Russian art, religious icons draw international bidders to Jasper52 sales Dec. 17-18 on LiveAuctioneers
NEW YORK – Distinguished Russian religious icons and objets d’art, including exquisite enamelwork designs by Faberge, were auctioned online Dec. 17-18 exclusively by Jasper52 through LiveAuctioneers. Intense bidder interest was noted prior to the sales, with a total of 853 approved bidder sign-ups. The Dec. 17 session featuring 16th to 20th-century religious treasures drew 368 bids, while the Dec. 18 offering of art objects recorded a remarkable 1,152 absentee bids before the auction even began. Clear, enlargeable images showing multiple angles of each item undoubtedly contributed to the more than 40,000 online catalog page views.
The 120-lot selection of religious icons boasted a number of rare pieces, including a few that had been commissioned by aristocratic families. An icon depicting Our Lady with Three Hands, 19th century, wooden board with egg tempera on gesso, garnered 21 bids before settling at $1,650 against an estimate of $800-$1,000. All prices quoted in this report include a 10% buyer’s premium.
Created from similar materials, a 19th-century icon with a striking central image of St. Michael the Archangel on a winged red horse was bordered with an elaborate trim replicating beadwork. Estimated at $550-$700, it sold for $1,210.
The top lot of the Dec. 18 decorative art session was a Faberge jeweled gold and enamel-mounted nephrite paper knife created in St. Petersburg, circa 1890, by workmaster Michael Perchin. In the Neoclassical taste, the nephrite blade with rounded corners was mounted with a two-color gold collar with chased laurel bands relieved by collet-set rubies between bands of yellow gold and white opaque enamel. It realized $6,600.
One of the most frequently viewed lots was a Russian gold-mounted, gilded silver and guilloche enamel cigarette case with an applied gold Cyrillic monogram. Crafted sometime between 1908 and 1917 by Ivan Britzin, St. Petersburg, the translucent strawberry-red case over a wavy ground featured fluted gold mounts and a thumb piece set with rose-cut diamonds. The case sold within its estimate range for $6,050.
An especially decorative cigarette case with the image of a black bear, a shooter and his dog in a snowy landscape was made in Moscow circa 1908-1917. The profusely ornamental silver cloisonné and enamel production bore the unrecorded mark of a short-lived workshop whose output is believed to have been very limited, hence making its creations very desirable. The piece was bid to $4,400.
Exhibiting the highest standard of artistry, two elaborately detailed Gustav Klingert cloisonné tea caddies (shown at top of page) proved popular with bidders. The first, an 1894 enameled-silver design, displayed a scrolling floral ornament against a stippled gilt ground reserved against a turquoise filigree ground with white beaded borders. It commanded a top bid of $4,620. The second caddy, created circa 1899-1908 of gilded silver and cloisonné enamel, displayed a scrolling foliate motif around a central cartouche of turquoise enamel against a stippled gilt ground within bands of turquoise beads. It rose to a winning bid of $4,400.
Fashioned very much in the Russian style, a large and impressive tapering cylindrical parcel gilt beaker featured ornate, pierced cagework with four convex medallions, and stood on four ball feet. Measuring 9½ inches tall and impressed with unidentified Cyrillic marks, it landed within its estimate range at $4,180.
A particularly fine Russian gold, diamond and gem-set brooch, 1899-1908, was the work of Feodor Lorie, a Moscow jewelry store that was located near Karl Faberge’s establishment. On occasion, Lorie even fulfilled orders for its friendly rival. Formed as a three-leaf clover set entirely with rose-cut diamonds and a central spinel, the brooch reflected Lorie’s partiality for the Art Nouveau aesthetic. The piece was purchased for $2,420.
Imperial decorative art & European Orthodox religious art consignments came from several high-end sources including renowned Russian art authority John Atzbach
Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions benefited from the assistance of Jasper52, which partners with auction houses and antique dealers in organizing affinity groupings of vetted merchandise to be cataloged and professionally marketed. In the case of the Dec. 17-18 sales, Jasper52 successfully paired Russian icons and decoratives to create a high-quality two-day buying opportunity for the many collectors of Eastern European art worldwide who bid through LiveAuctioneers.
Phil Michaelson, VP Product & Marketing for LiveAuctioneers, said he felt the weekend’s auction results had been bolstered in large part by the objects’ detailed descriptions and images, and their superior provenance. “Those who buy Russian icons and decorative art tend to be extremely knowledgeable, to the point of being connoisseurs. They recognize excellence and authenticity when they see it. The pieces in both sessions came from extremely reputable sources, including John Atzbach, who is a highly respected authority in the field of Imperial Russian art.”