The new schedule for the fair meant dealers had a limited number of tickets to send to clients for this VIP preview day and the general consensus is that this has tackled the problem of droves of party-goers, allowing for more focused conversations with clients.
Here is a taste of the first sales of the fair that will run for 11 days.
Almost as soon as the fair opened dealer Colnaghi sold this Bartolomé Esteban Murillo oil on canvas called Mater Dolorosa for a seven-figure sum to a private European collector.
Over at Tomasso Brothers Fine Art the sale of an oil on canvas painting Castor and Pollux (1783) by Giovanni Battista Cipriani, for a price in the region of €425,000, was one of its first deals of the VIP day.
Josephus Augustus Knip’s gouache and watercolour A Figure Standing among the Ruins of a House sold from the stand of Stephen Ongpin to an European institution.
Asian art specialist Sydney Moss sold a 19th century Noh mask to a European client.
SJ Shrubsole sold a pair of earrings ($12,000) and a cake basket ($60,000) within the first hour of the fair, both of which had been taken off the stand.
Dealer Rupert Maas reported an unconventional sale. During hanging he changed his mind and those he didn't hang he laid out, covering the floor of the stand, for the vetting committee to inspect. One of the vetters, from a Dutch museum, saw William Henry Millais’ On the Lyn, North Devon on the floor and came back this morning to buy it. It sold at €10,000 and it has doubled the number of English pictures in that institution to two.
Among many sales at H. Blairman & Sons was a Gordon chair, ticketed at £95,000, which was sold to an existing client. A Thebes stool sold to a new client.
Rafael Valls early sales included a small trompe-l'œil of a partridge for a four-figure sum.