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Sales at TEFAF Maastricht continued in spite of decline in number of early visitors.

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The fall was widely attributed by fair participants to fears over Coronavirus. As well as affecting the attendance of private collectors and institutional buyers, 12 members of the vetting committee did not attend. Their number was out of a total of 184 including the scientific research team.  

However, sales continued across the fair. Dealers stressed the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to buyers and stock and many took pro-active approaches to securing deals.

As well as contacting clients beforehand, a number of exhibitors offered online tours of their stands giving buyers a chance to view stock remotely. Among those posting 360 degree views of their stands were Connaught Brown, Bailly Gallery and Charles Ede.

Reported Sales

So far the fair has not had its usual raft of big-ticket sales and transactions of seven-figures or more have been conspicuously scarce. However, there were still plenty of notable sales on the event's two preview days. 

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16th century bronze bust of Lucius Verus (130-169 AD) after the antique sold by Tomasso Brothers.

At the top end, Tomasso Brothers sold a bronze bust of the young Lucius Verus (130-169 AD) for a price in the region of €950,000. The piece is from the first quarter of the 16th century after the antique and featured a dark, rich patina. 

The gallery also sold an Italian 17th century Bust of a Moor for a price in the region of €375,500 and a bronze of The Tiber, c.1720, for around €175,000.

Charles Ede made its first sale within five minutes of the opening, and followed it up with five further sales on the first day. “It was nice because there was so much worry and concern but it seems like the Dutch are getting on with things,” said the gallery’s Martin Clist. Among its early sales was an Egyptian bronze statuette of Keredankh, mother of Imhotep, c.600BC, which had a £45,000 asking price.

A small polychrome painted gothic wall clock from Germany c.1590, sold from Mentink & Roest to a private European buyer. It was offered for a five-figure sum.

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A c.1480 court Gothic agate saliera with fire-gilt silver mount went to a European museum from the stand of Kunstkammer Georg Laue where it was offered for around £100,000.

Elsewhere in the fair, a c.1480 court Gothic agate saliera with fire-gilt silver mount went to a European museum from the stand of Kunstkammer Georg Laue where it was offered for around £100,000. The dealership also sold an anima damnata medallion attributed to Theopilus Wilhelm Freese to a German private collector and large beaker from the cellars of Dresden castle to a private museum in Portugal. Both were offered for five-figure sums.

Meanwhile, Christopher Kingzett in the TEFAF Paper section sold Fed Up, Again (1981) by Ronald Brookes Kitaj (1932-2007) for around €100,000. It is thought to depict the artist himself, who suffered from intermittent bouts of depression and said that he looked to Durer’s work on melancholy for inspiration.

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A c.1900-02 relief portrait of Beethoven by Franz von Stuck went to a private US buyer from the stand of Stair Sainty. Offered for €75,000.

A relief portrait of Beethoven by Franz von Stuck went to a private US buyer from the stand of Stair Sainty.

Offered for €75,000, the c.1900-02 work was made during a wave of revived interest in the composer sparked by the 75th anniversary of his death (in 1897). This year marks the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.