Sotheby’s New York auction of Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons on 17 April 2012 will offer a strong selection of rare and magnificent objects, many of which are emerging from private collections where they have been hidden for decades. The morning session at 10am will include icons, bronzes, porcelain and jewelry, featuring 124 dinner, soup and dessert plates commissioned in 1856 by Emperor Alexander II as additions to the St. Andrew Service, and crafted at the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory in St. Petersburg (11 lots, with estimates ranging from $9,000 to 80,000). The afternoon session at 2pm will offer important silver, enamels, Fabergé pieces, led by A Rare Fabergé Carved Lapis Lazuli Desk Clock Mounted in Gold, Silver, and Enamel, Workmaster Henrik Wigstrom, St. Petersburg, circa 1910 that once belonged to legendary collector and businessman Lansdell K. Christie (est. $250/350,000). The sale will be on exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 12 April, alongside the auction of Magnificent Jewels.
A Fabergé Silver and Wood Presentation Lamp, Workmaster Karl Gustav Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, circa 1900-1906. Est. $100/150,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
Another highlight of the Fabergé on offer in the April auction will be A Fabergé Silver and Wood Presentation Lamp, Workmaster Karl Gustav Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, circa 1900-1906 (est. $100/150,000). The magnificent lamp, with its fine neoclassical fittings, was presented to Baron Emmanuel Nolde (1854-1909) by members of his staff – Nolde was a distinguished jurist and statesman, and one of Emperor Nicholas II’s key advisors. A Russian Diamond-Set Varicolor Gold, Platinum, and Translucent Enamel Presentation Cigarette Case, Carl Blank, St. Petersburg, circa 1900 also carries important provenance, having been presented to the Don Cossack General Nikolai Klunnikov (1858-1917) by grateful Ukrainian landowners of the Taganrog District, of which he was Administrator (est. $110/130,000).
This year marks the 200th Anniversary of the decisive Battle of Borodino, which marked the beginning of the end for Napoleon’s forces in Russia. The celebrations in 1912 served as the inspiration for A Russian Gilded Silver and Shaded Enamel Pictorial Table Cigar Box, Moscow, circa 1912 (est. $150/250,000). The cigar box depicts the French commander and his troops watching the burning of the Moscow Kremlin. The sale will offer additional items in porcelain, ivory, silver, and gold that were inspired by the victories two centuries ago, and the patriotic fervor they unleashed.
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