Russian Icon has already established itself as one of the leading experts for Russian icon dealing. Our online gallery and religious icons store founded by Oleg Kushnirskiy, a true professional who has dedicated his life to collecting and learning antique Russian icons, display a diverse collection of museum-quality Eastern Orthodox icons dating back to the 16th–19th centuries. Dealing with rare and valuable antique icons, we are aware of our huge responsibility toward these unique works of art and, therefore, do our best to provide the highest level of security. Our professional team of experts specializes in administering estates, maintaining religious icon collections, consulting insurers and collectors, compiling reports and reviews, preserving and restoring antique icons, as well as selling and buying Russian Orthodox icons. A wide circle of regular customers, including museums and international collectors from all over the world, and 25 years of experience prove that RissianIcon is a sustainable and reliable partner for religious icon dealing. We guarantee an exceptional degree of personal consultation, security, and service for all our customers!
Whether you have antique Russian icons and religious artifacts for sale or you just want your precious possessions to be appraised, you have come to the right place because we are constantly looking for interesting, authentic items in good condition! At Russian Icon, we can professionally assist you in a variety of ways, including the following:
- We can manage your collection of Eastern Orthodox icons and help you select additional items from our own inventory.
- We can give you an approximate verbal wholesale or retail valuation for free.
- We can provide you with a formal written authentication and appraisal for a reasonable fee.
- We can offer you best possible prices for your antique Russian icons or religious artifacts.
At Russian Icon, we are happy to deal with the entire collections of hand-painted Orthodox icons, as well as with single Russian icons or other religious objects and relics.
What icons do we buy?
What is a religious icon? Religious icons are typically paintings depicting Christ, the Mother of God, Saints, Angels, Archangels, or some scenes from Church history and Old or New Testament. The word “icon” itself originates from the Greek word “eikon” that means “image.” In today’s understanding, religious icons are holy objects related to prayer and connected with the everyday life of Christian believers. What’s more, they are also works of art bearing a certain mystical meaning. Anyway, all religious icons stand for the presence of God and, therefore, are so much valued all over the world.
Most of Eastern Orthodox icons are traditionally made from wood, but there are also examples made from gold, enamel, silver, brass, bronze, stone, ivory, and even woven fabric. No matter the material, each of them requires much patience and tremendous craftsmanship of the iconographer, which means that every carefully produced religious icon is a meticulous work of many months or even years, especially when it comes to antique Russian icons. As for modern religious icons, they follow almost the same procedures and paint methods that were used centuries ago, including egg tempera that can last hundreds of years. For today, there is a great variety of religious icons that can be found in all Orthodox Churches and certain Catholic Churches, as well as in private ownership of Christian believers or collectors. Some of them can be more than a meter high, while others are no more than 15 cm in length. The latter are usually designed for worship in the icon corner of the house. Furthermore, there are also small diptychs or triptychs (foldable icons) that accompany people when traveling. At Russian Icon, we are ready to buy interesting Orthodox icons of any type, format, and theme. However, the preference is given to genuine antique Russian icons created in the 19th century or earlier.
What determines the price?
There are several factors that are usually noted when assessing religious icons. These include:
- Quality. Our dedicated team of experts in Russian icon art and history of religion has the well-trained eye and all the necessary knowledge of today’s market to spot the quality differences between individual Eastern Orthodox icons. We are professionals in this field so that you are guaranteed to get top dollar for quality items.
- Condition. Being reliable Orthodox icon dealers, we pay attention to all restorations that have been undertaken in the religious icons we are going to buy. The icon increases in value if it has preserved its original parts and painting. Please remember that getting your antique icon restored is a good idea only if this work is done by a professional restorer.
- Provenance. What aspects are usually taken into account when it comes to religious icon provenance? In most cases, it implies different mentions in publications, presentations at major museums or important exhibitions, famous previous owners, reports by renowned experts, and historical events. In general, the provenance of the religious icon shows its origin, sheds light on its historical and art importance, as well as describes its fate since its very creation. This documentation always has a positive impact on the icon’s value. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all antique icons without provenance are less valuable. Some of them are simply waiting to be discovered as religious icon art treasures.
- Authenticity. This is probably the most important factor. Unfortunately, there are lots of forgeries in today’s market of antique icons and religious artifacts. Despite this, our reliable experts with extensive knowledge in this field are able to distinguish an original work from a forgery. It is needless to say that the price directly depends on that assessment.
- Rarity. The rarer the icon is, the more valuable it is considered. The rarity of the religious icon may refer to its provenance, historical background, characteristics, the subject of the painting, age, and some other factors.
At Russian Icon, we offer a non-binding and free of charge expert consultation and initial review of any of your religious icons. Everything you should do is contact us via email or telephone, or simply send us a quality picture of your icon via the contact form, and we will get back to you in the shortest time. We are always happy to be of service!