What’s Selling So Far at TEFAF Maastricht 2017
Collectors are looking to "buy very quickly," one dealer reports.
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the annual TEFAF 2017 fair in Maastricht was as vibrant and packed as ever. Dealers with specialties including tribal art, precious jewels, antiquities, Old Masters, modern, and contemporary art were upbeat about sales well into the first official opening day on March 10. As well they would be: The vernissage/VIP preview on March 9 at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre already yielded reports of robust sales.
London Old Master dealer Colnaghi had a solid sales day right out of the gate, with the gallery selling no less than four works in the first two hours, CEO Jorge Coll told artnet News. Among these was a previously unknown painting by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi with an asking of €5 million ($5.3 million), acquired within the first hour of the preview by a private European foundation.
According to a statement from the gallery, the Cavarozzi was “one of the most important discoveries for decades in the field of Caravaggesque painting. The still-life had not been seen in public for over a century; it had resided in the same family collection since it was acquired at auction at the turn of the 20th century with an erroneous attribution.”
The other opening-hours acquisitions reported by Colnaghi: a rediscovered polychrome sculpture of Saint Francis of Assisi by Pedro De Mena; Adoration of the Shepherds, a painting by Cesare Fracanzano for a seven figure sum; and an 18th-century Guatemalan polychrome sculpture, Abduction of Persephone, which had an asking price in the region of €100,000.
Having done the fair for the last five years, Coll remarked that the mood and demand from collectors felt similar to past editions, though he added, “You never know what’s going to happen or if you’ll have the momentum of previous years.”
One much-buzzed-about item with an aristocratic provenance was an Edwardian diamond tiara that belonged to the Spencer family. Priced at $225,000, it was reportedly sold before it was even officially unveiled at Hancocks London by mid-afternoon on vernissage day.
London dealer Daniel Katz was also pleased with opening-day sales. Director Tom Davies reported the sale of Arnao de Bruselas’s Lamentation to an English museum for an undisclosed price. Another work that quickly found a buyer was Claudio Bravo’s early and rare self-portrait, which had an asking price of $245,000. It sold to a private collector.
Closer to the present, Oslo’s Galleri K reported the sale of Winter (2016), a two-block woodcut by Franz Gertsch (b. 1930). The price was not disclosed.
London-based Koopman Rare Art, which specializes in silver, reported positive vibes and strong feedback on opening day. “The atmosphere has been lively, with plenty of interested customers, both old and new,” director Lewis Smith said. “This has translated into numerous sales, including several pieces by English silversmith Paul Storr (1771–1844). What has been particularly notable is the way people have been making up their minds to buy very quickly, which is always extremely encouraging and bodes well for the market in general.”
Another work highlighted in our TEFAF first look yesterday, the recently reattributed Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Anthony Abbot and Two Angels, also found a buyer at Agnews on an asking price of $850,000. The gallery also sold Portrait of a member of the Guild of St. Sebastian, attributed to the “Antwerp School” (ca. 1645).
TEFAF continues through Sunday, March 19.
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