Previews for invited guests are being held on the two previous days.
Highlights now defines itself as a boutique fair, not least due to the fact that exhibitor numbers are down from 39 in 2019 to 24 this year.
It is still being held in the Residenz, the one-time town palace of the Bavarian royal family, situated in the heart of the city but its location inside the extensive building complex has been changed: no longer in the so-called Kaiserhof, but now in the rooms of the historic Bronze Museum.
Once again Tom Postma, who is known as the design architect of TEFAF, will create elegant surroundings for the stands.
Visitors will be channelled through the fair to maintain social distancing, hopefully without detracting from the pleasure of seeing – and buying – the treasures on offer.
An additional way of attracting clientele, even if they do not actually come to the fair, is a digital showroom, which will present the majority of the exhibits online (artsy.com) from October 14 to November 8, giving collectors ample time to mull over their potential purchases.
While several long-time exhibitors have preferred to stay away this year, there are plenty of familiar faces, among them the porcelain specialists Langeloh Porzellan from Weinheim and Munich dealer Röbbig. Jean-David Cahn from Basel is returning to the fair with a broad selection of antiquities after a year’s absence.
Among the exhibits at Peter Mühlbauer from Pocking is a large mid-17th century Still Life with Silver Vessels, Flowers and Fruit by the French painter François Habert. Little is known about the artist; it is not known if he was French or Flemish. What is certain is that he was working in Paris from 1643-52, when this painting was probably executed. It is on offer for €145,000.
Religious sculptures are well represented, among them a late 15th century Swabian Madonna with Child, offered by Dr Rainer Jungbauer from Straubing.
A 13in (34cm) high south German St Sebastian, dated 1689 bears the coat of arms of Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg, the prince-bishop of Bamberg on its carved base. It’s for sale with Julius Böhler from Starnberg for €160,000.
Dr Michael Nöth from Ansbach can expect local Bavarian interest for a 13 x 10in (33 x 26cm) oil sketch by Max Liebermann of a Mother and Child from 1883, which is a preparatory work for the artist’s painting Munich Beer Garden. The asking price is €59,000.
The organisers are keen to stress the presence of ‘young dealers’ at this year’s fair, among them second generation traders, such as local dealer Benedikt von Griessenbeck, who is continuing in his father’s footsteps with Asian art, and Felicitas Vogdt, who also took part last year with modern and contemporary design.
A newcomer this year is Christopher Kende from Tübingen. He is offering silver from 1700 to the present day.
He brings a Britannia silver vase, entitled Soughing Wood Vessel created this year by UK-based Japanese silversmith Yusuke Yamamoto. It is priced at €16,000.