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Triumphant Sales at Masterpiece London 2011 Herald a Superb End to the Fair

LONDON.- Masterpiece London, featuring the best of the best from around the world, closed yesterday following an action-packed week of superb sales, huge visitor numbers and attendance by some of the world’s most important collectors, members of the royal family and high-profile guests. Visitors were astounded at the quality and attention to detail at every level; from the calibre of exhibits to the design and presentation, and not least the exceptional fine dining proffered by Le Caprice, Harry’s Bar and the Mount Street Deli.

Major sales took place throughout the week of the fair, many fetching six-figure sums:

Ronald Phillips owned by Simon Phillips, co-founder of Masterpiece London, sold a Regency brass and polychrome Japanned copper twenty four chandelier for approximately £500,000. The piece is in the manner of Henry Holland and dates from circa 1825.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sold its bespoke Phantom Drophead Coupé in Mazarine Blue for a sum in the region of £400,000. The one-of-a-kind motor car exclusively created for Masterpiece London 2011 comes with custom-made leather luggage and a one-off Asprey jewellery box fitted into the glove compartment.

Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert owned by long-established St James's art dealers Hazlitt Gooden and Fox and James Holland-Hibbert, sold a Lucian Freud for a six-figure sum entitled, “Christian Bérard, 1948” - a Conte crayon on paper laid down on card.

Sam Fogg, one of the world’s leading dealers of manuscripts and medieval art, sold a piece entitled, “Annunciate Angel” originating from Umbria, Italy circa 1430 – 40 for a six figure sum. Carved in poplar and retaining much of its original polychromy, this figure represents the remarkable survival of an object of unusual type, great beauty and extremely high quality.

Symbolic & Chase sold a Koch opal, enamel and diamond choker for £250,000. It is of Art Nouveau design, the rectangular plaque depicting a Spring landscape of white and brown enamel birch trees and green enamel grass with floral detail, to a blue enamel lake and purple enamel mountains in the distance, set against a sky of opal sections, within a rose-cut diamond border, mounted in silver and gold, circa 1900.

Koopman Rare Art sold a George II Cup and Cover of hugely important provenance which had an asking price of £200,000. It is silver-gilt and originated from London in 1745 with the maker’s mark of Paul de Lamerie.

Alan Cristea Gallery sold two significant pieces by leading potter and ceramic artist, Edmund de Waal including a unique piece entitled, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, 2011” for £60,000. It is a grey vitrine with clear glass front containing porcelain vessels in celadon glazes. It was one of the main talking points of the stand, and attracted a number of collectors of contemporary art to the fair.

Adrian Sassoon had an exceptional fair reporting sales of a ceramic head by Takahiro Kondo to an important collector of contemporary art for £14,200, a pair of large ceramic vases by Kate Malone for £24,000, and a large vase by Colin Reed called, “Colour Saturation; Red 2011” for £10,000. Last, but by no means least, works by Michael Eden, leading ceramic artist, were sold including, “Yellow Maelstrom IV” 2011 for in the region of £10,000 and “Copper Vortex”, 2010 for in the region of £6,000.

Amir Mohtashemi, specialists in high quality Islamic and Indian works of art, sold a multitude of major pieces including an impressive pair of Anglo-Indian ivory veneered armchairs for a six-figure sum to a museum. The armchairs originate from Vizagapatam (India), from the first half of the 19th century and are exceptionally unique as the peacocks supporting the legs contain mechanical springs which provoke the wings to flap when weight is applied to their backs.

Agnew's sold a painting by Leon Kossoff entitled, "Kings Cross Spring II." Whilst the sale price was not disclosed the painting was sold to a new client who is a UK-based private collector. It has not been seen in the UK since 2000 and came from a private collector in Australia. The painting is oil on board from 1998.

Now in its second year, Masterpiece London has made its mark on the world stage with exhibitors enthusing about the fair.

Tim Jeffries of Hamiltons: “I think Masterpiece was as much a joy for the exhibitor as it was for the visitors. We were all able to enjoy an eclectic mix of art, furniture and the finer things in life. I think the fair has a very bright and solid future, can't wait for next year.”

Harry Fane of Verdura: 'This is the first time we've ever participated in an art fair. We are encouraged by a constant flow of people and consistently good business. We love the show and consider it an annual fixture on London's social calendar.”

Lewis Smith of Koopman Rare Art: “A lot of the top clients who have been in London at this time have visited the fair demonstrating just how important Masterpiece London has already become.”

Adrian Sassoon said, “Variety on this scale has really excited people. There is nothing worse than turning a corner and knowing what you will find. Here, you turn a corner and are met with wonderful surprise after surprise, after surprise.”

Martin Travis of Symbolic & Chase: “We have been absolutely delighted by Masterpiece London this year; not least because all of our Middle Eastern and Russian clients made it to the fair. This just demonstrates how it has grown in reputation and stature.”

Dino Tomasso of Tomasso Brothers “Clientele has stepped up since last year. There are certainly higher-profile collectors attending this year.”

Craig Finch of Finch & Co “Finch & Co believe the fair has a great future. It’s the best show in town.”

Masterpiece London 2011 showcased the best of the best across all disciplines including the fine and decorative arts, classic cars, jewellery and fine wine.

Masterpiece London 2012 will take place from 28 June to 3 July, with a Preview on 27 June.

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Triumphant Sales at Masterpiece London 2011 Herald a Superb End to the Fair

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