Kelly Crow’s TEFAF story int he Wall Street Journal is hard to synopsize so we won’t bother. In short, it says there’s an art fair taking place in Maastricht where a lot of valuable stuff–that will not lose its value–is for sale.
Thanks to Tefaf’s large inventory of older art—about 70% of the marketplace’s available Old Masters show up here—the insured value of its goods on display this week outstrips Christie’s annual sales last year by at least $700 million.
“When you walk into this fair, you just gasp,” said Phyllis Allen, a collector from Corpus Christi, Texas, who is visiting with donors from the Art Museum of South Texas. “It really feels like you’re shopping in a museum.” […]
Some of the fair’s traditions—like its fabled vetting process—are unheard-of at other fairs. Earlier this week, dealers had to step outside the convention for hours so that 168 art scholars and curators could fan out and inspect every object. An undisclosed number of objects deemed inauthentic or of “poor quality” were placed in storage until fair’s end, said Henk van Os, an art-history professor at the University of Amsterdam who oversees the vetting committees. Mr. van Os said only a few dealers formally appeal such temporary losses, but, he added, “sometimes I do get screamed at.” The fair says it began vetting works years ago to weed out potential fakes or duds. Most other fairs ask juries to screen their roster of fair applicants but don’t vet their individual offerings.
The Old Masters Come Roaring Back (Wall Street Journal)