The eagerly-anticipated Masterpiece London
today opened its doors to the general public for the very first time, enjoying an unprecedented first days sales. This pioneering event, showcasing a unique fusion of the antique and the contemporary, demonstrates that the proposition of fine and decorative art alongside premium collectables is a winning formula.
Masterpiece Founding Partner, Harry Apter enjoyed a very successful first day promptly selling Apter-Fredericks top masterpiece, a magnificent Carlton House Boulle-inlaid table originally designed for George, The Prince of Wales and The Prince Regent. This important piece sold for in excess of £500,000 within just an hour of the doors opening on Preview Day.
Selling 12 of their rare first edition maps during the first morning of Masterpiece, Bernard Shapero Rare Books had great interest from a number of eminent figures early in the day, including Giorgio Armani and Mick Jagger amongst others. An extremely rare John Adams Bowless Map of England & Wales, previously known only by a single example in the British Library, was sold for an impressive six figure sum.
Within minutes of the doors opening for Wednesdays preview, a flurry of important sales were concluded, including for exhibitors Osborne Samuel and Thomas Coulborn & Sons. Both commented that they experienced the best first day they have ever had at an art fair, with a number of exceptional sales throughout the day. Thomas Coulborn & Sons sold a rare George II mahogany tripod table, as well as three further very important pieces of antique furniture that day.
Elsewhere Edward Hurst sold a key painting the centrepiece of his stand to a visiting English fashion designer who is a very keen collector, whilst Offer Waterman were forced to re-hang before the fair even opened to the public following a hugely successful Preview day where six paintings were sold . Meanwhile AR-PAB sold their star lot, a traditional Indo-Portuguese chest for an inspiring six figure sum and Galerie Pierre M Dumonteil enjoyed a very high level of interest in the highly-acclaimed work of Jean Marie Fiori, with his delightful Chihuahua and Pugs head selling swiftly and the inspired bronze Duck Bench capturing many an eye.
Peter Finer was armed for a great first day, with buyers battling through the crowds to view his unrivalled offering of antique arms and armour. A circa 1630 French silver casket was sold to a Channel Islands owner within the first half hour of opening and, with both long-standing and new clients frequenting the stand, Peter Finer are looking forward to a record-breaking week. Similarly Godson & Coles sold their top piece a rare pair of Regency period Morel and Hughes armchairs for some £70,000, whilst Somlo made a very timely sale of an English Tourbillon pocket watch to a US collector for over £100,000.
Hot on the heels of such sales, Pelham Galleries sold an English mahogany Commode of very good quality to a new client. Alongside this, the charming chimes of their outstanding Obelisk have brought many a visitor to their stand, with a number of very serious buyers expressing a strong interest in this museum piece.
Echoing the general sentiments of all those exhibiting at the fair, esteemed fine antique and period jeweller Sandra Cronan comments: Masterpiece London is better than we could have possibly expected its like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Her thoughts were echoed by others around the fair, including antique jewellers Wartski who have enjoyed an unprecedented number of international visitors, including an eminent Qatari Royal and a very high level of interest from both the V&A and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Following such a successful first day, it is predicted that from 24 29 June, London will continue to descend on the former Chelsea Barracks to not only admire, but purchase some of the finest and most covetable objects from around the world worth collectively in excess of £1 billion.
Thomas Woodham-Smith, Chairman of Masterpiece London, comments: We are delighted that the first day of this inaugural event has been such a success. We have had an extraordinary volume of visitors to Masterpiece London, both seasoned collectors and those new to the market, and a great number of our exhibitors have reported record sales. We look forward to a very busy week and encourage all those who are yet to visit to come and marvel at some of the wonderful masterpieces on offer.