The Market | By Brook S. Mason

Design makes a splash at TEFAF

March 20, 2009  |  A new addition to TEFAF, which is, of course, best known for old master paintings and fine decorative arts, is an entire section devoted solely to design-from the 20th century to the present. Although sequestered from the main shopping thoroughfare and up a flight of stairs, the Design Pavilion attracted collectors.
 
Among the exhibitors: Sebastian + Barquet of New York and London; Galerie Eric Philippe and L'Arc en Seine, both of Paris; Galerie Ulrich Fiedler of Berlin; and Bel Etage Kunsthandel/Wolfgang Bauer of Vienna. Joining them are three long time TEFAF dealers Galerie Downtown/Francois Laffanour of Paris; Philippe Denys of Brussels; and Kunsthandel Frans Leidelmeijer of Amsterdam.
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The Market | By Brook S. Mason

The YSL effect at TEFAF

March 18, 2009  |  Some of the good news from TEFAF is all about the YSL effect. Like Christie's acclaimed sale of the collection of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, TEFAF is a virtual cabinet of curiosities where superlative antiques, rare objects of vertu, and antiquities have been selling well. Over one hundred dealers specializing in this area exhibit at the fair, which runs until March 22. Here we offer some highlights.

At Galerie J. Kugel of Paris, where Saint Laurent used to shop for 17th century silver-gilt works, brothers Nicolas and Alexis Kugel represent the fifth generation of their family's gallery. In their booth a dazzling turbo shell with ornate silver gilt mounts in the shape of sea monsters and stylized fish offers a rich provenance-the drinking cup was presented by the Dutch West India Company to Piet Hein in recognition of his capture of a fleet of Spanish ships filled with gold and silver in 1649. It had been lost for 227 years until Nicolas recently rediscovered it.
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The Market | By Brook S. Mason

Old Masters Rule in Maastricht

March 16, 2009  |  When the 22nd version of TEFAF, long known as the European Fine Art Fair, opened last Friday in this small Dutch border town, not a glimmer of the prevailing global financial crisis was apparent to the casual observer.  By the second hour of the vernissage, the aisles, lined with a record 239 dealers exhibiting old master paintings, antiquities, antiques, as well as postwar and contemporary art were packed with visitors. Held at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center, TEFAF covers a staggering 300,000 square feet. Although a single ticket was priced at a hefty 55 euros, that did not appear to be a deterrent.

"Quite simply, we remain the finest art, antiques, and design fair on earth," boasts Konrad Bernheimer of the London and Munich based Bernheimer-Colnaghi gallery, who was instrumental in founding the dealer run fair. Bernheimer is showing a Lucas Cranach the Elder oil dating from 1534 as well as pictures by Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, and other major masters. "The market for old masters is still strong," he reports, and so it seems to be. Before the vernissage was over, he had sold a Rubens oil to an eager American collector.
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The Market | By Brook S. Mason

Dealer Interview: Ben Janssens

February 25, 2009  |  Ben Janssens, the London dealer in Oriental art and chairman of TEFAF/Maastricht’s Executive Committee, describes new directions for Europe’s largest antiques and fine arts fair:

Can you describe the origins and evolution of TEFAF/Maastricht?

In 1975 a number of the world's leading Old Masters dealers, such as Johnny van Haeften of London and the late Robert Noortman of Maastricht, believed there was a critical need for a major fair run by dealers. They established the Pictura fair which evolved into the European Fine Art Fair (or TEFAF/Maastricht Foundation), and their model of a dealer-run fair has thrived. The fair began with 28 dealers in 1975. Last year, there were 227. To give you an idea of attendance, in 1989 there were 17,000 visitors to the fair. We recorded 73,406 last year.
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NYG 2013

[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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