Frederik Bruun Rasmussen sets the World auction record on Russian icons with a hammer price of DKK 4.6 million (€ 620,000 / € 806,000 including buyer’s premium).

We are delighted to announce the results of the Bruun Rasmussen auction in Copenhagen and are most happy that we have also contributed towards the success of the sale. Below are the results of the auction, which will undoubtedly be good news to many icon dealers.

The auction of Zeiner-Henriksen collection held by Bruun Rasmussen auction house in Copenhagen on 9th June ended with a World record set for the sale of Russian icons and a total hammer price of DKK 27.6 million (€ 3.7 million / € 4.8 million including buyer’s premium). The Richard Zeiner-Henriksen Collection was sold in collaboration with the Norwegian auction house Blomqvist.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the major international interest shown in the art treasures at the auction. The Russian icons from Zeiner-Henriksen’s collection were a particular surprise, with several impressive million-kroner hammer prices. A 16th century church icon of the Descent from the Cross was sold for DKK 4.6 million (€ 620,000 / € 806,000 including buyer’s premium), which is a World auction record, ” — commented Martin Hans Borg, expert on Russian art at Bruun Rasmussen.

Zeiner-Henriksen’s collection

The auction’s main attraction was without a doubt Norwegian business attaché Richard Zeiner-Henriksen’s (1878-1965) private Russian art collection. In 1922, he took up residence in St Petersburg with his family in an apartment in the Saltykov Palace, which, at the end of the 18th century, was owned by Empress Catherine II the Great, and has since been inhabited by the princely Saltykov family. It was in these distinguished surroundings that the family began collecting art and antiques.

Richard Zeiner-Henriksen had a special interest in Russian icons. At its peak, the collection included around 60 pieces of 16th and 17th century icons. Some of these are currently found at esteemed museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum in Oslo and Bergen Billedgalleri. Many of these icons are also featured in the book “Russiske ikoner i norsk og svensk eje” (Russian icons in Norwegian and Swedish ownership) by Helge Kjellin from 1956. Five of these icons fetched the impressive million-kroner hammer prices last Friday.

The auction’s Top 5

The Novgorod School, 16th century: Large Russian church icon with a depiction of the Descent from the Cross. Hammer price: DKK 4.6 million (€ 620,000 / € 806,000 including buyer’s premium).

  •  The Novgorod School, 16th century: A Monumental Russian church icon of the Descent from the Cross. With kovcheg. Thickness 26 mm H. 90.5 W. 66 Hammer price: DKK 4.6 million (€ 620,000 / € 806,000 including buyer’s premium).
  •  The Novgorod School, c. 1500: Large Russian iconostasis church icon depicting St Michael the Archangel. Tempera on wooden panel. 127.5 x 55 Hammer price: DKK 4.1 million (€ 551,000 / € 716,000 including buyer’s premium).

 

  • The Novgorod School, 16th century: Russian icon depicting Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem. Tempera on wood. 56 x 43 Hammer price: DKK 2.4 million (€ 323,000 / € 420,000 including buyer’s premium).

 

  • The Novgorod School, 16th century: Russian icon depicting St George and the dragon. Tempera on wood with a kovcheg. 30 x 23.5 Hammer price: DKK 2.2 million (€ 296,000 / € 385,000 including buyer’s premium).

 

  •  The Novgorod School, 16th century: Russian icon depicting the Mother of God with the child “Vladimirskaya”. Tempera on wood panel. 21 x 16 Hammer price: DKK 2 million (€ 289,000 / € 376,000 including buyer’s premium).

Among the highlights of the auction was a painting by Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov Nomads Around a Fire on the Plain in the Moonlight (1852), which sold for DKK 1.45 million (€ 195,000 / € 254,000 including buyer’s premium), and a large Russian wedding kovsh of silver with cloisonné enamel, which went for DKK 1.3 million (€ 175,000 / € 228,000 including buyer’s premium).

The highlights of the Russian art auction were exhibited at the Danish Embassy in London during “Russian Art Week” on 1st and 2nd June, no doubt a contributory factor to the major international interest in Friday’s auction.