On day one, multiple galleries notched seven figures sales. The London, New York, and Madrid-based Colnaghi sold a
painting, Christ the Man of Sorrows
(c. 1520-86), to an American institution for €1.2 million; and
’s 17th-century painting La Dolorosa
for an undisclosed seven-figure sum to a private European collector; they also had two sales in the six-figure range, including a
mid-1st-century marble bust of a woman for €700,000.
In the next stand over, Leeds and London-based Tomasso Brothers also had a solid first day with their booth devoted to Rome—complete with faux-mosaic floors and custom lavender fresco-inspired wallpaper. They sold a pair of monumental marble lion sculptures (one lion is depicted attacking a horse, the other a bull) attributed to
and his workshop, for €1.75 million. They also sold a large 1783 oil painting by
for around €425,000 in the early hours of the fair.
London’s M&L Fine Art, showing for the first time this year, sold two prominent works from its
presentation, including a fine
still life for about $1 million. And London’s Daniel Katz Gallery sold several works during the first two days, including a large Renaissance bust sculpture by Stoldo Lorenzi that went in the region of £500,000 and a painting of a Javanese Dancer by Dutch
for around €200,000. The gallery noted that more lucrative sales had been closed with institutions, but the details could not be disclosed.
Belgium- and Hong Kong-based Axel Vervoordt Gallery
also had a strong showing at the preview, selling eight works from its booth in the Antiques section. A 1977 painting by Korean
had sold for $500,000 and a
painting from the 1960s went for about $200,000, while a selection of ancient Roman and
objects had sold as well, on the range of €50,000 to €150,000. (The booth’s top-ticket items were still on offer towards the end of the preview, including a
painting priced between $2–3 million and an
tapestry priced at $1 million.)
Per usual, a spin through the sprawling fair (I clocked over three miles while reporting one day) is a journey through the history of human creativity: from prehistoric fertility figures to a diamond-encrusted
-designed ring, from a Renaissance portrait by
to a contemporary glass sculpture by
that literally weighs a ton. Dealers widely reported that the quality of work on offer at this year’s fair met TEFAF’s usual high standards. The quality is matched by the expertise of the collectors who attend, such as those observed discussing the finer points of
horse sculptures or Roman micro-mosaics.