Masterpiece London 2015, in association with Principal Sponsor Royal Bank of Canada, resulted in strong sales to private collectors and international institutions alike. Held for the sixth year at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, many exhibitors saved their very finest pieces to unveil and sales across all principle categories supported the Fair's ethos of 'cross-collecting'.
The fair saw record visitor numbers of 40,000, a significant increase on 2014, and an influx of international collectors, a number of whom stated that they had flown into London to enjoy Masterpiece Week and the capital at the height of the season.
Of the 2015 Fair, Nazy Vassegh, CEO of Masterpiece London commented “It has been an absolute privilege to oversee the 6th edition of Masterpiece London in association with Royal Bank of Canada. All our exhibitors, partners and sponsors have contributed a huge amount of time and energy to help make this the best Masterpiece to date. London has a long and rich heritage at the heart of the art market and we are delighted to be at the very epicentre of this
busy summer season."
Hugh Gibson of Thomas Gibson Fine Art commented “Masterpiece 2015 has been a very successful Fair for us. We have made sales to both new and existing clients. It has rapidly become a permanent fixture and meeting point for both international collectors and the wider art market in London.”
Jonathan Carter of Carter Marsh & Co added “Masterpiece has been astonishing. We were delighted to be able to offer such an extraordinary collection at the Fair, but have been overwhelmed by how well it has been received and by the quality of collectors in attendance.”
David Gill of David Gill Gallery commented “I was delighted with the exceptional quality of all aspects of the fair. As a first time exhibitor it was a pleasure to participate at a fair that is becoming a very important part of the yearly calendar.”
Jonathan Green, CEO of Richard Green, added "Our first year at Masterpiece London has been a positive experience. We have sold paintings, been reacquainted with former clients and also met new people who seem genuinely interested in the paintings we brought to the fair."
Louis Smith, Director of Koopman Rare Art, added “The Fair continues to grow in stature and reputation. It is the exposure to potential new clients of such a distinguished, international calibre, which makes Masterpiece London so important to the trade."
Offer Waterman of Offer Waterman & Co noted “Exhibitors have brought some exceptional works to the Fair this year and we have noticed an increasing number of serious international collectors attending the event. Masterpiece continues to go from strength to strength.”
Frederick Hill of Collisart commented “When you gather this many leading international dealers across disciplines and put them together in this spectacular setting, in London, in June, the result is the most dynamic Fair in the world.”
James Demirjian from Ariadne Galleries added “This year’s Masterpiece got off to an exciting start when our ‘Venus of Fourviere’ was immediately snapped up by a new private collector.”
Dino Tomasso of Tomasso Brothers said “Collectors and Museum curators are travelling across the oceans to Masterpiece.”
Michele Beiny of Michele Beiny Inc noted “This has been my best Masterpiece to date. There was significant improved attendance from American museums and it is a real plus attracting international collectors of the highest calibre to the Fair.”
Martin Clist, MD Charles Ede added “Masterpiece London is consolidating its reputation as the premier art fair in Britain and one of the best in Europe. It’s well-placed for us to meet new clients which re-invigorates our business.”
Jonathan Yarker, Lowell Libson commented “We’ve done business throughout the Fair and seen exceptional people; Masterpiece is establishing itself as London’s best art Fair.”
Luigi Mazzoleni, Director, Mazzoleni London added "We are so pleased to have exhibited at Masterpiece London for the first time. We met new collectors and saw good sales as a result of the Fair with works sold by Burri, Bonalumi, Scheggi and Boetti. Masterpiece is an elegant Fair and we look forward to coming back next year."
Sales of note included:
Crane Kalman reported sales of works by Sonia Delaunay, Edmund de Waal, L.S Lowry, Craigie Aitchison and Alfred Wallis.
Thomas Gibson sold multiple works including four by Allen Jones and a work by Ben
Dickinson sold works by Marc Chagall, Joan Miró and Auguste Rodin.
Osborne Samuel sold works including the Gertrude Hermes peacock, a re-discovered Henry Moore ‘Helmet’, and three works by Lynn Chadwick.
Robertaebasta sold a key work by Alighiero Boetti five minutes into the Fair, amongst many others.
Symbolic & Chase sold highlights including a pair of diamond pendent earrings by SABBA, a black opal and emerald ring and a ruby and diamond bracelet by Boucheron.
Koopman Rare Art sold an outstanding and extremely rare pair of silver seal matrices, the only known set from the Queen’s Bench of England and Wales during the reign of Queen Victoria. Other noteworthy sales included a pair of Fabergé claret jugs and an unusually large silver model of a galleon on wheels.
Based Upon sold their Tramezite piece, two editions of ‘The Last fragment’ and ‘And so it is...’ white light neon works and secured a selection of commissions.
Carpenters Workshop sold 10+ works including some important pieces by Ingrid Donat Bench.
Sladmore Contemporary had a spectacular year selling 40 + pieces by artist Mark Coreth (who was in residence at the Fair creating new works throughout the eight days).
Philip Mould sold amongst others an important portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence of Mary Richmond.
Ronald Phillips highlight sale was ‘The Castle Howard Mirrors’ – a set of four George II giltwood mirrors, c.1740.
Godson & Coles sold a rare George III period satinwood cabinet which was once owned by Henry William Paget, the 1st Marquess of Anglesea.
Rupert Wace sale highlights included a Hellenistic marble figure of Hygeia, an important Greek helmet and an Egyptian bronze aegis.
Ariadne Galleries sold amongst others the exquisite Venus of Fourviere Hill, a gold bracteate pendant and a gilt silver Greek vessel.
Sam Fogg sold Four Courtiers serenaded by musicians, Netherlands, c. 1490-1510 as well as a 14th century architectural pinnacle, a corbel with anthropomorphic feline-headed snakes, c.1150, French and a capital depicting affronted snakes, c.mid 12th century, Southern France amongst other medieval works of art.
The prize for ‘Object of the Year’ went to The Hanover Tompion, offered by Carter Marsh & Co, which was part of the Tom Scott collection of clocks many of which are attributed to Thomas Tompion. This horological collection has proved immensely successful with Carter Marsh & Co selling over £8.5million worth of clocks including £4.5million for the Medici Tompion.
Over 150 museum directors and curators from the world’s finest cultural institutions visited this year’s fair, including Carlos Picon (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Sir Nicholas Penny (National Gallery), Peter B Kerber (Getty Museum), Duncan Bull (Rijksmuseum) Christopher Monkhouse (Chicago Institute of Arts) and Jessica Harrison-Hall (British Museum) to name a few.
Throughout the eight days of the Fair, Masterpiece welcomed a host of high profile guests, including Mila Kunis, Liz Hurley, Sir Michael Caine, Anjelica Huston, Eva Herzigova, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Paul Smith, Lord and Lady Camoys, Jeffrey Archer, Robbie Williams, Joanna Lumley, Masako the Crown Princess of Japan, HRH Princess Alexandra and HRH Princess Michael of Kent.
On the penultimate evening Masterpiece London and the NSPCC hosted The Neo-Romantic Art Gala Reception & Dinner. The evening was a huge success with over £1.2 million raised for the NSPCC.