“It is held where there are some of the most important, knowledgeable and ardent collectors in the world. The organisation succeeds in getting interested people through the fair so we are able to find buyers both new to us and who we have met before.”
Finch’s eclectic stand is always a veritable cabinet of curiosities which repays a closer look. This year’s exhibits include a set of carved 12 ivory caricature portrait reliefs from the late 17th-early 18th century, in old wood frames, priced at €32,000.
They depict some of the leading Catholic clergy responsible for the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and implicated in the subsequent persecution of the Protestant Huguenots. The reliefs are based on a set of engravings published anonymously in 1691 titled Heros de la Ligue ou la Procession Monacale par Louis XIV pour la Conversion des Protestants de son Royaume.
The set was probably carved in London by an exiled Huguenot from the Dieppe workshops and each portrait has an ink label to the reverse naming the character portrayed. They have a provenance to the private collection of Victorian industrialist WB Buddicom, then by descent, then sold at auction in 1989 and subsequently in a London private collection.