The Art Market Miracle; as London's Art Dealers Descend on the World's Biggest Selling Fair, Godfrey Barker Reveals How Their Trade Is Bucking the Trend as Investors Choose to Put Their Money in Masterpieces Not the Banks
Byline: Godfrey Barker
AT THE European Art Fair in Maastricht business is good. On the opening day Simon Dickinson of Jermyn Street sold Degas's 1886 pastel of a girl braiding her hair, Toilette Matinale, for [pounds sterling]8.5 million while Colnaghi's of Bond Street took [pounds sterling]4.5 million for an early Rubens Portrait of A Gentleman.
Ben Janssens, the St James's dealer in Chinese Art was overrun by a rush hour in which 30 pieces sold, headed by an 18th century lacquered panel for [pounds sterling]100,000, while the Mayfair Antiquities dealer Charles Ede parted with 11 items, notably a 1st century AD bronze of Hercules. These tales are typical, with similar stories being told around the Fair. Johnny van Haeften Old Master Pictures in Duke Street, St James's, had its best ever start at Maastricht, selling 12 pictures on day one and holding six more on reserve. The gathering will attract 60,000 visitors including an unusually large group of curators and directors from 150 museums around the world. Virtually the entire London art trade has descended on Holland for the world's largest selling fair, which is a barometer of the market and a giant art world party. But the real story is that, for the finest art, prices are rising even higher than a year ago, in defiance of the credit crunch.
"The seller of my Rubens bought the picture about a year ago," revealed Konrad Bernheimer, chairman of Colnaghi's, 19th century specialists. "Quite recently he came to me in embarrassment and …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The Art Market Miracle; as London's Art Dealers Descend on the World's Biggest Selling Fair, Godfrey Barker Reveals How Their Trade Is Bucking the Trend as Investors Choose to Put Their Money in Masterpieces Not the Banks. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Evening Standard (London, England). Publication date: March 16, 2009. Page number: 20. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.