feel confident that the market remains in a state of active growth."

Even amidst the records, though, the highlight will almost certainly be the Faberge egg, which goes on sale Wednesday.

Faberge, a Russian jeweller whose name is synonymous with extravagant craftsmanship, made 50 eggs for the Russian royal family but is only known to have created 12 eggs to similar standards for private clients.

The egg on sale this week was made for the Rothschild family in 1902 and contains a diamond-encrusted cockerel which pops out every hour to flap its wings and nod its head while opening and shutting its beak and crowing.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have it, it's incredibly rare to have an egg of this quality, this one was virtually unknown," said Anthony Philiips, International Director Of Silver and Russian Works of art at Christie's.

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