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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Russian Buyers’ Spending Spree Boosts $137 Million U.K. Auction

"Nature morte a 'L'Esperance'" by Paul Gauguin was included in the auction of 78 Impressionist and modern works at Christie's International in London on Feb. 9. The canvas, painted by Gauguin in Tahiti as a tribute to his friend Vincent van Gogh, was expected to sell for between 7 million pounds and 10 million pounds and failed to find a buyer "Nature morte a 'L'Esperance'" by Paul Gauguin was included in the auction of 78 Impressionist and modern works at Christie's International in London on Feb. 9. The canvas, painted by Gauguin in Tahiti as a tribute to his friend Vincent van Gogh, was expected to sell for between 7 million pounds and 10 million pounds and failed to find a buyer Source: Christie's Images via Bloomberg

Russian buyers went on a shopping spree at a London auction last night that raised 84.9 million pounds ($136.6 million).

Collectors from the former Soviet Union bid a total of more than 20 million pounds for works by 20th-century artists such as Pierre Bonnard and Rene Magritte at Christie’s International.

“It’s shopping,” Guy Jennings, partner in the London- based dealership Theobald Jennings, said in an interview. “These are colorful works that will look good in a house in the Cote d’Azur. This market is driven by Western-based Russians and new European money. The rise in commodity prices has made a difference to them.”

Trophy-quality Impressionist and modern pieces are in demand after making up 7 out of the 10 priciest lots at auction last year. Some collectors have been helped by higher commodity values, with the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index up 34 percent in the last year.

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