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March 25, 2010

Strong Sales Reported At Tefaf

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Maastricht, The Netherlands – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

The overall results at TEFAF Maastricht 2010 confirms that the art market has remained robust during the economic crisis. The Fair’s importance to the market cannot be underestimated. This year’s TEFAF Art Market Report states that in 2009 just over 50% of all sales in the global marketplace took place in the EU and that 55% of all sales are generated by dealers. TEFAF Maastricht provides a dynamic forum attracting 263 dealers from 17 countries and collectors from around the world. The visitor figures for the 2010 Fair will be around 72,500, representing an increase of circa 7%. TEFAF Maastricht took place in the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre) Maastricht between March 12-21, 2010.

Many international collectors traveled to the fair by private jet. Maastricht/Aachen Airport reported 171 private aircraft landing during the course of the Fair with 82 planes arriving in time for the Private View on Thursday 11th March. US collectors, both private and institutional, were back in force and their re-found confidence was reflected in sales. A leading dealer also commented on the increasing importance of European collectors, who over the last decade have grown both in number and spending power, describing them as ‘knowledgeable and decisive’.

TEFAF Maastricht is often described as a museum where everything is for sale and exhibiting dealers appreciate the fact that the Fair is taken so seriously by museums worldwide. Representatives from more than 150 museums and institutions from over 17 countries visited the Fair and museum sales and reservations were reported throughout the Fair.

The new section TEFAF on Paper was very well received. It was beautifully presented and showcased a wide range of works on paper from prints, drawings and photographs to books and Japanese screens. Parisian dealer Tanakaya had a very good Fair, selling amongst other items, two very rare early prints by Hashiguchi Goyô entitled Kami sukero Onna, 1921 and Keshô no Onna, 1918, which sold for €32,000 and €30,000 respectively. An oil and tempera painting with pencil underdrawing on canvas, circa 1832-3, entitled The Gleaning Field by Samuel Palmer was sold by London specialist Lowell Libson to an American private client. Photography dealer, Johannes Faber from Vienna, sold eight photographs to a mixture of new European and American clients, including Nude with Skull, multicolor bromide print, Prague 1922, signed by the artist, Frantisek Dritikol for €22,000.

The section of Paintings, Drawings and Prints has long been considered one of the great strengths of TEFAF Maastricht and required viewing for any serious collector of such works. Sales were solid, particularly of works that were new to the market. Galerie Canesso, Paris sold Portrait of a Man by Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem (1562-1638) to an American collector while De Jonkheere from Paris sold twelve round oil on panel paintings, a number of which are signed and dated 1599, entitled The Twelve Months of the Year, by Abel Grimmer (1570-1618). Daxer & Marschall from Munich were delighted with the fair and sales included Interior, Strandgade 30, a view of the interior of the painter’s house on the first floor in Copenhagen by Vilhelm Hammershoi (1865-1916), which sold to the Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Antiques & Works of Art is the largest section in the Fair, encompassing a very wide range of disciplines and eras. London sculpture specialist, Daniel Katz was delighted to sell a good number of sculptures, including a portrait bust of Louis XIV by François Girardon (1628-1715), was used for the TEFAF 2010 catalogue image, to an American Museum. Modern decorative objects also sold well. Adrian Sassoon from London had an excellent Fair, selling nine works by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Suzuki, including a hammer raised and chased 22 ct gold vase, the only solid gold piece by the artist. Furniture sold during the Fair ranged from 18th-century fine French furniture to 20th-century English Arts & Crafts and much else besides. A Louis XVI bureau plat, circa 1780, made for Denis-Pierre-Jean Papillon, the intendant des Menus-Plaisir du Roi, was sold to an Italian Collector by Perrin Antiquairs, Paris. An important macassar ebony library table, 1904, by Ernest Gimson (1864-1919), with satinwood and walnut banding and silvered handles made for Lord Bathurst, Cirencester Park, was sold by Blairman & Sons, London also to a private collector. Blumka Gallery, New York sold several early Limoges enamel pieces including a plaque of a cross, 1190-1195, a champlevé enamel on engraved copper central panel of a processional cross formerly in the Keir Collection. London jewelry dealer, Hancocks was delighted to sell a rare, important Egyptian revival necklace circa 1880, designed as a graduated fringe of varying motifs, known as the Lillie Langtry necklace, because it was bought by Edward VII for her when she was his mistress.

Antiquities dealer Rupert Wace, London sold an Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask, 1069-715 BC with an asking price of €150,000 to a private collector, as well as a Roman bronze statuette of Aphrodite wearing a silver diadem, 1st century AD which is destined for a private museum in France.

Sales in the Modern Art section were strong, supporting the thesis that blue-chip 20th-century and contemporary art has remained firm in that particular market. Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, London, New York made a number of sales including Wrapped Walk Way: Sonsbeek ’71 by Christo (b. 1935) from the Lauffs Collection, which sold to a European private collector. The project was planned for two parks in the city of Arnhem but never realized. Amongst the sales on the stand at Gallery Thomas, Munich was a gouache on black cardboard work entitled Walking Couple 1916 by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), which sold for a price in the region of €400,000 and an oil on panel painting by August Macke (1887-1914) entitled, Two Riding Persons, 1911 with a sale price in the region of €250,000. An oil on panel painting by Paul Klee (1879-1940), See-Gespenst, 1933 formerly in the collection of Daniel Henry Kahnweiler was sold by Salis & Vertes from Zurich to a private collector.

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Summing up the mood at the end of the Fair, Ben Janssens, Chairman of TEFAF commented, ‘TEFAF has a solid base of European and American collectors, which in the last two years has enabled it to stand the test of the economic downturn and this year we have seen the emergence of a significant number of the international collectors affirming the Fair’s place in the international arena’.

The next TEFAF Maastricht will take place from March 18-27, 2010 in the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in Maastricht.

AXA Art is the principal sponsor of TEFAF

AXA Art’s partnership with TEFAF provides an important platform to profile the company’s expertise to the art collecting community and to bring attention to subjects of collection management such as the fragility of art objects and important strategies to maintain a collection in optimum condition.

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