“It is rare to have a client with the resources to buy at TEFAF – we send them there for an education, to see the extraordinary, to start a conversation,” Cullum confessed.
“I only made it to TEFAF on opening night but would have benefited from a visit every day. It is dense. There is nothing like it elsewhere in the US. Most of the dealers display their objects in layered vignettes, not on white pedestals or white walls. It’s the most European of the New York shows.
“The Winter Antiques Show in the same space in January is the American show: mostly American dealers, a few from TEFAF. It is more informal, more buyable; TEFAF is a brand unlike any other.”
Cullum added: “It would be a dream to have a client purchase anything at TEFAF for us to build a room around; even something as small as the faience snail boxes that Michele Beiny offered.”
He admitted the days of slavish period rooms are past, though Jayne Studio uses historic colours. He regards TEFAF New York “with its diversity, art made over thousands of years”, as a “show for this century”.