Faberge expert Geza Von Habsburg predicted that the Russian antique market had reached its summit in 2009. Yet in 2012, more record-breaking sales took place, and a $20.2 million turnover was made during the Russian Art Week in London that year.
These spring months promise to be another interesting season for the Russian antique market.
April in Moscow kicked off with "The Russian Salon," following the success of The European Art Fair (TEFAF) in March. On April 19, the Russian Fine Arts and Antiques Fair (RAFAF) will begin, followed by Christie's 20th spring exhibition from April 24 to 26. After that, the countdown until Christie's Russian Art Week in London on June 3 begins.Which is only a recent phenomenon;
Because of the low prices, very few people were interested in Russian art for a long time. Curiosity about Russian antiques remained nearly non-existent until the Gorbachev era.
"There were a very small number of collectors. It was not valuable. After perestroika the prices rose suddenly," said Alexis de Tiesenhausen, head of the Russian art department at Christie's. This is when the market rose.And since there were numerous pieces that had left Russia after 1917--taken out by diplomats and fleeing aristocrats--there is supply to meet the demand. Even from Oklahoma;
In Oklahoma, Randy Buttram, 66, and his brother had been figuring out which of their late parents belongings might be worthy of auction, when they stumbled upon the vases. They turned out to date back to 1832, the reign of Nicholas I, and had been produced at the Imperial Porcelain Factory.
"The vases were part of the decor in an entryway so grand, complete with twin staircases, that they didn't particularly stand out," Buttram told The Associated Press. "To me as a child, they were just there and that's all." There, they remained unnoticed for almost a hundred year until the auction earlier this month.Sold for $2.7 million.