TEFAF Maastricht Concludes Amidst Dazzling Sales and Global Museum Acquisitions
Mar 20, 2023 Maastricht, Netherlands
Maastricht, Netherlands – 20 March 2023: TEFAF’s return to its regular March slot was marked by significant sales to both private collectors and international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Rijksmuseum, Louvre and Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Over 250 institutions were represented bringing with them directors, curators and patrons to explore 9,000 years of art history. Amongst a 270-strong exhibitor portfolio, a packed program of talks and events and an expanded Showcase section dedicated to emerging galleries and dealers, TEFAF’s 36th edition symbolized a welcome return to normality attracting over 50,000 art lovers with visitors including European, fashion and sporting royalty.
Each year, a few particularly richly storied works are highlighted by exhibitors for their remarkable pasts. Endlich Antiquairs (stand 231) sold the Heda Tazza to an important US public collection. In a serendipitous turn of events, the very same tazza could be found depicted in A vanitas still life with a broken roamer, an upturned tazza and a peeled lemon, on a ledge, a painting by Willem Claesz Heda, presented by Dickinson (stand 356). The work has yielded competitive interest from several collectors.
Another exciting historical highlight was the sale by Daniel Crouch Rare Books (stand 216) of a collection of 157 playing cards, the Frank van den Bergh Collection, to a private collector for €600,000. Amongst the collection is a ‘foundling card,’ a section of a playing card left with an abandoned baby in late 18th century Amsterdam. The section would be reunited with its torn counterpart if the mother and child were reunited.
Equally compelling was the sale of the Miracle of Siena Cup by Kunstkammer Georg Laue (stand 204). The vessel is surmounted by a silver statuette of Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said that the cup is carved from the wood of the miraculous tree that, according to legend, grew from the staff that Saint Francis planted in on the site of the Chiesa dell’Allberino in Siena. The cup was held in the same family for almost 400 years. Kunstkammer Georg Laue also sold a turned bone chandelier to an undisclosed museum for a low six-figure sum.
Many antiques exhibitors enjoyed a strong fair, selling broadly across the works they displayed. TEFAF newcomer Frides Laméris Glass & Antiques (stand 189) sold an entire showcase full of glasses within two days including more than 10 glasses from the Collection Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Joost van den Bergh (stand 132) sold over a third of the works exhibited on the stand, and Vanderven Oriental Art (stand 104) also reported extensive sales to predominantly Asian clients and private European collectors. Amongst the 50+ objects it has sold a pair of Kangxi period blue and white jars and covers to a young UK collector for around €100,000. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG (stand 114) made a noteworthy sale of an extraordinarily rare Sammelband comprising three ground-breaking first-edition books by Albrecht Dürer, the German painter, printmaker and German Renaissance thinker, to a private collector with an asking price of around €280,000.
Peter Finer (stand 220) made several significant sales to five important US private collectors and to institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Finer reported that “this has been our best TEFAF ever.” Amongst its institutional sales are A French Silver-Mounted Flintlock Fowling-Piece by Jean Joseph Charrière and A Deluxe-Quality Hunting-Sword from the Hunting Wardrobe of a member of the Palatine Branch of the Royal House of Wittelsbach.
Adrian Sassoon (stand 248) sold a number of ceramics including Delft Stack II, made with collected 18th century Dutch Delft earthenware by London-based Dutch artist Bouke de Vries, for €21,000 to a new Dutch client. It also sold two Felicity Aylieff Monumental Blue and White Vases, which stand at over 190cm, for €57,000 each, and a pair of silver Aqua Posey Vases by Hiroshi Suzuki to an American private collector for €179,000.
Michael Goedhuis (stand 244) sold multiple works including a group of Chinese contemporary paintings with a median price of $100,000 and a 2nd century BC Bronze Han vase for $85,000 to an American institution and European private buyers, whilst Ben Janssens Oriental Art (stand 206) sold over 40 works including a Japanese Choshitsu carved lacquer screen, which is destined for a private yacht.
Jewelry is always a draw at TEFAF with spectacular pieces – both antique and contemporary – drawing crowds of admirers. Hong Kong-based exhibitor Forms (stand 148) sold to Dutch, Belgian and German buyers in their first year as a TEFAF exhibitor. Watch specialist, Somlo (stand 237) sold its King Midas Rolex, the most expensive watch of its time, made famous by Elvis Presley who was gifted one of the 1,000 limited examples made.
Highlight sales amongst contemporary exhibitors varied in subject matter, style and form. Sean Kelly (stand 465) sold a vast Kehinde Wiley painting (304cm x 216.cm), Portrait of Tarek Ali Ellis and Michael Morgan to a private collector for $950,000. Lisson Gallery (stand 421) sold two paintings by Sarah Cunningham to private collectors for an undisclosed sum. Her gestural, abstract works are enjoying enormous attention, prompting Lisson Gallery to comment on the length of the waiting list for these two works. Other sales included a large-scale gold work by Olga de Amaral, the celebrated Colombian textile and visual artist as well as works by the Chinese artist, Li Ran and the New York-based artist, Jack Pierson.
Specialists in Asian art and antiques, Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art (stand 168) sold the allegedly ‘most photographed’ contemporary work. Astronaut, a pink onyx sculpture by new-media artist and pioneer of digital game art in China, Feng Mengbo was acquired by a private American collector for a price in the region of €240,000.
Some galleries came close to selling out. Tim Van Laere Gallery (stand 451) sold almost the entire stand which included works by Ed Templeton, Rinus van de Velde and Bram Demunter, whilst African art specialist, Tafeta (stand 615) had sold or reserved over eighty per cent of its works ahead of the final weekend to both private collectors and institutions.
In the design section, Carpenters Workshop (stand 724) sold around 10 pieces to French, American and Middle Eastern collectors and also sold to interior designers. One of its highlights was a clock by Maarten Baas, acquired by a European collector, of which another work from The Real Time Series by the same artist can be seen in the entrance hall of the Rijksmuseum. Galerie Marcilhac (stand 722) reported a strong fair selling seven pieces including a chandelier by René Lalique, a personal desk of Paul Dupré-Lafon and a large panel bas-relief in plaster, Mowgli – Le livre de la Jungle, by Raymond Delamarre acquired by a private European collector.
Exhibitors specializing in paintings have recorded significant private and institutional sales. Lullo • Pampoulides (stand 310) sold Mary Magdalene Meditating on the Skull by Luca Giordano to an undisclosed museum, a haunting Juana Romani portrait Femme au fond brun to a private collector, and the colossal Launch of the Argo, presented by the 16-year-old artist, Jules van Biesbroek at the Paris Salon in 1890, also acquired by a European private collector. Rome’s Antonacci Lapiccirella Fine Art (stand 328) sold Le Quattro Stagioni by Giacomo Balla to a private collector for an asking price of circa €1,000,000 during the preview days of the fair (9 – 10 March). Balla was the leading Italian Futurist artist. It also sold Musiciennes dans un Parc by JP Berthon to an important German museum, Portrait of Elisa Baciocchi by Pietro Benvenuti to a private Italian foundation, and Female Nude Reading by Ugo Celada da Virgilio to a Dutch Museum.
Exhibitors noted increased interest in female artists from institutions in an effort to rebalance their collections. Amongst notable acquistions were two paintings by Rachel Ruysch sold to a European and American museum respectively for six-figure amounts by Haboldt & Co (stand 349). The director and curatorial team visited from the American museum on the opening day eager to acquire a later example of Ruysch’s work to show alongside an earlier work in the collection, illustrating the development of this important Dutch still life artist. In the works on paper section Day & Faber (stand 611) sold Technical Sketch with Perspective Lines by the pioneering Swedish female artist Ebba Maria Bring, called Maj Bring, which was snapped up instantly by a private collector.
Previous Showcase exhibitor, Caretto & Occhinegro (stand 372) sold Group Portrait as Mirror of Virtue by Nicolaes Maes for a price in the region of €600,000 to a private collector. Founders Massimiliano Caretto and Francesco Occhinegro, who are both in their thirties, say they have seen great success in their first year in the main section of the fair. Galerie Michel Descours (stand 373), specialists in artworks from the Renaissance to the 20th century, made multiple sales including Battle Scene by Jean Daret, Feast in Palès or Summer by Joseph-Benoit Suvée, Saint John the Baptist in the Desert by Louis Janmot and Montmartre in Winter by Georges Michel.
Among the ancient art exhibitors reporting strong sales were Galerie Cahn (stand 500) which sold over 60 objects, many to younger visitors for whom archaeology, David Cahn believes, is a more accessible collecting category. Galleria Kevorkian (stand 506) also enjoyed a strong fair, selling its highlight work, a Bactrian “Princess” to a private collector on the opening day in the low six-figures along with multiple Luristan bronzes and Islamic artworks.
Tribal art also performed well. Galerie Serge Schoffel (stand 713) sold, amongst other works, a Tatanua Mask dating from the late 19th to early 20th century from New Ireland whilst Bernard De Grunne (stand 719) sold all of its nine Mumuye statues to three private collectors from Italy, Belgium and France with prices ranging from €50,000 to €250,000.
President of TEFAF’s executive committee, Hidde van Seggelen commented, “This year’s edition of TEFAF was a truly gratifying experience for the entire TEFAF community and there was a feeling of great positivity and energy. Our exhibitors offered a spectacular platform for the dialogue between diverse works spanning 9,000 years of human creativity, paying homage to the quality of the pieces they offer. TEFAF is a special experience for the collecting community who continue to be inspired, year after year, and we all look forward to 2024.”
The next TEFAF will be the 8th edition of TEFAF New York taking place at Park Avenue Armory from Friday, May 12 to Tuesday, May 16 and featuring 91 of the world’s leading specialist dealers presenting a spectacular array of modern and contemporary art and design, jewelry, and antiquities.
Imagery of a selection of the sold works listed can be found here
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TEFAF and AXA XL, its Lead Partner, share the view that there's more to art than meets the eye. Learn more about AXA XL here.
TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation that champions expertise and diversity in the global art community, evidenced in the exhibitors selected for its two fairs, which take place annually in Maastricht and New York. TEFAF acts as an expert guide for both private and institutional collectors, which inspires lovers and buyers of art everywhere.
ABOUT TEFAF MAASTRICHT
TEFAF Maastricht is widely regarded as the world’s premier fair for fine art, antiques, and design. Featuring over 240 prestigious dealers from some 20 countries, TEFAF Maastricht is a showcase for the finest art works currently on the market. Alongside the traditional areas of Old Master paintings, antiques, and classical antiquities that cover approximately half of the fair, you can also find modern and contemporary art, photography, jewelry, 20th century design, and works on paper.
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