Shapiro Auctions, New York, NY presented a remarkable variety of fine and decorative art among the 434 lots included in the March 29th sale, with a portfolio of collotype plates by Gustav Klimt leading the way with a final price of $114,000. Das Werk Von Gustav Klimt, the only monograph ever published during the artist’s lifetime, presented a collection of fifty poly and monochrome prints of iconic works by the celebrated leader of the Vienna Seccession. This exceptional volume, which served as the opening lot of the auction, was acquired for almost four times its high estimate.
The Russian + International sale brought together a diverse selection, including stunning examples of works by European Old and Modern masters, Russian Orthodox icons, works by 19th century Russian and Easter European luminaries, paintings and sculpture by members of the Non-Conformist movement, antique and rare books, as well as works of decorative art and objects of vertu, including pieces from the famed workshop of Fabergé.
Among the diverse selection of works by Russian and European masters, 19th century country views and seascapes proved to be particularly in demand. A quiet summer landscape by Isaak Levitan from the collection of the Russian Impressionist artist Konstantin Korovin, was acquired by a collector for $120,000. A small view of a Ship in the Black Sea by the celebrated marine artist, Ivan Aivazovsky, brought in $72,000, while Stanislav Zhukovsky’s atmospheric, Midnight Over the Monastery, raised $24,000, twice it’s low estimate. Landscapes by modern masters were sought after, as well, with each of the four paintings by the Non-Conformist artist Alexander Kharitonov greatly surpassing their estimates (lots 166-169).
The works of decorative artists, manuscripts and artist books, including a rare deluxe copy of L`Art décoratif théâtral modern, a collaborative work by the pivotal figures of the Russian avant-garde, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, which sold for $19,200 (original estimate $13,000-15,000) attracted a large number of bidders. Two stunning examples of ‘agitlak’ – varnished papier-mâché with early Soviet imagery painted in miniature – drew an eager audience (lots 356 & 357, sold for $28,800 each). It was a group of four highly important typescripts of screenplays by Andrey Tarkovsky, including an annotated script for the cult sci-fi classic film, Stalker, however, that achieved the highest selling price at the auction, bringing $300,000.
The next sale at Shapiro Auctions is scheduled to take place late May, with a focus on Russian Modern, Non-Conformist and Contemporary Art, followed by a sale of International Post-War and Contemporary Art in November 2014, as well as an auction of Russian + International Art in autumn of 2014. They are currently accepting consignments for each of the sales.
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