Russian Art and Gifts from the Imperial Family

Art and antiques from Russia will be in focus at our Live Auction in Copenhagen on 7 December at 2 pm and a subsequent Online Auction the same day at 5 pm. At the two auctions, we can present approximately 400 lots with paintings, jewellery, silver, icons and other collector’s items from primarily Tsarist Russia.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 you have to book a timeslot for your visit to the preview and Live Auction. Read more about your options and book your appointment here

Picturesque Depictions of Children

However, we begin in the art world long after the reign of the Russian Tsars with paintings from the collection of chamberlain and former Lord Chamberlain Søren Haslund-Christensen. The still life “Liljer og en bog” (Lilies and a Book) from 1991 is painted by Dmitri Dmitrievich Zhilinsky, who spent time in Denmark during the 1990s in connection with a high-profile commission – a portrait of Queen Margrethe II. The artist gave the work to Haslund-Christensen in gratitude for securing him several other portrait assignments. From Danish businessman Gunnar Helge Haagensen’s collection, we have five paintings by Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanoff-Belsky, who has depicted children in various situations, such as at the tea table and in the classroom. The works were acquired in Riga, directly from the artist himself, and have been in the ownership of the Haagensen family ever since. We meet another child in Illarion Mikhailovich Pryanishnikov’s depiction of a fair-haired boy in a red-coloured Russian shirt. The work is an example of the artist's focus on social realism.

Friedrich Koechli: Russian imperial and royal Art Nouveau gold tiepin. Case from C.E. Bolin. Gift from Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna to her father, Christian IX. Estimate: DKK 25,000-30,000.
August Hollming: A Russian amethyst and diamond brooch. Gift from Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna to her lady-in-waiting at Hvidøre during the 1920s, Miss Thora Mortensen. Estimate: DKK 40,000-60,000.

Christian IX’s Tiepin and Dagmar’s Lock of Hair

The imperial provenances are particularly prominent in the jewellery up for auction. This includes a beautiful Art Nouveau tiepin given by Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna to her father, Christian IX. In the royal family, she went by the name of Minny, and in the accompanying box, there is a neatly-written note bearing the words “Min Engle Papa fra Minny” (My Angel Papa from Minny). Other gifts from the Tsaritsa include three brooches given to her lady-in-waiting, Thora Mortensen, at Hvidøre Castle in the 1920s. At the more curious end of the spectrum is a Danish medallion with a photograph of a very young Princess Dagmar (the later Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna) from the time before her marriage to Tsar Alexander III of Russia. Behind the glass on the back is a lock of the princess’ hair, and the medallion would probably have been worn by one of her very close relatives. Two signets with imperial provenances are also in the running – one was owned by the Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, the other by her daughter, Queen Alexandrine of Denmark.

The Russian Tradition of Easter Eggs

The provenance of a small Easter egg pendant is also interesting. It was made for Grand Duchess Anastasia by Mikhail Perchin, one of Fabergé’s workmasters. The Easter egg tradition was particularly strong in Russia, where Easter Day was an important religious holiday. Families would meet and give each other Easter eggs as a gift, and the imperial family liked to order them from Fabergé, their favourite jeweller. The auction also features porcelain Easter eggs from Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia and Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich of Russia.

Johann Heinrich Zahrt: A large Russian Rococo silver tureen and cover. Provenance: The Danish Envoy and Consul General Hans Poul Hoffmeyer. Estimate: DKK 80,000-100,000.
Olga Alexandrovna: Flowers in a garden in Denmark. Signed Olga. Watercolour on paper. Sheet size 35 x 45 cm. Estimate: DKK 8,000-10,000. The lot will be sold at the Online Auction on 7 December at 5 pm at bruun-rasmussen.com.

Silver from Hans Poul Hoffmeyer

Also notable is a collection of silverware, the design of which is Russian interpretations of the European styles of Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism and Empire. The collection was established in the 1920s by lawyer Hans Poul Hoffmeyer, who was an envoy in Berlin, Moscow and Warsaw over the years. It was customary at the time for the envoy’s residence to be used for official business of the state and thus had to be tastefully decorated – hence Hoffmeyer’s interest in antiques.  


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Live Auction

Russian art

7 December at 2 pm


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Online Auction

Russian theme

7 December at 5 pm

For further information, please contact:

Martin Hans Borg: +45 8818 1128 · mhb@bruun-rasmussen.dk