0307 TM24 Intersections Maisonrowena 6

TEFAF Maastricht reported that private collector attendance was up 20% year-on-year.

Photo: Maison Rowena. Courtesy of TEFAF.

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Reports of sales were strong and rapid at the opening days of TEFAF Maastricht, where both private collector and museum attendance soared in the opening days.

The fair, which opened last Thursday (many other sales and comments from dealers can be found in our TEFAF coverage from last week) and runs until March 14, so far seems to be the strongest run the historic event has had for several years. Private collector attendance was up 20% year-on-year and more than 300 international institutions flocked in to snap up the best from the 272 exhibitors.

Many exhibitors had a buoyant time. Among them, arms and armour specialist Peter Finer reported record sales including an important gilded Augsburg helmet purchased by a prominent New York collector for a seven-figure sum.

Sales at a similar level were found at Stuart Lochhead Sculpture, which sold multiple pieces over the preview days including Giambologna’s Striding Mars, to a major American museum for $4 million, and Kunsthandel P. de Boer, which parted with A Council of War on the Dutch fleet and The Gouda, Flagship of admiral Issäc Sweers at sea, before the fore days battle as a set for €3 million to a Dutch private collector.

Several stands enjoyed near sell-outs (Paulin Pavec, Ben Hunter and Lighthouse called Kanata), while Charles Beddington made more than 10 sales in the opening days alone including a work by Giovanni Battista Bertucci for €400,000 and The Piazza San Marco during the Feast of Saint Stephen by Francesco Guardi and Michele Marieschi which had an asking price of €450,000.  

TEFAF President, Hidde van Seggelen, added, “It is gratifying to hear of such important sales made by our exhibitors in the opening days of TEFAF Maastricht 2024. This fair has been a barometer for the international art and antiques market since its inception in 1988."

If that is the case, it could mean better times ahead for the trade. Though fair-released sales reports never show an entire picture, this one is stronger certainly in terms of volume and probably also price point than the last edition, which was the first to have a full run at a normal timeslot since 2019.

Key sales

Other key sales were made by Dr Jörn Günther Rare Books which found new homes for six manuscripts including a Book of Hours illuminated by the Master of Philippa of Guelders for between CHF 50,000 and CHF 400,000, Koopman Rare Art, which had its set of eight salt cellars made for the Earl of Grosvenor by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell snapped by a private collector for a price in the region £270,000, and Ben Hunter, who sold a Cedric Morris painting for $195,000.

David Tunick Inc sold six works in the opening days including Edvard Munch’s Madonna lithograph for an upper six-figure sum, sold unseen at the opening bell to a Scandinavian buyer.

Museum acquisitions included Van Gogh’s Tête de Paysanne à la Coiffe Blanche, which was acquired by a private museum outside the EU from first-time US exhibitor MS Rau; the only signed painting by Gesina ter Borch, Portrait of Moses ter Borch as a Two Year Old, sold by Zebregs & Röell Fine Art to the Rijksmuseum with the support of the ‘Women of the Rijksmuseum’ Fund; and Christ on the Cross by Francesco Buoneri, known as Cecco da Caravaggio, acquired by a major American museum for €280,000 from Caylus Gallery.