Tuesday, December 2, 2008


An artwork with a pre-sale estimate around £ 2,000 ($2,970) went for a meager £13 at Christie's Russian 19th- and 20th-century art auction in London in November 2008, epitomizing the dreary results of the sale, which reached a total of £7.9 million against a pre-sale low estimate of £14.5 million. Only 55% of lots found buyers.

The £13 work (including buyer's premium), an undated and anonymous ink-on-paper, Troika Leaving the Farmstead, was bought by prominent Russian collector Nikita Lobanov-Rostovky after auctioneer James Bruce-Gardyne asked the room in exasperation: "Will anyone give me £10?" Yes indeed, some astute buyer did and made a very good deal.

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