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Lot 6: *TROPININ, VASILY (1776-1857)

Est: £150,000 GBP - £300,000 GBPSold:
MacDougall'sNovember 30, 2016London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


*TROPININ, VASILY (1776-1857)
Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat, signed, inscribed in Cyrillic "Moskva" and dated 1847.
Oil on canvas, 76.5 by 61 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, New York.

With Hammer Galleries, New York, from c. 1956 (label on the backing board).

Donated to the Library of Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, c. 1959.

Acquired from the above by the previous owner in 2005.

Thence by descent.

Private collection, USA.

Vasily Tropinin is rightfully considered to be the “patriarch” of the Moscow school of painting. He produced more than 3,000 portraits in the course of a long creative life and his models came from a variety of social classes in the old Russian capital, including representatives of the aristocracy and long-established gentry (the Samarin, Obolensky, Panin, Zubov, Voeikov, Mosolov and Ladyzhensky families). Members of Moscow’s “millionairemerchant” families, such as the Kiselevs and Sapozhnikovs, were also among his sitters, and the subject of the portrait, which is now offered for sale, most probably came from the milieu of the capital’s merchants and honoured citizens, as evidenced by his clothes and hairstyle.

The Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat dates from the artist’s mature period, when he discovered his own distinctive style of painting. The space in this chamber-style, half-height portrait and the positioning of the figure obey a definite scheme. The image created by the portraitist draws the eye by the sharpness of character and observation. The face of the unknown subject is not young, but its expression is not of a man ravaged or broken by life. It expresses the heartfelt sincerity and harmonic integrity that are the hallmarks of Tropinin the portraitist.

The absence of Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat from the list of Tropinin’s works (the fullest to date) compiled by Alexandra Amshinskaya (Moscow, 1970) is explained by the painting’s history. It was taken out of Russia in the middle of the 20th century and has long been in private ownership, so it was unknown to Russian art historians. Acquaintance with the work broadens our understanding of the art of Vasily Tropinin.

We are grateful to Dr Liudmila Markina for providing additional catalogue information.

Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat, offered for auction, is a typical work from Vasily Tropinin’s mature period, when the artist had reached an unparalleled mastery in combining physical resemblance with an idealization of the image.

The half-height, nearly life-size figure of the sitter fills the entire canvas. The artist focuses exclusively on the subject, whom he places against a neutral background, completely omitting the elements of interior, yet scrupulously recording the tiniest details of the man’s stylish civilian attire. This documentary approach lends the image an illusory veracity, and this effect is reinforced by the linear-sculptural treatment of form, a combination of clearly delineated contour and densely applied brushstrokes. But at the same time, this portrait, like many other works by Tropinin, is a collective image, embodying the artist’s conception of an ideal type of Moscow gentry.

Until 1959, Portrait of a Gentleman in a Plaid Waistcoat hung in the gallery of Armand Hammer, famous American businessman and collector. Then, it was gifted to Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where it adorned the wall of the University library until the beginning of the 21st century.

Payment & Shipping


Accepted forms of payment: MasterCard, Other, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Shipping can be arranged @ buyer's expenses. Please contact us for details.

Auction Details

Russian Art Auction

November 30, 2016, 10:30 AM GMT

30A Charles II Street, London, LDN, SW1Y 4AE, UK


Live bidding may start higher or lower

Buyer's Premium

£0 - 175,000:28.0%
£175,001 - 2,000,000:23.0%

Bidding Increments


Terms & Conditions of Sale

MacDougall's Terms & Conditions of Sale

1. All contractual rights and obligations made between vendors, bidders and MacDougall Arts Ltd in respect of an auction conducted by MacDougall Arts Ltd (an "auction") are subject to these Terms and Conditions of Sale.
2. In these Terms and Conditions of Sale, MacDougall Arts Ltd. - who act as agents for the vendor unless specified otherwise in the catalogue for the auction in question - are called "MacDougall's", or "us"; and the representative of MacDougall Arts Ltd. conducting the auction is called "The Auctioneer".
Hammer price
3. All bids for a lot at an auction shall be considered an offer for that lot, which the Auctioneer can accept or reject in accordance with clauses 9 and 12 of these Terms and Conditions. The hammer price means the highest bid accepted by the Auctioneer for the lot. The purchase price payable by the buyer shall be the aggregate of the hammer price plus the buyer's premium (together with any VAT chargeable on the hammer price and buyer's premium). The buyer's premium is at a rate of 25% on up to and including £175,000; 20% on any amount more than £175,000 and including £2,000,000; and at a rate of 12.5% on any remaining amount above £2,000,000 of the hammer price. All prices are quoted in UK Pounds Sterling.
4. Lots are normally sold under the UK Auctioneers Margin Scheme. Input tax deduction has not been and will not be claimed in respect of such lots. The charge for the buyer's premium will include VAT on the charges described above, which will not be shown separately and may not be reclaimed as input tax.
5. Items marked with an asterisk (*) have been imported from outside the EU. 5% will be added to the hammer price to cover Import VAT. EU VAT registered buyers should note that neither this 5% nor the VAT on the buyer's premium can be refunded or claimed against VAT.
6. Buyers from outside the EU who intend to ship their purchases outside the EU within three months should tell MacDougall Arts at time of payment. For them, the VAT charge included in the premium (and the 5% charge on asterisked lots) will be treated as a deposit, refundable on presentation of documentary proof of export outside the EU within three months.
Droit de suite (Artist's resale right)
7.1. Some works will be subject to Droit de Suite (Artist's Resale Right), and will be indicated with a "§" mark in the catalogue or otherwise notified. This is a royalty payable to a qualifying artist (citizens of EU and EEA countries) each time a work is re-sold during the artist's lifetime and to their descendants for 70 years after the artist's death.
7.2 Buyers will be charged an amount equal to this resale royalty where it applies. These resale royalties are not subject to VAT and do not apply when the hammer price is less than 1,000 euros. Invoices are normally issued in Pounds Sterling, with the resale royalty calculated on the basis of the European Central Bank reference rate on the date of the sale.
7.3 Droit de Suite Scale Charge Portion of the Hammer Price (in Euros)
4% Up to 50,000
3% 50,001-200,000
1% 200,001-350,000
½% 350,001-500,000
¼% Over 500,000
To a maximum of 12,500 euros
Guaranteed Property
8. A minimum price has been guaranteed to the seller for lots marked with the symbol "°". This guarantee may be provided by MacDougall's, by a third party or jointly by MacDougall's and a third party. Third parties providing all or part of a guarantee benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
9. Bidding at an auction is regulated at the sole discretion of the Auctioneer, who reserves the right to reject any bid.
10. In the case of lots upon which the vendor has placed a reserve, the Auctioneer shall have the right to bid on behalf of the vendor, but no higher than the reserve. MacDougall Arts Ltd., its Directors, its staff, or its consultants may own or have a beneficial interest in a lot being sold. All lots are offered subject to a Reserve Price agreed in writing with the vendor; it shall be no higher than the low estimate of the hammer price. MacDougall's have absolute discretion to refuse admission to the auction.
11. If instructed, MacDougall's will execute bids for prospective buyers. This service is free. Lots will always be purchased as cheaply as is allowed by such other bids and reserves as are on the Auctioneer's books. In the event of identical bids, the earliest will take precedence. There must always be a maximum limit indicated, i.e. the amount to which the buyer would bid if attending the auction in person. «Buy» or unlimited bids will not be accepted. Commission bids placed by telephone are accepted at the client's risk.
12. Notwithstanding clause 14, the buyer and the vendor shall enter into the contract for the buyer to buy and the vendor to sell the lot in question upon the fall of the Auctioneer's hammer.
13. Lots purchased online will attract an additional charge for this service in the sum of 3% of the hammer price plus VAT at the rate imposed.
Identification and Payment
14. The buyer shall forthwith supply his name and address and his bank and other suitable references considered necessary by MacDougall's, acting reasonably. Bidders act as principal unless they have prior written consent from MacDougall's to bid as agent for another party. Bidders are personally liable for their bid and are jointly and severally liable with their principal if bidding as agent.
15. Legal title to a lot shall not pass to the buyer until MacDougall's receive the full purchase price for the lot in cleared funds.
16. Unless MacDougall's agree with the buyer otherwise:
(a) the lot must be paid for in full within twenty-one days of sale; and
(b) the buyer must remove the lot in question, at their expense, within 30 calendar days following sale.
17. MacDougall's are not obliged to release a lot to a buyer until title to that lot has passed, but any earlier release will not affect the passing of title.
18. To the extent an export licence is required in order to remove a lot from the United Kingdom, the buyer alone is responsible for obtaining and paying for such a licence.
19. If a buyer fails to pay for or remove a lot in accordance with clauses 13 to 17 above, MacDougall's shall be entitled at their absolute discretion to exercise one or more of the following rights, unless agreed otherwise with the buyer.
(a) To rescind the contract in respect of that lot.
(b) To store the lot or cause it to be stored at their own premises or warehouses elsewhere at the sole expense and risk of the buyer, and to release the lot only after payment in full of the purchase price, accrued storage and haulage charges and all other costs incurred by MacDougall's in connection with the lot.
(c) To charge interest and storage charges. Interest is charged at 10% per annum, and storage charges at 50 pounds per lot per week. However these charges will be waived if payment is received by the 21 day contractual deadline and the purchases are collected within four months
(d) With seven day's notice to the buyer to resell the lot or cause it to be resold by public or private sale. Any deficiency in the purchase price attending such resale (after giving credit for any payment and after deducting full costs incurred in connection with the lot) to be made good by the defaulting buyer, any surplus (after retention by MacDougall's of the premium) to be paid to the vendor.
(e) Commence legal proceedings on behalf of the vendor to recover the purchase price and other expenses for that lot.
(f) Release the name and address of the buyer to the vendor to enable the vendor to commence the legal proceedings against the buyer.
(g) MacDougall's shall in all circumstances be entitled to exercise a lien against any property belonging to the buyer or where the buyer has acted as an agent any property belonging to the buyer's principal which is in the possession of or in the control of MacDougall's in respect of any debt howsoever arising owed by the buyer (or the buyer's principal) to MacDougall's notwithstanding that the value of the property exceeds the amount owed to MacDougall's.
(h) MacDougall's may set off any sums owed by a buyer or its principal against any money owed by MacDougall's to the buyer or its principal not withstanding that MacDougall's may have in their possession or under their control property belonging to the buyer or its principal.
(i) MacDougall's are entitled at their absolute discretion to apportion any monies received by or on behalf of the buyer against any sums owed by the buyer or its principal by or on behalf of the buyer against any sums owed by the buyer or its principal to MacDougall's.
(j) Where lots are not removed in accordance with clause 17 above, whether or not payment has been made, MacDougall's shall be permitted to remove the lot to a third party warehouse at the buyer's expense, and only release the items after payment in full has been made of removal, storage, handling, and any other costs reasonably incurred, together with payment of all other amounts due to us.
(k) To debit the bank account of the buyer, on the basis of the debit or credit card details provided by the buyer to MacDougall's prior to the auction in question, in part or full payment of the outstanding purchase price and any other outstanding fees.
Catalogue Descriptions
20. MacDougall's reserve the right to withdraw, consolidate, divide or alter any lot or combine any two or more lots.
21. All statements in the catalogues, advertisements or brochures of forthcoming sales are statements of opinion only. Illustrations in the catalogues, advertisements or brochures of forthcoming sales may not necessarily reveal imperfections in any lot. The exact physical description of any lot and the extent of any defect, restoration or repair to any lot should be ascertained by intending buyers through inspection. Each buyer by making a bid for a lot acknowledges that he has satisfied himself fully before bidding by inspection or otherwise as to all the sale conditions the physical condition of and description of the lot including but not restricted to whether the lot is damaged or has been repaired or restored.
22. MacDougall's reserve the full and absolute right to illustrate and photograph any lot placed in its hands for sale, and to use these photographs and illustrations at any time at its absolute discretion (whether or not in connection with the auction).
23. Notwithstanding any other terms of these conditions, if within one year after the sale the buyer of any lot gives notice in writing to the Auctioneer that in his view the lot is a counterfeit (i.e. an imitation created to deceive as to authorship, origin, date, or age); and within fourteen days after such notification the buyer returns the lot to the Auctioneer in the same condition as at the time of sale and free of third party claims; and by producing evidence, with the burden of proof to be upon the buyer, satisfies MacDougall Arts Ltd. that the lot is a counterfeit, not reflected by the description in the catalogue; then the sale of the lot will be rescinded and the purchase price of the same refunded. No lot shall be considered a counterfeit by reason only of any damage and/or restoration and/or modification work of any kind including repainting or over-painting. This limited right of refund lies with the original buyer only and is not transferable to third parties.
Data Protection
24. By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, vendors, bidders, and buyers agree to the storage and processing of their personal information by the Auctioneer. The data may be stored in countries which do not offer equivalent protection of personal information to that offered in the EU. The Auction may be subject to video and audio recording by the Auctioneer. The Data Controller is MacDougall Arts Ltd.
English Law and Language
25(a). All sales and related matters included within these Conditions of Sale shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England (regardless of where the lot may have been received by the Auctioneer) and the buyer submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
25(b). Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this contract, including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the LCIA Rules, which Rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause. The number of arbitrators shall be one. The seat, or legal place, of arbitration shall be London. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English. The governing law of the contract shall be the substantive law of England and Wales.
26. Where a translation of this agreement has been provided, it is agreed that the English language version shall be the governing one.
Payment methods:
For payments by wire transfer, please direct payment in UK pounds sterling (with all charges to be paid by sender, and include a reference to the lot number) to:
MacDougall Arts Client Trust Account No. 73662942, Sort Code 40-07-13, Swift code MIDLGB22, IBAN GB90MIDL40071373662942 HSBC Bank plc, 8 Victoria St., Westminster, London SW1H 0NJ.
Other payment methods:
Credit card payments are charged 2.5% extra. UK debit card payments are free of charge. Personal UK cheque payments will have to clear before delivery of purchases. Banker's drafts and cash within certain limits may be accepted by arrangement.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer's premium is at a rate of 25% on up to and including £175,000; 20% on any amount more than £175,000 and including £2,000,000; and at a rate of 12.5% on any remaining amount above £2,000,000 of the hammer price. All prices are quoted in UK Pounds Sterling.

NB: Some works will be subject to Droit de Suite (Artist's Resale Right). Please refer to full Terms & Condtions of Sale for further details.


Buyer's Premium
Winning Bidder is responsible for paying the Buyer's Premium of 15% of the bid amount.
Conditions of items
Written and oral descriptions are our opinions and should in no way be construed as a guarantee of any kind as to age, condition, materials or any other feature of items being sold.
We recommend prospective bidders examine all items in which they have an interest, prior to bidding. Please contact our office for an appointment. Your bidding will signify that you have examined the items as fully as you desire, or that you have chosen not to examine them.
- Bidders are required to register prior to bidding and must use the numbers issued to them.
- Bidding on an item indicates your understanding and acceptance of these Terms of Sale.
- DeYoung Auctions is not responsible for bidders error due to catalog changes, misprints or information not known at time of the cataloging.

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Pick up:
Buyer agrees to pick up the winning items at a scheduled time/date. If buyer fails to pick up items at specified time/date, buyer will forfeit said items.

You will receive an email invoice with the total due after the sale. The Credit Card that you used to register does not automatically get charged. Please click the link in the invoice and pay within 3 days. If payment is not received within 4 days from invoice date, the credit card that you registered with will be charged.
We reserve the right to require bank checks for large purchases.
We reserve the right not to issue a buyer's number or to withhold merchandise if appropriate credit has not been established.

Personal property may not be removed until paid for in full along with applicable sales and/or transfer taxes and any other fees due. Removal shall be at the sole expense, risk and liability of the buyer. If for any reason the buyer fails to pay and/or remove any item within the time specified, the buyer will forfeit the item.
The Buyer must pay State Sales Tax (6%) on the total purchase price (aggregate of hammer price & Buyer's premium) unless a Sales Tax Exemption form is filled out with our office. Items that are shipped are not usually subject to sales tax.

All items are sold "as is, where is." When the item is sold it becomes the responsibility of the buyer. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. We do not give credit or refunds.

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Payment methods

For payments by wire transfer, please direct payment in UK pounds sterling (with all charges to be paid by sender, and include a reference to the lot number) to:
MacDougall Arts Client Trust Account No. 73662942, Sort Code 40-07-13, Swift code MIDLGB22, IBAN GB90MIDL40071373662942 HSBC Bank plc, 8 Victoria St., Westminster, London SW1H 0NJ.

Other payment methods:
Credit card payments are charged 2.5% extra. UK debit card payments are free of charge. Personal UK cheque payments will have to clear before delivery of purchases. Banker's drafts and cash within certain limits may be accepted by arrangement.

Shipping Terms

Shipping can be arranged @ buyer's expenses. Please contact us for details.