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Top lot in the sale was a Fabergé jewelled two-colour gold and nephrite Imperial presentation snuff box, workmaster Michael Perchin, St Petersburg 1896-1908, which sold for a mid-estimate $600,000 (£359,280) to an American private collector who had never bought Fabergé before.

There are signs, however, that the Russian works of art market is repositioning itself in London, where Russian paintings cooked up a storm on November 19 and Fabergé made a strong showing on November 20 and 25. Rich Russians like to come to London, but they are also lapping up their heritage in New York. Russian porcelain is zooming up in line with early Sèvres. A fruit basket from the St Vladimir Service, ordered by Catherine the Great from the Gardner Factory c.1780 to honour the Knights of St Vladimir at the Winter Palace, doubled high estimate at $60,000 (£35,930). The following lot, a Gardner porcelain basket from Catherine’s St Andrew Order Service, c.1780, fetched $75,000 (£44,910) against an estimate of $25,000-35,000, both pieces selling to Russian buyers. A unique porcelain tea service, c.1920, depicting Ershov’s fairy tale The Hunchback Horse after drawings by Afanasiev, brought $38,000 (£22,754) (est. $10,000-15,000).

Rock crystal is a specialist market with a number of enthusiastic American collectors and the objects offered in this sale did well. Two outstanding pieces were bought by Marks Antiques of London, who have an eye for flamboyant objets d’art. An Austrian silver-gilt, gem-set and enamel mounted rock crystal ostrich cup and cover, Hermann Ratzersdorfer, Vienna, c.1875, sold to them for $170,000 (£101,795) against $30,000-50,000 expectations.

They had a similar battle to buy an even more spectacular piece by Ratzersdorfer of the same date, a gem-encrusted rock crystal double swan cup, which sold for $160,000 (£95,810), more than quadrupling high estimate.

Christie’s top lot of silver was the pair of Regency three-light candelabra, Paul Storr, London 1816, copied from a design of 1734-5 by Thomas Germain, which sold to an anonymous buyer for $260,000 (£155,690), $10,000 over high estimate. Exceptional modelling and chasing and fine condition ensured this strong price.

There is still wind in the sails of the Irish market: a crisp pair of George II silver soup tureens, mark of John Laughlin Snr, Dublin c.1760, sold to an Irish collector for $140,000 (£83,830) (est. $30,000-50,000).

They were originally owned by Richard, 3rd Viscount Powerscourt.
A European dealer paid $82,000 (£49,100) – quadruple high estimate – for a handsome pair of triangular Russian silver vegetable dishes from the Mecklenburg-Schwerin service, attributed to Carl Gustav Hallmuth, St Petersburg, c.1774.

Boldly cast and chased, the service was ordered by Catherine the Great and passed to her granddaughter Helene, who married the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) New York Silver, Russian Works of Art and Vertu sale on October 23 had a top lot of $120,000 (£71,855) for a pretty rococo basket by Paul de Lamerie, 1741, engraved with the arms of Upton impaling Montagu. Three pieces of Fabergé featured in the top ten lots: most expensive was a vari-colour gold and enamel desk clock by Michael Perchin, c.1900, in neoclassical style with charming salmon pink and pale blue enamel. It sold for a mid-estimate $110,000 (£65,870).

An arresting Fabergé gilded silver and translucent strawberry red enamel cigarette case, August Holmström, c.1900, caught bidders’ imagination and soared over its high
estimate of $15,000 to sell for $35,000 (£20,960).