Among the stand-out examples in the event running from from March 11-19 is a Dutch drawing.
It could be a scene straight from the opening days of TEFAF: a group of Dutch figures crowded together and talking animatedly. The drawing is brought to the fair by US gallery Christopher Bishop.
Appealing in its age, rarity and local origin, the pen and brown ink drawing measures 8 x 12in (20 x 30cm).
Bishop hopes it will attract local interest. He found the picture at a small US auction and offers it at TEFAF for a price in the region of €60,000. It is attributed to artist Nicolaes de Bruyn (1571-1656), a Flemish engraver, and is one of a group of around five similar drawings, another of which is in the Rijksmuseum collections.
Another star work to be offered in Maastricht is a north Italian demilune commode, c.1820-21, by Carlo Randoni.
It is one of a pair – the other now in Attingham Park, Shropshire – originally designed for the Genoese royal residence. The Savoy royal couple bought the Grimaldi- Doria Tursi Palace in 1819, and though Randoni designed all the new furniture, this is one of only four pieces with the original signed design surviving. Burzio offers the work for a six-figure sum.
Elsewhere at the fair Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art brings a selection of Chinese lacquer from the Mike Healy Collection and eight archaic and early Chinese bronzes, while Dr Jörn Günther Rare Books will offer more than 100 manuscripts.
Day & Faber has a collection of Scandinavian art from the 18th and early 19th century, and Richard Green features several works from the Dutch ‘golden age’.
Return to normality
This edition is a return to normality after a smaller and shorter fair ran during summer 2022. The previous physical staging in March 2020 closed early with the onset of Covid.
Last year’s TEFAF Maastricht had its share of challenges.
Soaring temperatures in a venue without air conditioning made early days trying, while some speculated that the shift to a particularly busy summer season negatively impacted visitor numbers.
The closing days of the last fair were also marred by an armed robbery where a group of men smashed into the display cases of jewellery specialist Symbolic & Chase.
Martin Travis, founder of the London firm, told ATG: “We were hoping to go back, and we were invited, but we weren’t able to satisfy our requests regarding security details at the fair. We have to think about the security of our goods, people and clients and we needed to see more about the security measures in writing.”
Bart Drenth, TEFAF’s global managing director, previously told ATG that there would be metal-detecting security gates but added: “We are not able to cite more specific strategies as this could compromise the security effort.”