On January 31, 2018, Doyle New York holds its next auction of Russian Works of Art. Showcased are more than 135 lots of Fabergé, icons, silver, bronzes and memorabilia from private collections across the United States.
Highlighting the sale is property from the descendants of Russian Grand Duke George Mikhailovich (1863-1919), grandson of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855), and his wife Princess Marie Georgievna (1876-1940), née Princess Maria of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King George I (1845-1913). Having remained in the family over the course of the last century, the collection comprises 35 lots of Fabergé, silver, icons, books and family heirlooms with close connections to the Russian Imperial Family. An icon depicting the Mother of God, Christ and John the Baptist (est. $7,000-10,000) is closely related to one produced for Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. An icon of similar design from the collection was bequeathed by the Grand Duke’s daughter, Princess Xenia, to Middlebury College Museum of Art in Vermont. An important group of four World War I photograph albums (est. $4,000-6,000), never before seen in public, document Grand Duke George’s important diplomatic mission to Japan in 1915. Sent as the representative of Emperor Nicholas II, the grand duke’s mission led to a secret Russo-Japanese alliance signed in 1916.
Produced in Fabergé’s Moscow workshops, a silver samovar (est. $35,000-55,000) is applied with the coat of arms of the Berdyaev family, an important aristocratic military and literary family in Imperial Russia. The family produced a long line of high-ranking military officers and the important political and religious philosopher Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev. Fabergé produced miniature sculptures of animals in a range of hardstones, inspired by Chinese and Japanese hardstone carvings. Property from a Virginia Private Collection offers two hardstone carvings by Fabergé, including a duckling that is nearly identical to one in the Royal Collection from the famous Sandringham Commission (est. $15,000-25,000). A Fabergé Silver-Gilt Icon of the Mother of God (est. $7,000-10,000), which has descended in the family of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia (1875-1960), was a gift from the grand duchess to her son, Prince Nikita, on Easter 1916.
A selection of Russian porcelain figures from a Philadelphia Private Collection includes examples by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory and the Gardner, Popov and Kornilov manufactories. Highlighting the collection is a Rare Russian Porcelain Group of Pranksters, after a model by August Spiess (est. $9,000-12,000). Among a wide range of bronzes by artists such as Troubetzkoy, Lanceray, Bertram and Grachev is a rare and large Bronze Group of a Troika after the model by E. Karpov (est. $20,000-30,000) from a New Jersey Private Collection.
The public is invited to the exhibition which is on view January 27-30. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. Sale information and the auction catalogue may be viewed online at DOYLE.com. For further information, please contact Mark Moehrke, Director of Russian Works of Art, at Russian@doyle.com.