Monday, 7 December 2009

Art therapy eases crisis ennui

After a bleak and depressing year, November's grey weather has proved the last straw for Russia's richest - and they're turning to a spot of retail therapy.
But while the rest of us fret over a few Christmas treats, the trinkets these guys have in mind are works of art.
A gleeful Alexis de Tiesenhausen, Russian art specialist at Christie's in London, told the Wall Street Journal of their Russian collection this week: "Russian collectors have grown bored of the crisis. We lost a few clients, but others have finally arrived."
Christie's expects to rake in $11.5 million from its Russian sales, while Sotheby's is anticipating $24.6 million. But both houses note a switch away from cutting edge contemporary artists - who can continue to suffer in the recession - and a new interest in pre-revolutionary tsarist opulence.
Among the luxury items going under the auctioneer's gavel are a set of Fabergé cigarette cases previously owned by a son of Tsar Alexander II.

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