The Market  |  By Carolin C. Young

Masterpiece London 2014

June 24, 2014  |  In the five short years since its creation, Masterpiece has established itself as London's most prominent and antici­pated fair. Its intent is to present the highest caliber art and antiques alongside a wide range of similarly distinguished luxury goods from cars to wine. However, because it was cre­ated by leading dealers from the former Grosvenor House fair, Masterpiece retains decorative arts firmly at its core.

Engraved map of London by Richard Bennett, London, 1760, mounted as a fan on bone sticks with carved ivory end-pieces. Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London.

This year's highlights veer toward unapologetic opulence. Ronald Philips features an astounding Charles II cream-japanned cabinet on a silvered stand; Chiale Antiquariato, a massive carved and inlaid table of 1905, which was made in Turin based on a design by Edoardo Smeriglio; and Anthony Outred, an entire suite of fan­ciful grotto furniture carved in shell forms made in Venice in the second half of the nineteenth century. Even dealers known for more understated tastes have selected obviously luxuriant ob­jects to exhibit this year. European folk art specialist Robert Young will show an unusual William and Mary period chest of drawers made from fruitwood, sycamore, and other exotic woods, which has also been embellished with painted deco­ration. De Backker Medieval Art showcases an exquisite pair of Byzantine gold and enamel bracelets. And Daniel Crouch Rare Books displays a show-stopping folding fan of 1760 that has been decorated with a detailed map of London.

Masterpiece London • South Grounds, Royal Hospital, Chelsea • June 26 to July 2 •

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