HEILBRONN, Germany – Auktionshaus Dr. Fischer will offer a rare and beloved icon at its sale of Russian Works of Art, Fabergé and Paintings on Nov. 29. Known as Unexpected Joy, the icon is estimated to sell for in excess of $22,500. Created in Moscow, circa 1908-1917, the icon was previously sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1974.
On May 14 the Eastern Orthodox Church venerates the icon of the Mother of God, the Unexpected Joy. In the writings of St. Dimitri of Rostov is a narrative about a habitual sinner who unexpectedly experienced the joy of repentance before an icon of the Mother of God. This event, in which the sinner had a vision of Christ and the Blessed Virgin and conversed with them, became so beloved by the Russian people that an icon was drawn depicting it. The polychrome icon, about 14 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches, shows the sinner praying before an icon of the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin.
One of seven Fabergé items in the auction is a rare and finely worked silver and birch wood spoon (Moscow, Karl Fabergé, 1896-1908) in an original case. The ribbed baluster shaped stem ends in the finely engraved portrait of a boyar, a member of a Russian aristocratic order. The portrait is similar to two important and well-known Russian works of art depicting Czar Ivan the Terrible: a statue by Marc Antokolski, made at the express command of Emperor Alexander II, who purchased the statue in 1870 and ordered a bronze casting of it to be placed in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and a painting of Viktor Vasnetsov (1897), which is in the Tretyakov Gallery, the National Museum of Russian Fine Art, in Moscow. Both represent the tyrannical 16th century czar in the same impressive way as the image on the spoon, which has a $6,900 estimate.
Also from the private collection is an important goblet (St. Petersburg, Pavel Sasikov, 1870-1880) having a cup of pure gold which is engraved with a rhyme of the poem The Singer by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the name and date “Hermann Rothermundt 1883.”
The name relates to the family Rothermundt of Dresden. At the beginning of the 20th century the Rothermundts had one of the most famous and important collections of modern art including paintings of Manet, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Liebermann, Slevogt and Corinth. Adolf Rothermundt was born in 1865 in St. Petersburg. His father was a merchant who became wealthy. In 1868/69 he moved to Dresden where he was in contact with the merchant Johann Meyer, who also was born in St. Petersburg. Inspired by Meyer, who was a famous collector of French paintings, Rothermundt presented his collection in his villa for all interested persons. The goblet, 5 1/4 inches high and weighing of 6 3/8 ounces, is estimated at $15,055.
There is also a select offering of modern Russian paintings, including works by Edouard Steinberg, Vladimir Nemukhin, Vladimir Jankilewski and Il’ja Kabakov.
The sale will bed conducted in Heilbronn on Nov. 29 beginning is at 3 p.m.
For information phone Auktionshaus Dr. Fischer at ++49 7131 15 55 7 – 0, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Web site: www.auctions-fischer.de.
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