Paul Smeets
Old Master dealer Paul Smeets is the new TEFAF Maastricht chair of paintings.

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Old Master dealer takes TEFAF role

Paul Smeets has been appointed to succeed Konrad Bernheimer as chair of paintings for TEFAF Maastricht. He will also become an Executive Committee member. He was appointed to TEFAF Board of Trustees in 2017.

Bernheimer, who, TEFAF says “has been keen to hand over the reins to a younger generation for some time”, will become chair emeritus paintings, working alongside Smeets for a transition period of one year. Bernheimer remains on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.

TEFAF Maastricht has three section chairs: Smeets, Christophe de Quénetain, chair of antiques, and Christophe Van de Weghe, chair of modern – each of whom is responsible for the selection process within their areas.

Smeets is the chairman of the Rob Smeets Old Master Paintings Gallery, based in Geneva. After university in Milan, he completed his education and training by working in the OMP department at Sotheby’s in London. Established in 1989, his gallery deals mainly in Dutch, Flemish, and Italian Old Master paintings, specialising in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Cato exhibition is Chippendale tribute

Dealer Lennox Cato is marking the tercentenary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth by holding an exhibition with the Master Carvers’ Association.

The show, called Matching Patron & Maker, focuses on music stands carved and designed by master carvers, alongside a selection of antique works curated by Cato.

With an opening at Tomasso Brothers’ Jermyn Street Gallery on June 5, the exhibition moved to Luke Hughes, 7 Savoy Court, The Strand, until June 13, and will then be open at Ossowski at 83 Pimlico Road from June 22-29.

The exhibition is one of a series of events this summer at auction houses, dealers, museums and stately homes to celebrate 300 years since Chippendale’s birth.

Stanley Gibbons appoints new boss

Dealership Stanley Gibbons Group has hired Graham Elliott Shircore to push ahead with its strategy of focusing on its core business of stamps and coins and reducing its debts.

The group has been without a full-time chief executive since Mike Hall stepped down in 2016.

Shircore, who joined the group’s board in March as non-executive director, was previously an analyst at Phoenix, which now owns 58% of the group. Harry Wilson remains chairman.

Beckmann sale sets a German record

Auction house Grisebach in Berlin has sold a Max Beckmann painting for a premium-inclusive €5.5m (£4.8m) – the highest price ever paid for a painting at an auction in Germany.

Beckmann

'Die Ägypterin' (the Egyptian woman), which sold for a record premium-inclusive €5.5m (£4.8m) at Grisebach’s auction.

Estimated at €1.5m-2m, the portrait, titled Die Ägypterin (the Egyptian woman), attracted 13 phone bidders and four collectors in the room. After a fierce bidding battle it went to a prominent Swiss private collection.

Simms launches her LAPADA post

LAPADA’s new chief executive Freya Simms said she was looking forward to the “exciting and exhilarating challenge ahead” during a launch event at the head office of LAPADA Fair sponsor Killik & Co.

Freya Simms

New LAPADA chief executive Freya Simms.

For this year’s fair at Berkeley Square, the 10th edition, she unveiled new marketing images themed around the song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Simms said running LAPADA takes her “back to her roots in the art business” and she begins her first week in the job with a series of meetings lined up on the ivory bill, online marketing plans and discussions with some of the 500 members of the trade association.

Last Westbourne Grove arcade shuts

The last antiques arcade in Westbourne Grove in west London is to close at the end of June. Lesley Burton has run the business for 40 years but has decided to sell the building at 296 Westbourne Grove, which is her home and the home of the arcade hosting around 12 dealers.

Burton Arcade

Burton Arcade, the last antiques arcade in Westbourne Grove, is to close.

She told ATG: “I am the last man standing, as they say. Business rates are very high – ridiculous. For a business that is just open once a week it was not possible to continue.”

Many of the 12 dealers are retiring or have found new homes in centres around Portobello Road. Burton Arcade became the last antiques market in Westbourne Grove when the Gallery at 287-289 Westbourne Grove closed in 2012.

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In Numbers

30

The length in minutes of a bidding battle for a dinosaur skeleton in a June 4 sale, held by Aguttes on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. A French, a Japanese and a Swedish bidder competed for the skeleton which represented a newly discovered species of the carnivorous allosaurus. It was eventually knocked down at €1.58m (£1.38m), selling to the French bidder.