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Albert Edelfelt, Xu Beihong and Nikolai Svershkov in the autumn sale 2021 at Hagelstam & Co.


On November 27th, 2021, Hagelstam & Co. will traditionally host classic auction featuring paintings of the leading European, Chinese, and Russian artists, icons, decorative art, military uniform, orders, porcelain and much more – totally 473 lots.

Among the top lots is an oil study by Albert Edelfelt portraying “Magdalene’s Head II” with strong provenance to one of his main paintings, “Horses” by Xu Beihong, who was the father of modern school of Chinese painting, mesmerizing landscape “Winter troika” Nikolai Sverchkov, a handy pocket triptych icon from 1880-s, exquisite tray by Franck Johan Enock/Nichols & Plincke, St. Petersburg 1846, who were granted a royal warrant to supply the imperial court of Nicholas I, a vodka cooler and 5 kovshes by Grachev Brothers from 1900-s, and Order of St. Vladimir from the end of the 19th century.

To see all lots

Albert Edelfelt
Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905).
Magdalene's Head II.
Oil on canvas. Signed. 1890. 42*35 cm.
More images here.

The top lot in the upcoming auction is an oil study “Magdalene’s head II” (estimated at 120’000 €) by one of the most important Finnish painters of Swedish origin Albert Edelfelt. His large-size painting measuring 1,5*2 m showing Christ and Mary Magdalene (part of the Atheneum’s collection) was executed at the family’s summer residence near Porvoo. The study offered at auction is one of the two well-known paintings depicting Mary Magdalene. The first version of Magdalene’s Head I, which is more sketch-like, belongs to the collections of the Lauri and Lasse Reitz Art Foundation’s Museum in Helsinki. The version being on sale has been part of the collection of Eliel Aspelin-Haapkylä (1847-1917), an art historian, doctor of philosophy and professor of aesthetics at the University of Helsinki. The portrait depicts Mary Magdalene as a Finnish peasant: her hypnotic blue eyes reveal the significance of the Biblical scene, and become the key of the composition in the large-scale painting with the scene depicted against a background showing Northern nature.

Provenance:

  • Collection of Eliel Aspelin-Haapkylä (1847-1917) – art historian, doctor of philosophy and professor of aesthetics at the University of Helsinki.

Related literature:

  • B. Hintze, Albert Edelfelt, Helsingfors 1942-44, Catalogue No. 552. Hanne Selkokari, Kalleuksia Isänmaaalle, Eliel Aspelin-Haapkylä as an art collector and art historian, SMYA 115 FFT, Vammala 2008.
Xu Beihong
Xu Beihong (1895-1953).
Horses.
Ink on paper. Signed, personal seal. 76*47 cm.
More images here.

“Horses” by Xu Beihong (estimated at 20’000 €) is an ode to the favourite theme of the artist – horses as the symbol of grace and freedom. Xu Beihong may be considered the father of modern Chinese school of painting as he was the first to combine traditional Chinese painting technique with European vision on composition and perspective.

Provenance:

  • The work was part of the collection of Henrik Lennart Blomstedt (1921-2009), who was Finnish diplomat in China during 1951-1954. The work was acquired in 1953, and has been kept in one family since then.

Note:

  • damp spots, strained edges.
Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov
Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov (1817-1898).
Winter Troika.
Oil on canvas. Signed. 1872. 94*161 cm.
More images here.

“Winter troika” by Sverchkov, Nikolai Egorovich (estimated at 70’000 €) depicts a genre scene in a village in the late evening, when the yellow moon has already risen, and like a street lamp put the light all over the snowy road. Most of all Sverchkov liked to depict horses in his work, and dedicated to that most of his oeuvre.

llya Glazunov
llya Glazunov (1930-2017).
History writer and the son of the Prince.
Oil on canvas, singnature.168*80 cm.
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"History writer and the son of the Prince"(estimated at 6’000 €) is the reference to the monarchist and religious views of the painter. The work deeply conveys the sacrament atmosphere, and captures the act of writing the history in a manuscript.

A tray
An exquisite tray by Franck Johan Enock/Nichols & Plincke.
St. Petersburg, 1846.
55*83 cm, weight ca 5 kg.
More images here.

An exquisite tray (estimated at 3’000 €) by Franck Johan Enock/Nichols & Plincke, St. Petersburg, 1846. The firm Nichols & Plincke was set up in 1829 by English silversmiths residing in St. Petersburg. Subsequently the workmasters received the royal warrant and several commissions for Christmas from the court of Nicholas I. The firm was closed in 1880-s as it could not compete with the growing company of Faberge.

A pair of Equestrian sculptures.
A pair of Equestrian sculptures.
Karl Spandikov, St. Petersburg, c. 1900.
Height 19,5 cm.
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Two equestrian sculptures wearing military uniform (estimated at 8’000 €) by the workmaster Karl Spandikov, St. Petersburg, 1900. One of the sculptures shows the horse’s gait of walking, while the other that of the trot.

A vodka cooler and five kovshs. Grachev Brothers
A vodka cooler and five kovshs. Grachev Brothers.
Grachev Brothers. c 1900 г.
More images here.

A vodka cooler and five kovshs. Grachev Brothers, c. 1900 (estimated at 7’000 €) decorated with fine repousse and chasing showing the grapevine with bunches.

A pocket triptych icon. Alexander Muhin.
A pocket triptych icon.
Alexander Muhin. 1880-s.
Weight c. 905 g. Height 17,5 cm. Width 21 cm.
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A pocket triptych icon by Alexander Muhin, 1880-s (estimated at 7’000 €) depicts St. Konstantin in the centre, St. Nicholas on the right, and St. George on the left.

The Order of St. Vladimir – 2nd class neck badge. end of 19th century.
The Order of St. Vladimir – 2nd class neck badge. end of 19th century.
With ribbon. Height 52 mm. Width 52 mm.
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The Order of St. Vladimir – 2nd class neck badge. end of 19th century (estimated at 5’000 €) was established in 1782 and abolished after The October Revolution in 1917. Comes with ribbon.  

The Order of St. Anna – 2nd class neck badge with swords.
The Order of St. Anna – 2nd class neck badge with swords.
Decorated with enamel and comes with ribbon.
Beginning of the Height 45 mm. Width 45 mm.
More images here.

The Order of St. Anna – 2nd class neck badge with swords (estimated at 5’000 €). The order had 4 grades to award civil and military servants for a distinguished career. The order was established in 1735, and was abolished after The October Revolution.

Provenance:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Otto Viktor Appelgren (1890-1958).

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Photos and information: courtesy of Hagelstam & Co.


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