TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair (March 14-23) is going on in Maastricht, Netherlands right now. In the fine art world, TEFAF is regarded as the leading art fair, setting the standard for excellence. The fair has been taking place since 1975 and each year has grown in size, quality of goods and attendees. The fair draws THE best of best in art world, including antiques, paintings, modern art, classical antiquities, haute joaillerie, design and paper and even a special section devoted to up and coming galleries. There are 275 leading galleries from 20 countries.
The fair defines its goals through three core values: excellence, expertise and elegance and adheres to these values through a strict vetting and verification processes. There are no fewer than 175 international experts in 29 categories who examine every piece of art in the fair for authenticity, quality and condition.
The fair is full of many wonderful objects of astonishing quality, some of which are discoveries and others that have never been on the market before. Add to all of that a mix of items that are just of extraordinary quality and rarity. The fair is full of collectors and museum representatives.
Some of the hot items this year are three works by Damien Hirst being exhibited by the Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. Photography dating from the 1920’s is also very popular. The Design section focused on trends on 20th century design. Furniture by Carlo Bugatti, Finn Juhl and Pierre Jeanneret are being showcased. Didier Ltd. of London is showing a wide selection of jewelry created by 20th century modern artists like Picasso, Braque and Calder.
Jewelry accounts for about one billion euros, or $1.38 billion dollars. This accounts for about half the entire estimated value of the art, antiques and other collectibles that dealers are offering at TEFAF. Here are a few special items available for sale.
Damien Hirst Black Sheep with Golden Horn.
Chopard Chameleon Diamond Ring, largest in the world weighing 31.32 carats.
Chameleon diamonds are among the rarest diamonds in the world. They are the only 100% natural diamonds that change color. When heated with a hair dryer, or left in a dark box for 24 hours, the stone turns from its usual olive green to a golden yellow or light yellow. Chopard has had the diamond in it’s vault for some time but felt given the excitement over big, unusual diamonds right now in the auction market that Maastricht might be a good place to unveil the stone. They are asking “about 7 million” although the exact price is being given on request only and is not fixed.
Graff vivid blue 10.47 carat briolette diamond pendant.
Buccellati gold and diamond ‘Ducale’ bracelet.
In November 1641, the Spanish trade galleon Nuestra Senora de la Limpia y Pura Concepcion sank just off the coast of what is now the Dominican Republic. It was carrying one of the richest cargoes ever to set sail for Europe from the new world. In 1993, an expedition company called Silver Bank with some help from the National Geographic were finally able to retrieve the sea treasures. Among the finds was a set of buttons and a jewel in an obliterated wooden chest and an unusual thick gold necklace designed for a man to wear during the voyage across the Atlantic and then be broken apart and used as currency.
The shipwreck gems are being offered by Deborah Elvira, a Spanish dealer who has been entrusted with the sale of the artifacts. Ms. Elvira hopes she can sell the galleon gems to a museum or a very serious collector. “Someone who is cultivated with a good knowledge of history and a desire to keep something for the future” said Ms. Elvira.
The buttons and jewel, “galleon gems” being offered for sale at Maastricht.
A 19th century Russian diamond brooch in the form of a peony, set en tremblant, offered by A La Vielle Russie.
Van Cleef & Arpels Pavot de Californie Bracelet.
One of these years I am going. See anything you like? Would it not be fun to find and salvage ocean treasure?
On an another note, we got ANOTHER snowstorm, like 9 inches. I am snowover it.