This was the first sentence of a story in The Times Colonist of Victoria, British Columbia on Saturday, February 23rd.
Jeff Bell of the Times Colonist wrote that an 1884 oil painting of the Russian ruler by Johann Köler was purchased for $80,000 on February 21st at Kilshaw's auction house by an Estonian bidder who joined the Victoria auction event by phone. The bidder was one of three Estonians vying for the painting, and according to Allison Ross of Kilshaw’s, among a number of live bidders world-wide.
Other paintings by Köler (1826-99) have sold recently for up to $120,000. His portrait of Czar Alexander III, Russia's emperor from 1881 until his death in 1894, has a distinct connection to Estonia.
"I believe it may have been commissioned by the Estonians as a gift to Czar Alexander III," said the auction house representative.
"Right around that time that did happen, and with Köler being the father of Estonian painting, it's very likely that they would have commissioned him” ( to paint the porttrait) added Ross.
The painting sold at Kilshaw's, which came from an unnamed Victoria estate, is one of four that Köler is believed to have painted of the czar.
Czar Alexander III is going home to Estonia