Nature Unveiling Herself Before Science was on the stand of Garret & Hurst, a specialist in 19th century sculpture, and one of 40 exhibitors at the event which ran from January 12-15.
The West Coast collector, a new client for the dealership, was quick to claim possession as they own a similar small-scale work by the artist.
It was one of a flurry of high-end sales that took place during the early days of the fair, marking its first run at the London Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square since lockdown.
Among these top transactions were two paintings offered by Kaye Michie Fine Art.
The first was John Piper’s Holland Ridge Wood (1966) which sold to an existing client with a ticket price of just under £19,800.
The other, an Impressionistic piece by British-artist Harry Fidler, ticketed at £7800, went to a new customer (who was staying in the hotel).
Despite being in the depths of ‘dry’ January, the fair saw interest in cocktail-related items from jewellery to vintage collectable barware.
Paul Pfanner of Timewise Vintage Watches said that he has observed a “renewed interest in Rolex cocktail watches as these are timepieces you cannot buy in the shops and are the ultimate conversation starter. Customers are really looking for something unique these days.”
Three Rolex cocktail watches offered by him were taken home in the first day and a half at prices ranging from £8000-10,000.
Despite chatter in the room surrounding the cancellation of the summer Masterpiece and Olympia events, dealers and attendees brought a positive and conversational atmosphere to the fair.
Exhibitor Paul Mayhew said things were going “better than expected”, as many dealers expressed gratitude for being able to get back into routine post-holidays.
Both international and local support remained strong in attendee numbers.
“We expect Fridays to be a bit quiet as not many people opt to be in the office on Fridays any more in London”, said Gavin Morgan of Morgan Strickland on the day ATG visited.
Nonetheless, crowds picked up steadily after 3pm leading into good numbers over the weekend.
Of course, not everyone left with a big-ticket item but countless people “went away with a carrier bag”, said Mark West, a specialist in 18th and 19th century art deco glass.
For other exhibitors, such as The Oriental Rug Shop, the fair was the perfect way to meet new customers.
Michael Hezaveh, a fifth-generation member of the family-run business, said: “We have thousands of pieces and can only manage to bring about 50 to the fair, which may not be everybody’s taste so it’s nice to get an idea of what people are interested in.”
Prior to the sale of a 1940s Kashan rug, a new London-based customer brought in clippings of their sofa and curtain fabric to ensure it was a perfect match. Sure enough, it was.
Exhibitors continued to benefit from the connections made at the event after the doors closed with enquiries flying into their inboxes.