But TEFAF, so long synonymous with the European town of Maastricht, has quickly established its presence in the Big Apple as a key opportunity for dealers and collectors alike. At the top level, the TEFAF brand has already made its mark.
Location in the tried-and-tested Park Avenue Armory gives it a clear advantage. The super-rich of New York who do come to buy probably live only a short walk away down one of the country’s most affluent streets.
Here, more so than at many other fairs, dealers have the chance to pay for their stands with a visit from a single client.
The event from October 28- November 1, offers fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920, giving it a historic focus unique among New York fairs.
It has not been entirely smooth sailing for TEFAF’s new incarnation, however. Last year, the inaugural October edition had issues with stand set-up times, but these were ironed out in time for the spring 2017 event, ATG has learned.
The 19th century Armory building is also restricted in size, particularly compared with the sprawling space at Maastricht’s MECC. Some dealers – particularly those bringing furniture and larger pieces – have had to be selective about their offerings.
Organisers are sticking with last year’s scheduling, which places the fair’s preview on a Friday. Exhibitors may wonder once again whether potential high net worth visitors will stop by the fair before heading out of town for the weekend.
For London gallery Robilant & Voena, the second appearance at TEFAF New York comes after standing at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the Florence Biennale, Frieze Masters and Art Basel Miami Beach.
It’s a packed schedule, but TEFAF New York is a moment for the gallery to focus on bringing Old Master paintings (only a part of its stock) to a US audience. The event has proven its worth for the gallery. “Even if we were going to stand at fewer fairs, TEFAF New York would always stay in the mix,” says the gallery’s Benedict Tomlinson. “We would never consider not doing it.”
Exhibitors returning this year include Galerie Kevorkian (France) with ancient near Eastern and Islamic arts, Dutch delftware specialists Aronson Antiquairs (Netherlands), Les Enluminures (US) with Renaissance and medieval manuscripts and rings, and Ronald Phillips (UK) bringing English furniture.
Among the 10 that debut this year are Mullany (UK), Thomas Colville Fine Art (US) bringing American and European 19th century art and Galerie J Kugel (France).