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Christie’s sells $2.8 mln worth of Russian paintings

The top lot was the painting by Ivan Aivazovsky, which was sold for $280,000

LONDON, June 6. /TASS/. The Russian week at the Christie’s Auction House began with the sale of painting worth $2.8 million on Monday.

The top lot was the painting by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900) "An Ottoman coffee-house in the moonlight", which was sold for $280,000. Created in 1857, the painting depicts men gathering in the coastal coffee shop. It sold for less than the initial estimate, which was at $290,000-$440,000.

Two other Aivazovsky lots - "The Shipwreck" and "View of the Saladin Citadel from the banks of the Nile" - were sold for $228,000 and $159,000 respectively. Traditionally, Aivazovsky is among the most expensive lots at the Russian week auctions.

Other lots of high interest were paintings by Leon Bakst (1866-1924): two costume designs for the Sleeping Beauty Ballet - "The Wolf" (sold for $133,000) and "Prince Charmant at the Court" (sold for $54 000).

Two more lots were bought for the sums much higher than their initial estimate. First of them "Landscape with a Rainbow" by Konstantin Somov (1869-1939) initially estimated at $21,000-36,000 was sold for $121,000. Another one is Alexandre Benois’ (1870-1960) picture "The King goes for a walk in any weather" (1898) from his Versailles series was sold for $202 000, which tenfold exceeded the estimated value.

June is the traditional month for the Russian art auction, known as the Russian week. Four auction houses Sotheby's, MacDougall's, Bonhams and Christie's participate in the coveted art event.