The notable auction at MacDougall’s was held on the last day of the Russian Week. In general, the results were quite stable during the week, showing a reasonable desire of buyers to pay as little as possible: none of the lots had exceeded 1m GBP in sale, although several works at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams came close to the figure. Everybody was looking for a sensation that finally was found at MacDougall’s !
This time the most expensive Russian paintings were presented at MacDougall’s, with estimates of 500-700 thousand GBP and above. The highest estimate of the week was also in the catalog of the auction house – “View of Valaam Island, Kukko” by Ivan Shishkin, valued at 0.9-1.2m GBP. That was quite a brave decision as June’s sales showed that Russian collectors became more accurate in spending their money.
“The Little Cowboy”, 1940 by Nikolai Fechin was estimated at 500-700 thousand GBP, and the painting was written when the artist worked in the U.S. and had became famous for his portraits. A little boy in jeans and a ragged hat obviously dreams of himself galloping across the steppe – very sympathetic subject.
A battle for the painting developed on “the phone field” between two bidders, and was won by the one who was keeping more reasonable position during the auction adding little sums to his/her offer price. At the end, the hummer price reached 5.8m GBP and the aggregated final price totaled unbelievable 6.9m GBP ! The sale made Nikolai Fechin to be one of the most expensive Russian painters, and that was the undisputable record of the December Russian Art sales.
Russian Art total sales, winter 2010:
MacDougall’s: 16.2m GBP
Christie’s: 14.9m GBP
Sotheby’s: 10.3m GBP
Bonhams: 3.4m GBP