DESPITE the ever-increasing international attendance and breadth of disciplines at the fair, Dutch Old Masters still remain at the very core of TEFAF Maastricht.
Each year, commentators look to early big-ticket sales of Old
Masters as a bellwether of confidence at the fair. The opening day
of the 2011 fair on March 17 saw the sale of this View of
Haarlem by the Haarlem artist Gerrit Berckheyde (1638-1698)
for around €4.5m (£4.12m).
The 16½in x 2ft (42 x 60cm) oil on panel was offered by
Noortman Master Paintings, the Amsterdam
specialists in Dutch and Flemish Old Masters and French
Impressionists. Painted in 1671 and signed to the lower centre
g. Berckhyde, the view of the artist's home town looked to
have benefitted from a light clean since Noortman bought it in
December last year at Christie's Old Master's sale in London.
Christie's had estimated the picture at £500,000-700,000 but,
underbid by London dealer Johnny Van Haeften, it sold to Noortman
for £2.3m (plus 25/20/12% buyer's premium), an auction record for
By Anna Brady