With its 7th edition, PAD London has truly mastered the spirit of eclecticism in a record year for the fair. With the addition of Antiquities, Japanese Art, the mix of genres and the exquisitely curated environment proved inspiring to the public, first-time buyers and collectors alike. An illustrious opening night proved auspicious for a week of lively sales and many dealers reported meeting major new clients and esteemed collectors from the outset. Its intimate setting on Berkeley Square remains unbeatable - in the words of Christian Elwes of Entwistle, 'you couldn't have a better location. You couldn't buy it. This is the square.'
Many Modern Art exhibitors have enjoyed top-end sales. Galerie Von Vertes from Switzerland sold at least two works at seven figures each: a bold red 3-slash canvas by Lucio Fontana on the fair's opening night and a painting by Max Ernst later in the week. Stellan Holm Gallery sold pieces by Nate Lowman in the region of $700,000 and a work on paper by Franz Kline for around $400,000. New paintings by Royal Academician Christopher Le Brun proved exceptionally popular at the stand of Friedman Benda, with the largest canvas, Painting at Sunrise, going for £140,000. Robin Katz, who specialises in Modern British Art, reported better sales than last year, with major pieces by Bridget Riley, Antony Caro and Lynn Chadwick all going to collectors. Photography specialist Michael Hoppen sold the highlight works on his stand such as Nobuyoshi Araki's Grand Diary of a Photo Maniac (1994) for £30,000 and William Klein's Club Allegro Fortissimo, Paris (1990) for £25,000.
Sales in the new genre of Antiquities were particularly impressive. At David Ghezelbash's stand, a Greek bronze tortoise shell from 400-300 BC sold rapidly, while a 6th century Etruscan head went for €250,000 and a Cycladic head for €120,000. Gordian Weber Kunsthandel sold very well throughout the week, remarking on an exceptional crowd including several major collectors in the field of antiquities. At the stand of Jean-Christophe Charbonnier - specialists in Japanese art of the Edo period - Samurai armour and helmets were snapped up on the very first evening by first-time buyers of the genre. Tribal Art dealer Bernard Dulon sold the masterpiece of his stand within hours: a 19th Century Teke Fetish figure from the Congo with an asking price of €250,000.
On the Design front, strong sales were enjoyed by both contemporary and 20th century exhibitors. SMO Gallery from Lebanon, the first Middle Eastern gallery to join PAD London, were relieved of the majority of their stand by the end of the week, starting with the opening-night sale of Ouroboros (2011), a golden-scaled snake sculpture by Ranya Sarakbi, priced at £130,000. Newcomer Juan Garrido of Garrido Gallery reported not only healthy sales but new commissions from clients viewing the gallery's stunning designs in silver and gold. French-based Galerie Kreo, renowned for cutting-edge contemporary design, sold consistently throughout the week, with purchases including a Marc Newson table at €300,000, a Campana Brothers Fata Morgana mirror for €32,000, Pierre Charpin's Carbon Shelf for €36,000, and Alessandro Mendini's Lampada in white gold for €75,000. Galerie Gosserez sold the vast majority of their stand, with new pieces by Valentin Loellmann, Os & Oos and gt2p going for prices ranging from £18,000 - £30,000. Nominated one of the most beautiful pieces at PAD London by Architectural Digest France, Fender Lamp (2013) by Johanna Grawunder at Galleria O. went for €12,000. PAD veterans Modernity, experts in 20th Century Scandinavian design, had an excellent fair with the sale of Gerrit Rietveld's set of four Zig Zag chairs (1958) for £60,000, a 'Paimio' armchair made by Alvar Alto for Artek (1940s), a set of Poul Henningsen table lamps (1926) from the first year of production for £40,000, and a set of Ib Kofoed Larsen 'Elizabeth'chairs (1958) for £35,000.
The '1 Picasso for 100 Euros' raffle was an added draw for visitors to the fair this year. Ticket sales have skyrocketed in a week and participants can look forward to the draw for the winner of Pablo Picasso's L'homme au Gibus (1914) at Sotheby's Paris in December.
On Monday 14 October, the jury for the prestigious Moët Hennessy-PAD London Prize gathered on Berkeley Square to select the recipients of this year's awards. Valentin Loellmann's Spring-Summer console (2013) from Galerie Gosserez was judged the Best Piece of Contemporary Design, while Paul Dupré-Lafon's Ski Bar (1929) at Galerie Dutko was named the Best Piece of 20th Century Decorative Arts. The award for Best Stand went to Hamiltons Gallery for curating an intimate sitting-room interior complete with photographs by Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.
The Collectors' Preview and VIP Opening, featuring Italian-style canapés by Roberta of Paris and champagne by Ruinart, hosted guests such as Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Zaha Hadid, Larry Gagosian, Frank Cohen, Leonard Lauder, Richard Buckley, Rolf & Maryam Sachs, Polly Morgan, Andrea Kronthaler, Paul Smith, Assia Webster, Kay Saatchi, Brooke Metcalfe, Princess Chantal of Hanover, Daniella Helayel, Dorrit Moussaieff, Eva O'Neill, Jonathan Yeo, Jordan Bratman, Marc Newson, Kim Hersov, Lady Wolfson of Marylebone, Laurence Graf, Sir Ronald and Lady Cohen, Lisa Butcher, Nadja Swarovski, Marc Quinn, Princess Michael of Kent, Otis Ferry, Nicky Haslam, Patrick Cox, Ozwald Boateng, Peter Mandelson, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Robin Birley, Saffron Aldridge, Ron Dennis, Tim and Lady Helen Taylor, Sol Campbell, Suzy Menkes, and Tomasz Starzewski.
Visitors to the fair also enjoyed the Ruinart Champagne Bar & Restaurant designed by Charles Zana. Diners were seated underneath delicate lighting by Japanese studio Nendo and listened to music played on Smoke Pleyel, a stunning piano created from a collaboration with Maison Pleyel and contemporary Dutch designer Maarten Baas. The windows were dressed with curtains specially created by Dedar House and the sun patio featured oversized lights by British designer Paul Cocksedge.
Fair president and organiser Patrick Perrin comments, 'I am extremely pleased with the 7th edition of PAD London. The buzz was phenomenal from day one and the spirit amongst exhibitors has been buoyant throughout the week. A lot of good sales have taken place and we hit a record number of almost 25,000 visitors! The fair is taking us to LA next year and everyone is really looking forward to it.'