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Tefaf brings welcome cheer to the market

Relief for dealers after Dutch fair rings up decent sales

That sales were made at all at Tefaf, Maastricht (29th edition, 11-20 March), was very much to the credit of the fair, as many dealers had started the year feeling the chill of a cooler market. “There’s pressure riding on this fair,” Stephen Ongpin, the Old Master drawings dealer, said on opening day.

He was one of many dealers who ended up with a handful of decent sales to report, including pieces by the Dutch artists Jacob Adriaensz Backer (1609-51) and Govert Flinck (1605-60), ranging from “a few thousand euros to the high five figures”, he said. The improved visibility for the Works on Paper section must have helped sales in this area.

New supply of big hitters was, not surprisingly, limited—in the Modern and contemporary sections as well as in the older art areas—although domestic- sized discoveries and reassessed artists were popular. Seven of nine of the works by Eugène Boudin that were brought by Richard Green gallery sold. Its selection included Boudin’s Trouville, scène de plage (1874), priced at €920,000, although the gallery would not confirm whether this was one of its sales.

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