TEFAF 2020 in Maastricht

Hancocks – The Anglesey Tiara, circa 1890.
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TEFAF Maastricht has long distinguished itself as the unrivalled destination art fair, where collectors and visitors can discover the broadest range of expertise of any fair globally. TEFAF Maastricht 2020 welcomes 280 exhibitors, of which 25 are new. Building on the success of a revitalised selection procedure in 2019, the fair continues to see new blood joining established exhibitors to provide an unparalleled experience for private collectors, museum curators, patrons, art market professionals and art lovers from all over the world. TEFAF Maastricht 2020 takes place at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Centre) from 7 – 15 March 2020 (Early Access 5 March; Preview Day 6 March).

Setting TEFAF Maastricht apart from other fairs is the diversity of participating exhibitors, and the objects and works of art they bring to the fair. TEFAF Antiques, the largest section of the fair comprising 98 exhibitors, is a treasure chest of exhibitors and works of art. London based jewellery dealers Hancocks (Stand 243) will unveil a stunning diamond tiara owned by one of the British aristocracy’s most flamboyant and controversial characters, Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquess of Anglesey (1875 – 1905). The tiara, c.1890, is formed of a graduated row of over 100 carats of old European and old-mine cut diamonds, which can detach to form a rivière necklace.

Throughout the fair, collectors can expect to see works that have not been on the market for decades, if not longer. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG (Stand 109) will exhibit the Talbot- Beauchamp Book of Hours, an illuminated manuscript on vellum, created in Rouen c.1430.

This engaging manuscript only recently resurfaced after having disappeared from the public eye for more than 80 years. This Book of Hours was likely created for the renowned English nobleman Sir John Talbot (or his wife). Talbot played an important role during the Hundred Years’ War and in the trial against Joan of Arc.

New exhibitor to TEFAF Maastricht, French dealer Galerie Jean-Christophe Charbonnier (Stand 184) who specialises exclusively in Japanese arms and armour will exhibit a Hon- Kozane Tachi-Dô style Daimyô Armour. The armour, which comes from the first half of the Edo period, is entirely covered in silver laquer (gindame), which makes the suit extremely rare. The high cost of this lacquer as well as the technical complexity of its production. Combined with a hon-kozane (iron and leather scales) structure, makes this armour truly exception and the only known such example outside Japan.

Throughout the fair, collectors and visitors can expect to see some of the most interesting paintings available on the market to date López de Aragón (Stand 175) will exhibit Valencian Fiesta, oil on canvas, 1893, by Joaquín Sorolla (1863 – 1923), which has been in a private collection for almost 40 years and has not been in a public exhibition since 1990. The work is exceptionally high quality and comes from Sorolla’s most renowned period.

New to TEFAF Maastricht and in TEFAF Paintings is Nicolás Cortés (Stand 369) who will bring a rediscovered work by Anthonis Mor (1516 – 1575/1576). The work had previously been attributed to several artists but has recently been confirmed as by the artist Mor. The two large companion tables with the portraits of the donors and the figures of San Jeronimo and Santa Clara were originally swingin doors of a triptych. The whereabouts of the central panel is unknown. The work is of extraordinary quality; the figures have been treated with great realism resulting in a tactile appearance.

So often, like the Anthonis Mor duo, is artwork used in public settings. Whilst the Mor will have been used in a religious setting, a work by Theo van Doesburg (1883 -1931), which Galerie Gmurzynska (Stand 404), part of TEFAF Modern Art, will exhibit, was the design created to refurbish the interior of the historical Café L’Aubette building, at the Place Kléber in Strasborg. The color design was for the ceiling and three walls of the building, which was part of the buildings conversion into a complex with restaurants, bars, cabaret and the ciné-dancing hall. It was commissioned in 1926 and van Doesburg worked together with Jean Arp (1886 – 1966) and Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889 – 1943) to create what would become one of the most iconic works of De Stijl, still on display today.

Two of the most recent works can be found in TEFAF Design and TEFAF Works on Paper. US based dealer Jason Jacques (Stand 613) will exhibit works by Japanese sculptor Katsuyo Aoki (b.1972), who works exclusively in porcelain. Aoki wants viewers to meditate on the brittle nature of life through her skull-like sculptures, and is aware of the aesthetic tension this has due to the prolific use of the skull in fashion and sub-culture. Predictive Dream LVX and LVIII, 2019, come to market at TEFAF Maastricht directly from the artist.

Norwegian dealers Galleri K (Stand 718) in TEFAF Works on Paper will exhibit large scale works by German artist Thomas Struth (b.1954), ALICE, CERN, Saint Genis-Pouilly, 2019, depicts the large hadron collider in CERN, an institution at the vanguard of global scientific discovery. This work comes in an edition of 6.

From the very recent to some of the oldest objects on the market, collectors can look forward to an exquisite selection of works in TEFAF Ancient Art. Charles Ede (Stand 426) will offer an exceptional terracotta Greek cup. The decoration of the cup demonstrates a rare technique incorporating both red- and black-figures. The work dates to around 530BC and marks an important turning point when the stiffer black-figure technique was superseded by a more fluid, red-figure decoration. The cup also depicts what could be interpreted as a gay pick up line – inscribed are the words ‘Kalos’ and ‘Cha[i]re’. ‘Kalos’ means ‘The boy is beautiful’ and ‘Chaire’ is a greeting – the ancient equivalent of ‘Ciao bello’ perhaps.

The unique role of a dealer is that, due to their expertise and network, they have the capacity to find collections of works that provide unrivalled collecting opportunities for buyers. Galerie Kevorkian (Stand 432) acquired an important French collection of oriental archaeology, comprising 40 pieces, which has mainly but not exclusively centred around the Iranian world. One of the most extraordinary pieces in the collection is Acrobat sitting on top of a ladder, late 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, crafted in bronze.

TEFAF Tribal Art, intermingled with TEFAF Design, welcomes 6 exhibitors. Parisian dealers Lucas Ratton (Stand 623) will present a highly expressive and beautifully carved 19th-century Songye statue. The figure belongs to the Kalebwe ya Ntambwe style, which is one of the rarest from the Songye’s production; the carving of the work gives the figure an important presence, a soul.


At the moment, TEFAF will take place despite of Corona-Virus. Visit the TEFAF website to stay informed.

Take a look at last year’s highlights on YouTube.