Masterpiece London 2013 - Spear's Magazine

Masterpiece London 2013

Masterpiece London, the fair which offers the best of the best, from paintings to diamonds, returns this June. Spear’s has a preview

A FAIR FORECAST

Masterpiece London, the fair which offers the best of the best, from paintings to diamonds, returns this June. Spear’s has a preview

The art market is in rude health. The year kicked off with the highest totals ever paid at Contemporary art auctions and, come June, London’s chicest fair, Masterpiece, will be hoping the trend continues.

Across eight days, there are some scintillating items for sale. In fine art, Osborne Samuel will offer pieces commemorating William Scott’s centenary, Dickinson will bring one of Alberto Giacometti’s late bronzes and Applicat Prazan will present some of the finest examples of l’École de Paris.

On the watch and jewellery side, there will be vintage timepieces by Patek Philippe and Rolex at Somlo Antiques, an exquisite 1908 Cartier clock at Hancocks, and some whimsical creations at Theo Fennell.

In decorative arts, the English greats of Chippendale, Sheraton and Gillows will be presented by Mallett, Peter Lipitch, Rolleston and Apter-Fredericks among others, while Stockspring Antiques will offer a magnificent glass plate with gold leaf from early eighteenth-century Dresden.

‘Against a backdrop of economic meltdown and global recession,’ says Thomas Woodham-Smith, Masterpiece London’s creative director, ‘we present a story of unashamed glamour side by side with rigorous intellectual sincerity.’

Masterpiece London’s objective is to deliver the best of the best by presenting the ultimate fair for the collector, aesthete or connoisseur.

More than 150 dealers will exhibit, each representing the finest examples in their respective areas. ‘Masterpiece is a new concept of fair,’ says Woodham-Smith. ‘It incorporates everything, showing modern living as well as modern collecting.’ The fair also welcomes more than twenty new exhibitors this year, from eleven countries.

The carousel

Many readers will be aware that sentiment on the global art-fair carousel is less solid than at the auction houses. Time spent in Europe at TEFAF in Maastricht or BADA in London, or at the NY Winter Show or Miami or Palm Beach, will have cemented the belief that sales are increasingly hard to achieve.

The trend also hints that the market is becoming savvier about fairs. Many dealers no longer have shops, so they churn out the same displays at different events worldwide.

That’s the reason, says Woodham-Smith, that Masterpiece has nailed its colours to the mast. ‘We are committed to providing a sybaritic experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. We have the most sophisticated structure on the market and we build to a standard with our partner Stabilo that no other fair can achieve. We have 130 experts from all over the world to analyse and authenticate what is on show. We have an extensive museum outreach programme and two dedicated salons for corporate and VIP entertaining.

‘In addition,’ he continues, ‘we have teamed up with the Courtauld as a cultural partner and we have a special charity fundraising party for Marie Curie which draws in an unfamiliar demographic. Finally, we have our exhibitors, who invite as many people as they can and put on as spectacular a display as they can.’

Come 27 June, we’ll see if his optimism bears fruit. One thing is for sure, though: Masterpiece is both serious and light-hearted — proven by the fact that Scott’s gets especially busy in the last two hours of the day — and so the fair is appetising in every sense. Collectors should visit for the art, and they should stay for the show.

Pictures from top: Works on sale at Masterpiece London include Personnages et Oiseaux by Joan Miró (Mayoral Galeria d’Art), an ancient statue of a maiden (Ariadne Galleries), a copy of the first London Underground map from 1931 (The Map House) and amethyst and purple sapphire earrings (Hemmerle)

Masterpiece London runs from 27 June to 3 July at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with a preview on 26 June. See masterpiecefair.com



 

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