Home Dealers Calendar Articles Fine Art Database About AFA Login/Register
Home | Articles | The European Fine Art Fair

Dirk Valkenburg (Amsterdam, 1675–1721),
A Still Life of Fruits and Vegetables. Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 x 31 in. (60 x 79 cm). Provenance: American private collection. Courtesy of Daphne Alazraki Old Master Paintings.

Even the downward Dow could not dim the masterful art on view at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), held in the small Dutch border town of Maastricht in mid-March. A record 73,000 visitors, a 10 percent increase from last year, took in the 14th annual event, where they literally packed the aisles.

A total of 197 dealers participated in this fair, which boasts three-and-a-half times the exhibition space of New York’s Seventh Regiment Armory, the venue for many of America’s top shows. While the show was overwhelmingly dedicated to old master paintings, also well represented were antiquities, decorative arts, and twentieth-century specialties.

In terms of sales, New York dealer Daphne Alazraki, who specializes in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, said, “the fall of the stock market did not affect my clients.” Ms. Alazraki further noted that she wrote up even more sales this year than the previous year. Landscapes and marine paintings were favored by her European and American clients.

Exceptionally rare Elizabethan English silver gilt cup and cover in pristine condition. London, 1582. Maker’s mark: Three trefoils slipped. H. 10 1/2 in. Weight: 16 ounces. Courtesy of S. J. Shrubsole Corp.

Guy Stair Sainty featured a ravishing View of Bracciano, near Rome by the seventeenth-century artist Paul Brill and his studio for $800,000. Sold to an American collector was a Boucher work depicting a young girl, and a European collector purchased a pair of early Renaissance paintings. In addition, the gallery featured a number of outstanding nineteenth-century paintings.

Mallett of London also witnessed a flurry of sales, including a magnificent seven-pedestal George III dining table and a pair of cut crystal torcheres. Purchases revealed that “collectors prized both eighteenth- and nineteenth-century furnishings,” said Mallett director Henry Neville.

Fine dining seemed to be on the minds of a number of clients who headed to the stand of period silver dealer S.J. Shrubsole. Among the firm’s sales was a rare set of fluted eighteenth-century neoclassical English sauce tureens with matching salts by Wakeland & Taylor. Other clients purchased nineteenth-century tea trays and fine art nouveau brooches.

Brisk sales also marked the stand of period arms and armor dealer Peter Finer, beginning on opening night when he sold a pair of large nineteenth-century Turkish bronze cannons. “Maastricht is a must for dealers to see and be seen,” said Finer from his Warwickshire premises. “The top collectors of the world visit this fair.”

The very fact that so many connoisseur-collectors, both American and European, attend and buy at Maastricht underscores the level of dealers and the availability of museum-quality art and antiques. Mark your calendars for March of next year, this is a must-see show.

Antiques and Fine Art is the leading site for antique collectors, designers, and enthusiasts of art and antiques. Featuring outstanding inventory for sale from top antiques & art dealers, educational articles on fine and decorative arts, and a calendar listing upcoming antiques shows and fairs.