The Auction House of the Russian Federation has held the First auction of works of art and antiques

On 9 December, the Auction House of the Russian Federation held the First auction of works of art and antiques – and this is one of the key areas of work of the only all-Russian auction platform created under the aegis of Sberbank of Russia.

Works of art and decorative and applied art and jewelry were presented at the auction which had high historical and collection value. The total number of lots presented on 9 December at the auction was 151. 


55 lots with a total sum of 45,925,000 rubles were sold.
Total starting price of lots sold – 23,210,000 rub.
Thus, the increase of sale price over the starting price according to the results of the auction was 2.
- 12 paintings
- 14 icons (mid XIX – early XX centuries)
- 29 items of decorative and applied art (including 7 items of jewelry).


“We give a positive assessment to the results of our first auction. Over 30% of lots sold are a good result for a debut. Additionally, all the lots were sold with a large increase to starting prices, and for a number of items, sensational results were achieved, even by the standards of world auction houses” (General director of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Andrei Stepanenko).


Most expensive lots:
№ 70 Top lot of the auction: The triptych “Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles” (central section), on the side panels, the Great Martyr St. Varvara and St. Peter, metropolitan of Moscow.

Tempera, painting on metal, silver.
Painting by Palekh craftsmen. Frame made of wood and with decorative latches, loops and finial of silver of standard 84, incrusted with semi-precious stones. Stamping, engraving. Workshop of Khlebnikov in Moscow. Ivan Petrovich Khlebnikov (1819-1881). Merchant of the 1st guild. In 1871 he founded a jewelry firm in Moscow, which included a factory on Shvivaya hill (nationalized in 1918) and a shop on Kuznetsky Bridge, in the Solodoinokv shopping arcade. The factory had around 150-200 employees in 1880-1910. In 1887, a shop opened in St. Petersburg. After the death of the father, the business was continued by his sons: Mikhail, Alexei, Nikolai and Vladimir. In 1988, the trade and industrial guild was founded on the basis of the firm, “Khlebnikov I.P., sons and Co.” The owners of the firm were suppliers of the great princes Konstantin Nikolaevich (from 1872), Vladimir Alexandrovich (from 1877) and the imperial court (from 1879). The triptych is of historical, cultural and artistic value as a rare monument of Russian church art, combining the tradition of Palekh icon painting and the national romantic movement of the modern style.
27 х 35 cm
Starting price – 5,000,000 rubles
Sale price – 9,750,000 rubles


“Items by French bronze artists (lots 148, 149) were sold at a sensationally high price. These are magnificent items for interior decorating. The price that was reached at the auction significantly exceeded the average world price. As for the decorative vase by Thomire, the heightened interest in it was due to the fact that the design of the item was approved by the Emperor Napoleon personally, for which there is documentary evidence” (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).


№ 149. Top lot of the auction: Palace main decorative vase “Three running bacchantes”.


Bronze, molding, stamping, gilding.
Paris, France. 1805–1810.
Thomire is the world’s most famous craftsmen of ornaments made of bronze. Supplier to the imperial and royal courts of France, Italy, Russia, Spain and Sweden. Winner of a gold medal at the Paris industrial exhibition of 1806. Thomire’s works adorn the best museum collections of the world, including the Louvre, the State Hermitage and Fontainebleau Palace. Surtout de table is a decorative group of table ornaments, a serving set of many items. Surtout de table became fashionable during the period of Napoleon’s rule. Each set was manufactured exclusively to individual order for a specific palace or an important present for a person of title. The set included a mirror plate of gilded bronze, a candelabras, vases, crystal plates on stands (confectures), and open-work baskets for flowers and fruit. All the items were placed on a central line along the table. The most important central place was held by the Grand Coupe. It was placed in the geometric center of the table, and all the remaining items were placed symmetrically in a line to the left and right of it. Often, an individual Surtout de table received its name based on the subject to which its Grand Coupe was devoted, in this case, “Three Running Bacchantes”.

The Grand Coupe in question was manufactured by Thomire after the imperial approval of his design in the album of the Surtout de table by Napoleon I personally. After manufacture, the set soon ended up in Sweden, which coincides with the coronation in 1814 on the throne of Sweden and Norway of the Napoleonic Marshall Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (In the period of the victorious wars in 1810, Napoleon secured the choice of his marshal as the Crown Prince of the kingdom of Sweden). Perhaps the Surtout de table was a personal gift by Napoleon to the King of Sweden and Norway. The Bernadotte dynasty is on the Swedish throne to this day. The Surtout de table, in the center of which the Grand Coupe was located, was given as a royal present in the mid-19th century to the collection of the Vegeholm Castle in South Sweden (Scania). At the time, the castle was owned by Casper Wilhelm Michael Erenborg. After his death, the castle changed owners several times, and the last owners were the von Geyer family.

Today, even individual items from palace services manufactured at Thomire’s workshop are of great artistic and historical value, and may be an ornament for any private or museum collection. The State Hermitage collection contains candelabras with similar figures of two bacchantes.
Bibliography: Yu.Ya. Zek. Decorative bronze of Pierre-Phillippe Thomire. Exhibition catalogue. L., 1984. pp. 45–46. Il.74;  Compare Hans Ottomeyer/Peter Pröschel; Vergoldete Bronzen I, pages 386/387, Grand coupe 5.16.11 and 5.16.14.
Height 64 cm, diameter 30 cm
Starting price – 1,200,000 rubles
Sale price – 4,100,000 rubles
Increase – 3.4 times


Lot № 148. Paired candelabras for 7 candles in the style of Louis Phillippe.

Bronze, stamping, gilding; porcelain, covering, overglaze painting.
France. 1840s.
Height 70 cm
Starting price – 800,000 rubles
Sale price – 1,100,000 rubles
Greatest increase – 14 times


Lot № 75 The icon “The Most Honest Cherub and the Most Glorious Seraphim”.

Wood, oil
Late 19th century.
In the 14th century in Byzantium, symbolic icons appeared based on texts of ceremonial liturgical songs in honor of the Blessed Virgin. One of the Byzantine hymn writers wrote the renowned song in honor of the Blessed Virgin, which begins with the words “Worthy is…”. Icons based on the text of this hymn appeared in the 16th century. They were compositions, each subject of which illustrated a certain part of the song. The depiction of the Blessed Virgin “The most honest cherub and the most glorious seraphim” particularly stands out, which is represented as the Empress of Heaven surrounded by bodiless angelic forces.
44,5 х 37 cm
Starting price – 10 000 rubles
Sale price -  140 000 rubles
Increase – 14 times



In greatest demand were items of decorative and applied art, particularly works manufactured by the Faberge firm (9 items from the Faberge firm were sold).


Among them:
Lot №136. Top lot of the auction: Spear in original case.

“Interest in this item was not only due to the name of the famous jeweler, but the fact that the item belonged to the imperial family (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).


Gold, silver, moonstone, diamond roses. Faberge firm.
St. Petersburg. 1899–1908.
Inventory number 81236. In archive documents of the office of the court of the Great Prince Alexander Mikhailovich and Kseniya Alexandrovna, there is an account from the Faberge firm of 9 August 1908, where № 81236 records “a pendant, 1 Mecca stone, 1 diamond, 165 rub.” Mecca stone is an old name for blue chalcedonic, otherwise known as moon stone, blue moon stone, and St. Stephen’s stone.
Kseniya Alexandrovna Romanova (25 March (6 April) 1875, St. Petersburg – 20 April 1960, Windsor, Great Britain) – a Great Princess, daughter of Emperor Alexander III, sister of Emperor Nicholas II. From 25 July (6 August) 1894, married to Great Prince Alexander Mikhailovich, grandson of Nicholas I.
Estimate: 360,000–450,000 rubles
Starting price – 450,000 rubles
Sale price – 1,300,000 rubles
Increase – 2.9 times


Furthermore, the following items by Faberge were sold at the auction:


Lot № 110 Cigar holder with enamel plates.

84 alloy silver, gold, sapphire, polychrome enamel.
Moscow. 1899–1908
Starting price – 60,000 rubles
Sale price – 65,000 rubles


Lot № 116 Vase in the form of a boat.

Colorless crystal, diamond edge. Holder in the style of French neoclassicism of Louis XVI. 84 alloy silver.
Moscow. Early 20th century.
Starting price – 450 000 rubles
Sale price – 700 000 rubles


Lot № 118 Cigar holder.

88 alloy silver, gilt, enamel on guilloche background, carving, polishing, diamond roses
St. Petersburg.1908–1917.
On 1 July 1907, the cigar holder was sold to the Indian Maharajah at the price of 29 pounds 50 cents .
Starting price – 500 000 rubles
Sale price – 800 000 rubles


Lot № 121 Photograph frame.

Wood (maple), 88 alloy silver.
St. Petersburg. 1908–1917.
Faberge firm. Craftsman Fyodor Afansiev, who specialized in manufacturing miniature items, including Easter eggs, frames for photographs and paintings, items of gold, silver and enamel.
Starting price – 300 000 rubles
Sale price – 900 000 rubles
Increase – 3 times


Lot № 124. “Beetle” brooch.

 “Items of this kind are often encountered in museum collections, this is a characteristic item for the Faberge firm. The beetle’s back is made of garnet of incredible beauty (almandine).” (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).


56 alloy gold. Garnet, diamond roses, pearl.
St. Petersburg. 1908–1917.
Faberge firm. Craftsman August Frederich Holming (1854–1914) – gold craftsman from 1876. Worked for the Faberge firm.
Starting price – 300 000 rubles
Sale price – 640 000 rubles
Increase – 2.1 times


Lot № 127 Brooch in the modern style.


56 alloy gold, 84 alloy silver, enamel, pearl, diamond roses.
St. Petersburg. 1899–1908.
Craftsman August Frederich Holming (1854–1914) – gold craftsman from 1876. Worked for the Faberge firm.
Starting price – 300 000 rubles
Sale price – 420 000 rubles.


Lot № 131  Photograph frame.


88 alloy silver, 56 alloy gold, rock crystal, diamond roses, enamel on guilloche background, carving, gilt, polishing.
“The item went to a private collection at a price that exceeded prices for similar items at world auctions” (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).
St. Petersburg. 1899–1902.
Craftsman Mikhail Perkhin was a renowned Petersburg jeweler, a merchant of the 2nd guild.
He came from a peasant background in the Olonets guberniya, and was a talented self-taught craftsman. From 1884 he was a leading craftsman at the Faberge firm. At the workshop that he ran, the firm’s best works were created, including imperial Easter eggs.
Starting price – 1 500 000 rubles
Sale price – 3 000 000 rubles
Increase – 2 times



Lot № 132 Egg pendant.


72 alloy gold, diamond roses, enamel on guillioche background.
St. Petersburg. Late XIX – early XX century.
Craftsman Henrich Vigstrem (1860–1903) was a renowned jeweler. From 1884 he was an apprentice, and later a close assistant of Mikhail Perhkin, who after Vigstrem’s death in 1903 was the head of a workshop that worked exclusively fro the Faberge firm. At the workshop that he headed, the best works of the firm were created, including imperial Easter eggs.
Starting price – 100 000 rubles
Sale price – 280 000 rubles
Increase – 2.8 times



14 icons were sold at the auction, including the top lot of the auction, the triptych “Descent of the Holy Spirit to the apostles” (information above).


“Kazan Mother of God” in a silver frame and case.

Wood, oil. Frame – 84 allot silver, gilt. Craftsman – monogrammist “S.G”.
Moscow. 1908–1917
Icon size 26.5 х 22.5 cm. Size of case 34.7х 30.2 cm
Starting price – 40 000 rubles
Sale price – 320 000 rubles
Increase – 8 times


Lot № 71 Icon “St. Nicholas the Wonder worker” in silver frame.

84 allot silver, gilt, cloisonne polychrome painted enamel.
Moscow. Late 19th century.
Craftsman Ivan Tarabov, owner of a factory of gold and silver items in Moscow from 1893-1917. In 1897 it had 46 employees, and was located in his own house on Bolshaya Dvoryanskaya ulitsa..
31 х 27 cm
Starting price – 1 200 000 rubles
Sale price – 1 600 000 rubles


Lot № 79. Icon “Kazan Mother of God” in silver frame.

Wood, tempera. Frame of 84 alloy silver, gilt. Cloisonne polychrome painted enamel.
Moscow. 1899–1908.
Silver worker Sergei Zharov, owner of a workshop of silver items, which manufactured icons with painted enamel.
31 х 27 cm
Starting price – 1 000 000 rubles
Sale price – 2 000 000 rubles
Increase – 2 times


Lot № 125. Triptych amulet with the icon “The Resurrection of Christ” in the center, the monogram NN on the two side flaps and the Crown of the Great Prince. Manufactured for the Great Prince Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov.

“Such items as golden icons, triptychs and amulets are encountered very rarely on the antique market, especially ones that are in some way connected with the imperial family. And so the appearance of this item at the auction drew heightened interest from buyers, which explains the fact that the initial price increased by three times”. (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh)


56 alloy gold, 46 diamond roses, painting on gold.
St. Petersburg. 2nd half of the 19th century.
Craftsman Samuel Arndt, gold craftsman from 1845, owner of a workshop from 1849. Worked for the court supplier of the firm Nikols and Plinke.
5 х 5 cm.
Starting price – 360 000 rubles
Sale price – 1 100 000 rubles
Increase – 3 times




A total of 12 paintings were sold at the auction (antique and modern – from the late 19th century to the present).



Lot № 6. Unknown artist.
Portrait of Emperor Alexander III. 


Last quarter of the 19th century.
Canvas, oil. Diameter of oval 93 cm.
The authorship has not been established, but the level of execution allows us to classify this work among the significant works of Russian portrait art of the 19th century.
Starting price  - 400 000 rubles.
Sale price – 850 000 rubles.
Increase – 2.1


Lot № 10. Ivan Avgustovich Velts  (1866–1926). “Italian Landscape”.

Late XIX – early XX century
Canvas on cardboard, oil.. 36 × 44.5 cm
In the bottom left-hand corner, the signature “I. Velts”
Estimate: 960 000–1 050 000 rubles
Starting price – 600 000 rubles
Sale price – 1 100 000 rubles


Lot № 14. Alexei Ivanovich Trankovsky (second half of XIX – early XX century) “Gypsy with rooster”.


Late XIX century
Canvas, oil. 82 × 60.5 cm
Alexei Trankovsky studied drawing at the Stroganov Academy. He mainly painted genre pictures. The majority of his works were kept at his family estate in the Smolensk area, but during the civil war they were destroyed. Other works were sent to an exhibition in Paris (1914), where they remained in private collections. His paintings are held at the State Museum of the history of religion (St. Petersburg) and other museums, and also in private collections in Russia and abroad.
The painting “Gypsy with Rooster”, for its subject, character portrayed and accessories, is typical for Trankovsky, and by level of execution it is one of the most outstanding paintings by the artist.
Starting price – 300 000 rubles
Sale price – 600 000 rubles
Increase – 2 times


Lot № 13. Lev Feliksovich Lagorio (1827–1905). “House in the garden”.

Canvas, oil. 25 × 32 cm
In the bottom right-hand corner, the signature “Lagorio 1851”
Lev Lagorio is an outstanding Russian painter and water color artist of the 2nd half of the 19th century. He studied under I.K. Aivazovsky in Feodosiya (1838–1839). In 1843, with the assistance of the governor of Tavriya A.I. Kaznacheev, he went to Petersburg to enroll at the Academy of Arts. During his period of study, he received all the important academic awards.
Lagorio’s works are held in many museum collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Scientific Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and others.
In the early 1850s, the artist often painted studies during travels through the south of Russia. The features of his artistic manner, for example his attitude to form and the light and shade technique of the painting “House in the garden” are characteristics for Lagorio’s landscapes in his early period.
On the back of the painting, there is a stamp from a Leningrad commission shop from 1949.
Starting price – 260 000 rubles
Sale price – 420 000 rubles

Lot № 20. Alexander Benois di Stetto (1896–1979) + archive photo at the “Asiatic lilies” workshop.

“The works of this artist could only be seen in Russia at exhibitions before our auction (including at the Tretyakov Gallery”. His works have never appeared on the Russian auction market before”. (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).



 Canvas, oil. 81 × 65 cm

In the bottom left-hand corner, the signature “A.Benois di Stetto. 1949.”

A. Benois di Stetto was a painter, graphic artist, scenographer, architect and master of design. He is the most mysterious and unknown (in his homeland) representative of the Benois dynasty. He was born into the family of the architect Grigory (Zigfrid) Levi, worked with L.N. Benois and married A.L. Benois’ younger daughter, Klara – Alisa. In 1929 he moved to Geneva, and continued to travel around Europe a great deal. He worked as an artist specializing in portraits, animals and landscapes.

Benois di Stetto is one of the newly discovered names of Russian art, whose work still requires detailed study. Most of his artistic legacy is held in private collections in Switzerland and Russia. In recent years, a whole series of retrospective exhibitions of the artist have been held all over Russia, including at the State Tretyakov Gallery, the Russian Ethnographic Museum and the Yelagin Island Museum Palace.

Starting price – 300 000 rubles

Sale price – 550 000 rubles


Lot № 32. Anna Petrovna Ostroumova-Lebedeva (1851–1955).
Collection of 12 lithographs “Views of Leningrad”.

10 lithographs – 25 × 32 cm; 2 lithographs – 39 × 26 cm.
Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva is an outstanding master of Russian graphic art. In her work, she used various techniques, showing herself to be an excellent water color artist and lithographer. A master of city landscapes, with subtle poetry she revealed the organic unity of architecture and landscape, and the artistic wholeness of the image of the city. Ostroumova-Lebedeva’s works are held in many museum and private collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and others.
Starting price – 60 000 rubles
Sale price – 100 000 rubles


Lot № 25. Mikhail Alexandrovich Roginsky (1931–2004). “Bottles”.

“We see the sale of this work as a great success, with an increase of the starting price by more than two times. This is one of the outstanding artists of the Russian diaspora, a recognized classic of unofficial art of the second half of the 20th century. His works are very rare on the market”.  (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh)

Canvas, oil. 60 × 120 cm
In the bottom left-hand corner, the signature: “Roginsky”
Mikhail Roginsky, one of the outstanding Russian artists of the second half of the 20th century, leader of Moscow unofficial art. In 1978 he immigrated to France. The best works of classical Roginsky are “portraits” of the main items of the ascetic Soviet everyday life. Monumentally depicted items are painted with great feeling, although also with great austerity. They were once seen as a challenge to tradition and called unofficial art, whereas now they represent the tradition itself. His pure, simple still lifes are a hymn to the vanished Soviet reality.
Starting price – 1 600 000 rubles.
Sale price – 3 500 000 rubles.
Increase – 2.2 times


Lot № 28. Avgust Vasilevich Lanin (1925–2006). “Creation of the World”.


Paper, pencil. 100 × 100 cm

In the bottom right-hand corner, the signature “Lanin. 77”.

Lanin graduated from the architectural faculty of the Repin Institute of painting, sculpture and architecture (1952). Member of the Architects’ Union (1956) and the Artists’ Union (1959). Professor of the department of drawing and painting of the architectural faculty of the Leningrad (later St. Petersburg) State Architecture and Building Institute, member of the Academy of Humanitarian Sciences (1994), candidate of architecture (1984).

Avgust Lanin is a famous figure in the art of Leningrad-Petersburg. Even just selected facts of his biography would adorn the life story of any artist, and the story of his work as a whole could become the basis for an entertaining feature film.

In 1973-1974, as part of a state program to settle on the moon, by order of the Institute of medical and biological problems, he created a designer project for the interior of spaceships and scientific complexes which it was planned to build on the Earth’s satellite. Things did not reach the realization stage, but the plans, water colors and models remain as a memorial of an era which truly believed in the unlimited possibilities of human reason.

The style, idea and image organization of the works, and the ban on participating in exhibitions formally allows us to classify Lanin among the non-conformists. In a number of works from these years, the level of criticism of the authorities is extremely high – and even less serious attacks than portraying members of government in the form of owls sitting on the Kremlin wall could have had serious consequences for the artists.

Starting price – 360 000 rubles

Sale price – 500 000 rubles.


Lot №39. Vladimir Titov (1950).

“The Road”


Canvas, oil. 95 × 180 cm

Vladimir Titov began his creative career in Moscow. In the early 1970s, he attended the workshop of the non-conformist Vasily Sitnikov. In 1982, he immigrated to Paris, where he developed his own artistic style. Paintings by the artist were featured in collective exhibitions of the State Russian Museum and the Pushkin State Fine Arts Museum. In 2009, the Russian Museum held a personal exhibition of Vladimir Titov. His works are held at the National foundation of modern art in Paris, the Zimmerli Museum of Art (USA), Drugoe Iskusstvo Museum (Moscow), the State Russian Museum and numerous private collections in France, Luxembourg, Russia and the USA.

Titov managed to create a new type of landscape – with chiming air, without any prettiness, but extremely naturalistic. He paints profoundly, achieving a rare visualization – a feeling of the rich earth, broken and abandoned. The painting “The Road” was presented in 2009 at a personal retrospective exhibition of the artist at the State Russian Museum. It is a work from an artistic series, dedicated to a summer holiday in the country, its bizarre characteristics, the famous terrible Russian roads and the magical nature – on the whole, the seeming lightness of being that an artist feels in the country in summer.

Estimate: 360 000–450 000 rubles

Starting price – 260 000 rubles

Sale price – 440 000 rubles


Lot № 40. Anatoly Belkin (1953) “Mushrooms on stones”

“The results of the sale are expected. Anatoly Belkin is one of the most famous and recognized Petersburg artists, and we are proud that his work was represented at our auction – previously it was displayed at the exhibition “Gold of the Swamps” at the Hermitage” (expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation Svetlana Chestnykh).



Canvas, oil. 105 × 140 cm

Anatoly Belkin is a Petersburg artist. He is a painter, graphic artist and installation artist. His personal exhibitions have been held at the State Russian Museum, the Hermitage, and galleries in Berlin, London, New York and Paris. Belkin’s paintings are held at collections of the Russian Museum, the State Hermitage, the Stedlik Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the Zimmerli Museum of Art (США), the Museum of Russian Art (Mongeron, France), and the State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg.

The painting “Mushrooms on stones” illustrates the author’s idea about the co-existence of the person with the world of plants, interacting with them during life and dissolving into them after death. The work was displayed at the legendary exhibition “Gold of the Swamps” at the State Hermitage in 2004, and also at the exhibition “Non-objectivity” at Narva Castle (Estonia) in 2008.

Estimate: 900 000–1 050 000 rubles

Starting price – 600 000 rubles

Sale price – 1 200 000 rubles

Increase – 2 times


Lot № 45. Oleg Yakovlev (1948). “Evenements”.


Canvas, acrylic. 130 × 97 cm.

Oleg Yakovlev is an abstract artist of the 2nd wave of avant-garde. After participating in the famous Moscow exhibition of non-conformists in 1975, he lived in worked in Paris, actively taking part in prestigious art projects. The Tretyakov Gallery acquired several paintings from Oleg Yakovlev for an exhibition of art of the 2nd half of the 20th century. His works are on display at the State Russian Museum and in the most famous world collections of abstract painting.

The elusive emotionality of Yakovlev’s paintings makes him one of the most interesting authors of the lost Russian abstract art of the 2nd half of the 20th century. The painting “Evenements” is a manifestation of complete freedom and subtle aestheticism of the artist in his favorite simple form.

Starting price – 260 000 rubles

Sale price – 440 000 rubles



Lot №115, a set of 12 liquor glasses of the early 19th century from the St. Petersburg Imperial glass factory, was acquired by the Pavlovsk Museum before the auction by preliminary agreement with the seller and the Auction House of the Russian Federation for 210,000 rubles.