It takes place every year in March in the exhibition and conference centre in Maastricht, the MECC, and goes on for ten days. In 2018, TEFAF lists 267 exhibitors, including the most important galleries and art dealers in the world. Paintings, drawings and prints, antiques and objets d’art, works from antiquity, manuscripts, rare books and cards, jewellery, design objects and modern and contemporary art are all exhibited for sale. Purchasers, both museums and private collectors from more than 60 countries, especially value the fair’s top-class jury: every item exhibited has been examined by internationally renowned experts who attest to the exhibits’ authenticity and quality. The provenance of the works of art is also investigated – one aspect that has become increasingly important over the past few years.
The Kunsthandlung Julius Böhler, that specialises in sculpture, has been exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht since 1993. This year, you are once again cordially invited to visit our booth at TEFAF 2018 which, since 2001, we have been running with our partner, the Blumka Gallery in New York, and discover our treasures from the past. This journey through time will lead you to a number of beautiful and rare objects dating from the Middle Ages to the Baroque. One enchanting discovery to be made in our booth this year at TEFAF is a small, seated Chinaman made of ivory. The figure is also representative of the fashion for Chinoiserie of a whole epoch. The magnificently dressed Oriental gentleman is studded with diamonds and is sitting cross-legged on a pedestal. His hat and head form one entity that can be removed to reveal the secret of this decorative figure: inside, is a cylindrically-shaped opening, some 5cm/2in. deep. It was used to keep perfume or scented powder. The hexagonal base also conceals a surprise. Thanks to a diamond knob, the hollow base made of ivory and gold can be opened. The space would have been used to store scented balsam or a fragrant essence. This sophisticated precious work of art is certain to have come from a royal collection. Comparable objects can be found today in the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in Dresden, the Louvre in Paris and the Kunstkammer (Cabinet of Art) in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. In 1702 and 1703, the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, Augustus II the Strong, who was famous for his collection of precious objects, acquired ‘all sorts of fashionable accessories’ from the jeweller Guillaume Verbecq in Frankfurt.
Verbecq exhibited from 1697 until 1702 at a fair held in Frankfurt and supplied various German royal households with precious objects and jewels. These may well have included the Court of Saxony. At TEFAF 2018, this exceptional Chinoiserie flacon will be awaiting a new collector with a passion for the exquisite and unusual.
Since being launched in 1988, TEFAF has been held in Maastrichtt. The historical city on the River Meuse with a plethora of artistic treasures has a population of some 120,000, making it one of the largest in the province of Limburg of which it is the capital. Maastricht, however, is not just famous for its long history, dating back to the Celts, but played a leading role in the unification of Europe specified in the Maastricht Treaty. The modern university, founded in 1976, testifies to the international orientation and vibrant character of this city in the Netherlands.
TEFAF Maastricht, MECC Maastricht
Saturday 10-Saturday 17 March, 11am-7pm
Sunday 18 March, 11am – 6pm
Day ticket: 40 €
Fair catalogue: 20 €