Rarity and quality are the distinguishing features of TEFAF Maastricht that put the Fair and its 275 exhibiting dealers in an inimitable position within the international art market. The variety of objects for sale within the Fair, particularly those from very niche collecting areas will once again provide private and institutional collectors with an unrivalled opportunity to view and buy some of the finest objects available on the market. The 31st edition of the Fair opened on Saturday to the public, following two preview days for collectors, and continues to March 18. TEFAF Maastricht, which celebrates over 7,000 years of art history, takes place at the MECC Maastricht.
J. Kugel (Stand 200), within TEFAF Antiques, is offering one of the finest examples of 17th-century decorative arts. The Bulgari Clock, is a masterpiece of ivory carving from the German Baroque, and is a perfect example of the Gesamtkunstwerk or “total artwork”, being a collaboration between the ivory carver, clockmaker and various goldsmiths. In addition, as its name suggests, the work has an extraordinary provenance – most notably being bought in the early 1960s by Constantino Bulgari (1889 – 1973), the son of Sortirio Bulgari who founded the eponymous jewellery and silver house. Previous to that, in the 18th- and 19th- centuries it had belonged to the Rothschild family.
A masterclass in craftsmanship is on offer at Adrian Sassoon (Stand 269). The gallery has a longstanding relationship with the internationally renowned goldsmith, Giovanni Corvaja, who is an alchemist when it comes to his craft. Corvaja’s latest work showcases true innovation in goldsmithing technology. The Mandala Bowl is composed of approximately 4,000 meters of 18ct gold wire, and yet in the way it has been crafted, around two thirds of its volume is air. This creates an overwhelming sense of transparency and allows for a captivating play of light over its geometric structure.
New TEFAF Maastricht exhibitor in TEFAF Ancient Art, Galerie Chenel (Stand 431), offers an extraordinary carved 2nd-century Roman marble work, Head of Serapis, which has been in the same family since 1905 and comes to market for the first time in over 120 years. This work is indicative of the quality that Galerie Chenel is renowned for. The work displays a smooth, expressive face framed by long, exquisitely carved wavy locks. The three strands of hair on his forehead identifies the figure as the god Serapis. A work of this size and quality is extremely rare and is illustrative of the unrivalled calibre of works brought to TEFAF Maastricht but participating exhibitors.
London based antiquities specialist, Charles Ede (Stand 426), is presenting a beautiful and delicate Roman, carved ivory relief, depicting a Bacchic scene with a drunken Silenos, 1st – 2nd century AD, which has been in a private collection since the early 20th century. Due to the length of the complete scene it is possible that this is an inlay for a piece of furniture, such as a wooden fulcrum, or perhaps a small chest.
TEFAF Tribal, the latest section to be added to TEFAF Maastricht, provides visitors with a comprehensive insight into this highly popular area of the market. Galerie Meyer – Oceanic & Eskimo Art (Stand 135) is exhibiting an Aripa hunting and warfare spirit figure, crafted from hard wood. This distinct carving of a stylised human figure in profile, comes from the Ewa people, Melanesia (caves of the Korewori) and is dated 17th- to 19th century.
US based dealer Donald Ellis (Stand 128) is exhibiting an Alaskan mask, crafted from wood, paint and vegetal fibre. This work is indicative of the deep-rooted passion dealers have for the works they deal in – Ellis first encountered this work 25 years ago when he saw it in the collection of Surrealist artist Roberto Matta (1911-2002). Ellis is now offering the work for sale at TEFAF Maastricht. The mask is likely to have come from Goodnews Bay, Southwest Alaska, and is a superb example of late 19th/early 20th century works of this kind.
One of the most extraordinary works in TEFAF Paintings is on offer courtesy of Adam Williams (Stand 454), who is presenting one of the finest works by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) to come to market. The work, Hermes at Calypso’s Table, is in fantastic condition and is a compositionally strong and exciting work for the artist.
Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker (Stand 343), exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht under this name for the first time, are presenting a significant number of fresh to market works, testament to the skill of the dealership. Of particular note is a portrait of William Ponsonby, the 2nd Earl of Bessborough, by Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), pastel on vellum, drawn in 1754 and still in its original frame. The work, a powerful portrait, was commissioned by Bessborough, who was Liotard’s most significant British client. The work comes to market from a family collection where it has been for the last 220 years.
Something that collectors can expect and for which TEFAF Maastricht is uniquely known is that exhibitors offer items from highly specialised collecting categories. This is beautifully illustrated by Sam Fogg (Stand 312) who is offering a pleurant figure, a carved stone figure that adorned the tomb of Aymon Le Pacifique, Count of Savoy, and installed in the Abbey of Hautecombe. It is rare to find a pleurant in one piece outside of museum collections; these kinds of objects are very easy to detach from original settings, are very fragile and were also very profitable for Revolutionary looters.
Stéphane Clavreuil Rare Books (Stand 721) is offering an outstandingly rare first complete edition in Arabic of the One Thousand and One Nights. This work, of which only seven copies were produced, is also the first edition printed in the Arab world. The other copies of this work are located in libraries world-wide – American University Beirut, British Library, Danish Royal Library, Harvard, Huntington, and Yale – and there have been none traced in auction records.
A sensationally fine example of Edouard Vuillard’s (1868-1940) skill with pastels is on offer at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art (Stand 724). From around 1900 onwards, Vuillard used mainly pastel for his drawings, and soon came to master the subtlety and vibrancy of this medium. The work in question, Model on a Green Sofa (Modèle sur on sofa vert), is an unusually large pastel work by the artist and is a prominent highlight within TEFAF Paper.
Exceptional examples of works by modern master Giorgio Morandi (1890 - 1964) are available within TEFAF Modern; both Galerie Kartsen Greve (Stand 414) and new exhibitor M & L Fine Art (Stand 523) are offering iconic still life works by the artist. The two Natura Morta, both oil on canvas, were painted in the early 1950s.
Also within TEFAF Modern, new exhibitor Perrotin (Stand 441) is one of a selection of dealers bolstering the offering of high calibre contemporary works at the Fair. A highlight from their stand is Eternity – New 40403 Stone Statue, Aphrodite Holding her Drapery, 2016, which depicts upright and upside-down figures, joined where their respective heads would be. An eye-catching work by leading contemporary artist Xu Zhen (b.1977).
In the late 1960s, Danish architect Aage Porsbo was commissioned to design a new church for the parish of Skovlunde, Denmark, which include both the structure of the building and the interior furniture and lighting. The result is a beautiful environment, characterised by clear, geometric lines and of note are a series of brass chandeliers. Porsbo designed and made only 28 examples, of which 20 remain in the church today. This rare and distinct chandelier is brought to the Fair by Danish design specialists, Dansk Møbelkunst (Stand 600).
The Bauhaus movement, that was and continues to be incredibly influential in design, is well represented within TEFAF Design. Bauhaus forms the basis of Galerie Ulrich Fiedler’s presentation at the Fair (Stand 615). Most notably, the first sales catalogue of the Bauhaus published in 1925 is offered for sale. This rare document is an early typographic masterwork of the young Herbert Bayer (1900 – 1985). Alongside Fiedler, Jason Jacques Gallery (Stand 604) explores the legacy of the Bauhaus movement through their presentation of a selection of paintings, most notably Young Eagle, 1936, by Josef Albers (1888-1976), who was also a teacher at the Weimar Bauhaus and one of the most visible figures of the movement.
Hemmerle (Stand 141) celebrates the 125th anniversary of the business this year; part of the celebration includes the launch of a new collection of works, which explores Hemmerle’s heritage as medal makers, at TEFAF Maastricht. The jewellers researched their archives in their Munich atelier and discovered a treasure trove of embossing stamps used for various medals. 10 one-off pieces have been created which draw inspiration from the shapes and forms found.
Also within TEFAF La Haute Joaillerie, Van Cleef & Arpels (Stand 144) is showcasing a captivating selection of both vintage and contemporary pieces that highlight the unique craftsmanship and creativity that makes their organisation distinct. Of note from The Heritage collection is a superb diamond necklace c.1955, which comprises some 60 baguette-cut stones and 23 pear-shaped diamonds.
TEFAF Showcase hosts Charles-Wesley Hourdé (Stand S2), Kallos Gallery (Stand S3), Galerie Le Beau(Stand S1), Cortesi Gallery (Stand S4) and Librairie Camille Sourget (Stand S5), a dynamic and exciting group of young and recently established dealers. The range of items on offer in TEFAF Showcase is diverse, and of note is a beautiful Attic red-figure Nolan Amphora, c.490 – 470BC, offered by Kallos Gallery (Stand S3).
Alongside, the extraordinary range of works for sale, the Amsterdam Museum is the subject of TEFAF Loan Exhibition, which is supported by TEFAF Maastricht Principal Sponsor AXA ART. The selection of recently restored works gives visitors an insight into the unique collection of collection that the Amsterdam Museum houses as well as the meticulous and essential work that goes into restoring national highlights.