Imperial Russian Table from the
Winter Palace Sells for £916,000

Winter Palace Table est £150,000 - £200,000. Sold for: £916,000. Photo: Bonhams

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A striking, circular table originally placed in the Golden Drawing Room in the Winter Palace, the main residence of the Russian Imperial family in St. Petersburg, has sold for £916,000 in the Russian Sale at Bonhams New Bond Street on December 1st. Reflecting the legendary opulence of the Russian Empire, the table encompassed an intricate design and range of materials, from coral to onyx and turquoise. Exceeding the pre-sale estimate of £150,000 – 200,000 by over four times, bidders were clearly keen to secure this important piece of history.

Commenting on the extraordinary success of the table, Yelena Harbick Director of Russian Art in Bonhams NY adds: "Having secured the magnificent table early on allowed ample time to thoroughly research the provenance in Russian archives and to establish its relevance within its Imperial context. We never doubted that a work of such historical importance would be well received by our clients."

Further highlights included a riverside scene with a crane and barge by Robert Rafailovich Falk, painted by the artist during his time in France that sold for £120,000. A painting by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky entitled, Sunset over the Golden Horn (Constantinople) from Pera was also one of the top ten lots, selling for £96,000. There was much interest in the room for a painting by Konstantin Ivanovich Gorbatov entitled, Harbour View and Sunset, which sold for £65,000 against the pre-sale estimate of £35,000-45,000.

The works of art within the sale were also very successful, including a silver-gilt and enamel desk clock by one of the most important Fabergé Workmasters, Henrik Wigström. The clock sold for £108,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £45,000 – 55,000.

The icon section of the sale far exceeded pre-sale expectations. St Vladimir, “Equal to the Apostles” made in Moscow in 1896 sold for £36,000, over ten times its lower pre-estimate of £3,000. Christ Pancrator, made in St Petersburg in 1870, which had the makers mark of Pavel Ochinnikov with the Imperial Warrant, sold for £33,600 and The Mother of God of Smolensk, made in Moscow in 1891 sold for £30,000.

Commenting on the overall success of the sale, Department head Evgenia Teslyuk adds "We are extremely pleased with the results of the sale. It underscores that well priced quality objects from private collections and items of historical importance continue to captivate the market's attention. Working closely with our International offices, we benefitted from an influx of new buyers from Russia, America, Europe and Middle East.".

Source: Art Daily
2 December, 2010