Russian Art Sales Expected to Reach $81 Million for Auction Houses in London

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'Venice' by Russian artist Alexandra Exter is put on display at Sotheby's in London. The painting estimated value of 900,000-1,200,000 pounds (US$1,475,000-1,970,000) is up for auction in the Russian Art sale on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. / AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth.

LONDON (REUTERS.- Auction houses are banking on a
recovery at next week’s series of big Russian art sales in London, at which they
expect to show that the market dominated by new money is through the worst of
the recession.
With most at stake are Sotheby’s and Russian specialist
MacDougall’s, who together offer works worth between 27 and 39 million pounds
($45-64 million). Christie’s the world’s largest auction house, has pre-sale
estimates of 6.5-9.3 million pounds. The figures are sharply down on a
year ago, reflecting how financial turmoil and falling stock and property values
have hit super-wealthy collectors from Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet
Union and deterred owners from selling their best pieces.