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Ballets Russes art taps golden gavel

Published time: November 30, 2011 08:49
Edited time: November 30, 2011 12:49
Sotheby's final tally exceeded everybody's expectations (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

Sotheby's final tally exceeded everybody's expectations (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

Artists are notorious for being desperate for success and money, which often come only after their death. Now, an entire selection of works by legendary Ballets Russes designer Alexandre Benois has sold out for a record price at Sotheby’s.

­The London sale received “golden gavel” status, also known as a “white-glove” auction, meaning that every lot on show found a buyer.

Part of a private collection, the rich selection featured 127 works embracing Benois’ entire career.

Best-known for his designs for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, Benois was one of the most trailblazing artists of his generation, shaping the image of modern ballet.

Lot 836 – Benois’ set for the famous Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) ballet by Serge Diaghilev, signed in Latin and dated 1914, fetched $369,000, soaring past its top estimate almost five times.

The artist’s Views of Versailles also attracted ample attention and sold for $237,000, with the sale's final tally double what Sotheby’s had expected.

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