Published: March 20, 2001
‘Active’ Start to TEFAF Maastricht
MAASTRICHT, THE NETHERLANDS – TEFAF 2001 began with an active start, according to its promoters, attracting great numbers of visitors. In 24-hours, 41 private jets bringing collectors from all over the world, landed at Maastricht Airport. Dealers have commented that more museums are attending this 14th edition of this fair than have ever visited in the past.
On the opening night, Waddington Galleries, London, sold several works including two large bronzes by Mimmo Paladino; an oil on canvas by Giorgio de Chirico, “Piazza d’Italia” (1962) for around $200,000; and a Cy Twombly, “Untitled” (1962) mixed media on canvas.
A newcomer to the fair, Richard Nagy at the Dover Street Gallery, is showing a monographic exhibition of the work of Egon Schiele, ranging in price from $80,000 to over $1 million. The dealer sold six works during the first weekend of the fair.
Gallerie Brusberg, Berlin, sold two paintings by Max Ernst, one of which, “l’Autoritaire” (1923) was acquired by a German private collector. David Tunick, New York, brought an array of Edvard Munch graphic works to the fair, three of which were sold during the opening night for prices ranging from $55,000 to $100,000.
Ben Janssens, London, sold 27 rdf_Descriptions on opening night including his star attraction, a rare recumbent camel, Tang Dynasty, for around £100,000. A German collector purchased a rare round table by David Roentgen on the stand of Frank C. Moller Fine Arts, Hamburg. One of the two Eighteenth Century ceramic stoves offered at the fair was sold the first weekend by Axel Vervoordt, ‘s-Gravenwezel, Belgium.
A 1940 cherry wood bookcase by Gio Ponti on the stand of Philippe Denys, Brussels, changed hands within the first minutes of the opening night. The Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, bought an ornate Eighteenth Century German bridal crown from Rudiger Alte Kunst, Munich.
Noortamn, Maastricht, sold three still lifes by Adriaen Coorte (1683-1707) to a Dutch collector, “Asparagus and red Currants,” “Gooseberries and Strawberries,” and “Peaches and Apricots,” all on oil on paper mounted on canvas. “A Still Life of various flowers in a Basket and other Flowers in a gilt Tazza,” oil on panel, by Jan Brueghel the Younger, offered by Bernheimer Fine Old Masters, Munich, went to a private collector.
Museums visiting the fair included the Los Angeles County Museum; The National Gallery of Washington; The Houston Museum; The Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum; Amsterdam; the Louvre, Paris; the Royal Museum of Brussels; the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and the Frick Collection, the Morgan Library, all of New York, The Art Institute of Chicago; The Cleveland Museum; The British Museum, London; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin and the Albertina in Vienna.
Associated Press writer Arthur Max reports that attendance was likely to exceed last year’s record 66,000 people.
The prize jewel this year was Rembrandt’s 1632 “Portrait of a Lady, Aged 62,” offered for $37.5 million. Security guards watched the crowds press toward the work, protected behind a screen of Plexiglas. Local Maastricht dealer Robert Noortman bought the painting at a Christie’s auction in London just four months ago for $28.7 million, a record for a Rembrandt. It was part of the estate of the late Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, and had been in her family 200 years.
“There’s always a temptation to keep a special rdf_Description,” Noortman says. “If I could afford to buy it for myself without having to eat meatballs all year, I would.”
For two days before the doors open, a vetting committee examines each rdf_Description on exhibit for anything of doubtful authenticity. “Every year we take many rdf_Descriptions off the floor,” Jerome Eisenberg, a committee member for classical antiques, told AP.
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