Seen and Heard at the European Fine Art Fair: TEFAF Day One

ANTIQUES Staff

ANTIQUES Staff Art

“The museum doesn’t have a shopping list but I hope our collectors do,” said MFA Boston director Malcolm Rogers, who accompanied a group of American collectors through the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) on its opening day, March 15.

“I could be tempted to collect Old Master pictures instead of contemporary art,” Whitney Museum of American Art director Adam D. Weinberg confessed to Boston collectors Ted and Barbara Alfond, part of the MFA delegation to the show, organized annually in Maastricht, The Netherlands. TEFAF was founded as a showcase for Old Masters pictures but has grown to encompass 265 exhibitors in a range of specialities, from antiquities to contemporary art.

  • Preview day inspection at Galerie J. Kugel, Paris.

     

     

  • A dealer in Asian art, Ben Janssens was off to a very good start, having made several sales from his catalogue as the show opened. The TEFAF chairman led a delegation to China in 2011 to promote the fair to Asian collectors.

     

     

  • Alexander Calder’s art car for BMW was one of his last commissions. He designed it in 1975 for his friend Herve Poulain. Calder died in 1976.

     

     

  • Rita Fanscaly Gallery, Milan

     

     

  • Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiquairs in Amsterdam featured this pair of circa 1735 Dutch delftware plaques decorated with portraits of William IV and Anne, the Dutch  Prince and Princess of Orange.

     

     

  • Sixteen copperplate view of Venice printed on cotton, circa 1770-80, and a pair of marble busts of moors at Piva & C, Milan.

     

     

  • A circa 1720 German japanned bureau cabinet was on offer at Mallett, the London and New York based purveyors of English furniture, for €1,000,000.

     

     

  • Caterers plied guests at the by-invitation-only preview on March 15 with oysters, a favourite culinary feature of the opening event.

     

     

  • A desk designed by Gerrit Rietveld in 1930 was an attraction at Galerie Ulrich Fiedler of Berlin.

     

     

  • Homage to the Netherlands. Covered in silk petals from head to toe, a young woman was the a roving attraction of the vernissage.

     

     

  • Yves Macaux of London featured this pair of chairs designed by Kolomon Moser in 1902 for Dr. and Mrs Tarramore of Vienna. Another chair from the eight-piece set is in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. A cabinet is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

     

     

Wednesday, Netherlands Queen Beatrix made a private tour of the fair, which has pulled out the stops in celebration of its silver jubilee. “Her personal taste runs more to contemporary art but she did admire our Bosschaert the Elder painting of flowers,” said the London-based Old Masters dealer Johnny van Haeften.  Painted on copper, the work was priced £1.95 million.

Johnny van Haeften, a London based specialist in Dutch and Flemish Old Masters, takes questions from the press.

Show chairman Ben Janssens noted that more than 100 collectors from China, the largest group ever, are expected to visit in 2012. Janssens and other TEFAF representatives travelled to Beijing and Shanghai last fall to court Chinese buyers, who must obtain visas to visit. The Dutch born specialist in Asian art racked up multiple sales in the early hours of the fair. Scrupulous vetting makes TEFAF especially attractive to collectors of Chinese art, a field said to be rife with fakes.

Robert Aronson, the Amsterdam dealer known for his spectacular Delft pottery, nixed rumors that the recent hike in the Dutch Value Added Tax to 19% might prompt TEFAF to move to Brussels. “No one on the executive committee wants that,” says Aronson, who is himself an executive committee member.

Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiquairs in Amsterdam featured this pair of circa 1735 Dutch delftware plaques decorated with portraits of Wiliiam IV and Anne, the dutch Prince and Princess of Orange

Strolling oyster shuckers kept hunger at bay among the hundreds of enthusiasts who previewed TEFAF today. More than 70,000 art lovers are expected to visit the show before it closes on March 25 at the massive MECC convention center.

Caterers plied guests at the by-invitation-only preview on March 15 with oysters, a favorite culinary featur of the opening event