The 'mammon' was in full flow as a raft of deals were announced on the first day of the fair.
Old Master dealer Colnaghi unveiled a clutch of deals in the first few hours of the preview opening.
A previously unknown masterwork by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi (1587-1625) was snapped up within minutes of opening by a private European Foundation. Still Life carried an asking price of €5m. Colnaghi said the painting is one of the most important discoveries for decades in the field of Caravaggesque painting, had not been seen in public for over a century and came from a family collection.
On the same stand another private European foundation bought three works:
- A polychrome sculpture of Saint Francis of Assisi by Pedro De Mena (1628-1688) for a seven figure sum;
- Adoration of the Shepherds, a painting by Cesare Fracanzano for a seven figure sum;
- An 18th Century Guatemalan polychrome sculpture, Abduction of Persephone. It carried an asking price of €100,000.
Jewellery proved popular and Burlington Arcade jewellery dealer Hancocks sold an Edwardian diamond encrusted tiara. It was given to Lady Delia Spencer, great aunt to Princess Diana, by her father the 6th Earl Spencer on her wedding day in 1914. It carried a price tag of £185,000.
On Cohen & Cohen's stand Chinese export porcelain ware was proving popular and Michael Cohen said that on the first morning of TEFAF they had sold more than last year.
Among the objects sold were a pair of blue and white tulipieres. At 16in (41cm) high, the three tiered flower holders from circa 1700 in the Kangxi period were bought by a US collector for a six figure sum.
Another American collector, this time via a phone call to Cohen, paid a substantial six-figure sum for a Chinese painted enamel on copper footed cup, cover and stand from the Qianlong period of 1736-96.