Colin Gleadell thinks Pieter Brueghel the Younger is the Maastricht fair’s brand-name artist:
Virtually every dealer seized on the notion that art is the safest place to put your money, and that, where prices had gone down, it was also a good time to buy. However, there was little evidence that prices for Old Masters – promoted as the steadiest sector of the art market – had gone down. A Lucas Cranach painting, sold last July for £2.1 million, was on offer for £4.6 million. The £11 million Canaletto had been bought in 2005 after it had failed to sell at auction for £5 million.
Apart from Degas’s Toilette Matinale, which sold for around £9 million, the more expensive works were not snapped up. However, among those works that did sell, was a small painting of a woman eating at a table by Gabriel Metsu which fetched £3.2 million, more than double the auction record for the artist, on the stand of Noortman Master Paintings. Also a record price was the £800,000 brought for Maerten Ryckerts’s 17th-century river landscape, bought in January this year for £500,000, which was sold by London dealer Johnny Van Haeften. Van Haeften reported brisk business, selling 12 Dutch Old Masters in the first two days of the fair.
In a separate report, Colin Gleadell says this:
Beyond the Old Masters, the trade in antiquities has been buoyant. Charles Ede made 17 sales on the opening day, while, by Sunday, fellow London dealer Rupert Wace had sold more than 30 works.
Separately, Gleadell went into some detail about some of Wace’s sales:
An Iron Age bronze from Sardinia of a standing woman with a cloak and peaked hat sold for around £110,000; a Greek marble figure of Aphrodite from the 2nd century BC sold to an American collector for approximately £370,000; and an Egyptian bronze statue of the god Ptah, from the late Dynastic Period (664-332 BC), sold to an American museum for an undisclosed six-figure sum. Wace said that, from his point of view, business was as good if not better than last year and the year before.
African tribal art was also selling fast. Patric Claes from Brussels virtually sold out his small stand of 19th-century carvings, priced up to £170,000 each, on the first day. The works of art and furniture section may have been patchier, but saw several sales in the £1m range. One dealer in antique oriental art sold 44 objects in two days.
European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht (Telegraph)
Art Sales: Old Masters Still Strong (Telegraph)