Early sales at TEFAF New York as new fair makes its mark
by Alex Capon
The organisers of TEFAF New York have reported a steady stream of sales as the inaugural fair appears to have made its mark on the arts scene in the Big Apple. Among the buyers at the busy invitation-only preview event were established collectors, museums and even CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
With two days still to run, sales have taken place in different categories although the fair has yet to announce a multi-million pound block-buster deal the like of which is often arranged in advance at the TEFAF Maastricht fair.
The 94 dealers exhibiting at the Park Avenue Armory had high expectations from the outset with many overseas standholders hoping to reach new US clients including American museums who might not normally send representatives to Europe on the hunt for acquisitions.
The largest proportion of dealers by country came from the UK (28) and a decent number reported early sales:
Leeds and London sculpture specialists Tomasso Brothers reported US curators as well as new and existing clients visiting their stand on the second floor during the VIP Preview’. Within moments of the doors opening, they sold a terracotta relief panel for a figure in the region of $200,000 to a new private client.
London map specialist Daniel Crouch, who recently announced he is setting up a gallery in New York, reported the sale of a Dutch Golden Age planisphere, Magna Orbis Terrarum Nova by Luis Teixeira, for a sum in the region of $820,000 to an American institution.
Peter Finer, the London arms and armour dealer, sold a suite of armour from c.1520-30 with provenance to the Dukes of Brunswick-Luneburg for a high seven-figure sum to an established collector in this field.
Daniel Katz sold a 16th century Spanish oil on panel Memento Mori for $150,000 to a Contemporary art dealer.
London-based furniture specialists Ronald Phillips, a TEFAF first-timer who was one of the few dealers exhibiting who had not previously stood at TEFAF Maastricht, sold a pair of George III ormolu mounted white marble candle vases by Matthew Boulton dating from c.1775.
Elsewhere at the fair, Phoenix Ancient Art had one of the busiest stands. The New York and Geneva dealers had designed their booth in a Pantheon’ style and they sold the piece at the centre of their display – the Northumberland Aphrodite Anadyomene statue which was bought by a European collector at the preview for a seven-figure sum.
The 1st century BC-1st century AD Graeco- Roman statue had once belonged to the collection of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland at Syon House where it stood in the Robert Adam-designed interior.
They also sold all three of their Greek Corinthian helmets to three different collectors — New York, California, and Mexico — with prices ranging between $200,000 and $350,000.
Hicham Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art, said: The VIP preview day was spectacularly crowded with many new faces along with well-known international collectors and an impressive number of people from the museum world.
TEFAF is the new major event for New York and I believe will be an important nucleus for the global art collecting community.”
New York art gallery Jack Kilgore & Co also had a busy stand, selling six works in the first two days including Emile Jean Horace Vernet’s Portrait of the violinist Charles Auguste de Beriot for a sum in the region of $135,000.
Otto Naumann, the New York dealer in Old Masters and 19th Century art, made several sales including the unfinished Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) portrait of Mariana de Silva y Sarmiento, Duquesa de Huescar, for $275,000 to CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper. It had recently featured in a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition space, the Met Breuer.
Naumann also sold a Giuseppe Sammartino (1720-1793) Guissepe Sanmartino sculpture to a museum.
TEFAF New York Fall runs until October 26.