THOSE with even the remotest interest in art
and antiques are aware that the world’s greatest fair in the field, TEFAF
Maastricht, will be held in the Dutch city next month.
There is no question of the supremacy of
Maastricht and remarkably year on year it just reinforces its position as
having no equal.
In early February I spoke with London dealer in
Chinese art Ben Janssens, now in his seventh year as chairman of the fair, and
asked what he thought were the prospects for the 26th staging from March 15 to
He agreed they were better than for any other
such fair and cited as one major reason the point all we regular visitors know:
that this is the event for which all 265 top dealers from 20 countries will
have saved their very best works so a show which cannot be matched is
Already there are plenty of treasures promised,
such as this important c.1860 Aubusson, 20ft (6m) long carpet designed by the
famed French architect and designer Eugene Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) for the
sanctuary of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
It will cost $645,000 from New York’s Carlton
Hobbs, who made a spectacular Maastricht debut last year and can be relied upon
for some real showstoppers.
Viollet-le-Duc won many notable commissions but
none more prestigious than when in 1845 he was assigned to restore Notre Dame,
a project which lasted until the end of his life. He reproduced his plans for
the work in an 1868 publication and that is where Mr Hobbs found the design for
the carpet we show here.
And proving there is variety as well as quality
other highlights include a c.1631 portrait
of a bearded man by Jan Lievens to be shown by Bernheimer-Colnaghi of London, a
powerful 1992 abstract oil by Gerhard Richter from Galerie Odermatt-Vedovi of
Brussels and a royal food pounder from 18th century Tahiti on the stand of
Paris Oceanic art specialist Anthony Meyer.
Much more on Maastricht to come.