Watermelons by Natalie Gontcharova
Mr. Dykes did it once again. He documented and then scheduled the next Russian masterpiece for sale. A large oil on canvas, previously incorrectly attributed to Michael Larionov and valued at $50,000.00, was a vibrant still life titled “Watermelons”, actually painted by Natalie Gontcharova, and it was delivered by special transit to Christie’s in London.
This work, targeted at the explosive Russian art market and specifically aimed at the biggest Russian sale of the year in November, underwent extensive examination and authentication by independent experts brought in by Christies, and their research confirmed Mr. Dykes’ proper attribution. Later that year, Mr. Dykes’ identification of the artist was resolutely confirmed by a top expert in the field, Anna Gregorieva from Moscow State University. The sale took place on November 26, 2008 in London, with Mr. Dykes and his clients in attendance.
Despite the global economic crisis exploding at the time, the still life sold for 1.5 million British pounds or $2,250,000.00