Among the dozen pieces sold by Xavier Eeckhout in the opening days of the fair was one of his sculptural highlights, a plaster model of a puma from c.1911 by the current hot favourite animalier sculptor, Rembrandt Bugatti. One of an edition of just two (it was cast in bronze in an edition of 26), it is discussed by Eeckhout in the BRAFA video here.
Elsewhere, J Bagot Arqueologia from Spain, also sold a similar number of their antiquities, mostly, said the dealer, to existing clients.
Other exhibitors with notable sales included Brussels tribal art dealer Didier Claes, who sold nine of his wall masks from the Congo ranging in price from €10,000-30,000, and the BRAFA fair president and dealer in 20th century art Harold t’Kint de Roodenbeke, who sold 40 works ranging from under €1000 up to €150,000.
The fair itself opened with a gala dinner and collectors’ viewing that preceded the public opening in January 27.
With 130-plus Belgian and international exhibitors setting out their stands and offering a wide mix of art and antiques, the fair had plenty of traditional strengths with around dozen tribal art dealers; a similar number of antiquities specialists and a good showing of medieval and early works of art. However, this year’s event had an increased contingent of exhibitors showing 19th century, modern and contemporary art as well.
The exhibitors generally rate the visitor profile of this fair, which is a mix of locals and visitors mostly from other European countries. Many characterise the clientele as educated, serious and interested in buying, although they may take time deliberating on their purchases. The fair continues until February 4.
Pictured below are some further early sales and highlights seen on the BRAFA exhibitors’ stands.