The Financial Times highlights the rise of antiquities on the auction market by looking at what’s on offer at TEFAF this month where antiquities dealers are joining Modern and Old Master dealers to appeal to eclectic collectors’ taste. At TEFAF, part of the appeal is buying without the pressure of an auction compeititon:
Auctions are achieving the kind of prices that dealers could never dream of asking. “If there is the right mix of essential ingredients – rarity, aesthetic appeal and provenance – the sky seems to be the limit at auction,” says London dealer Rupert Wace. […] Rupert Wace, for instance, unveils a documented but previously unpublished – and exceedingly rare – Neolithic Aegean female idol of around 5300-4500BC, some 2,000 years older than most Cycladic figures, which turned up recently at auction in Strasbourg. […] Despite her scale, this idol has great presence and resonance, and no one with any feeling for the past could fail to be moved by holding her. A Cycladic figure of around 2400BC sold for a record $16.9m at auction last year; its pre-sale estimate was $3m-$5m. This one comes at €1.2m ($1.6m).
Figures from History (Financial Times)