The 32nd edition of the fair started with two preview days on March 14-15 before opening to the public the following day.
Among the very first sales made by the 279 exhibiting dealers was on the stand Amsterdam’s Aronson Antiquairs. A Dutch collector ran into the fair to snap up an artfully displayed group of 26 small Delft fruits c.1800. Sold within five minutes of the opening, they were offered at a high five-figure sum.
Among the biggest sales so far was Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1903 oil on canvas Femme nue couchée (Gabrielle) which was exhibited on the stand of London dealer Dickinson. The asking price was not disclosed but it had previously sold for $10.1m (including premium) at Christie’s New York in 2010.
Fellow art dealer Robilant + Voena, which has galleries in three locations (London, Milan and St Moritz), sold a rare oil on stone attributed to the Italian Old Master Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630). A Siege, painted on pietra paesina (a limestone found in Tuscany) and laid down on slate, was offered for around €100,000.
R+V also sold a ceramic wall sculpture by Lucio Fontana. Dating from 1954, Madonna was priced in the region of €650,000.
In the first hours of the event, London dealer Day & Faber sold two works by Edward Burne-Jones, one for €16,000 and the other for €12,000, as well as six oil sketches by Thomas Fearnley.
Chancery Lane silver dealers Koopman Rare Art made a number of sales on the first day including a set of four candlesticks by Paul Storr.
Paris-based dealer in British decorative arts Oscar Graf sold a coffee table by EW Godwin, designed in 1876 for the upcoming Paris universal exhibition. It was bought by a European private collector.
Antiquities dealer Kallos Gallery also made a major sale to a European collector. Priced at €500,000 was a 7in (18cm) Greek bronze statue of Zeus from the 4th century BC.
The opening of the fair included the launch of a TEFAF report – this year focused on the market in China.
Further sales at TEFAF can be viewed here.