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Masterpiece London 2012, with a record 5,195 international and UK collectors, triumphs on opening day
Ben Swildens / Atelier Max Ingrand, Stainless Steel Desk, France, 1966. Designed in the Atelier Max Ingrand by Ben Swildens, for the reception area of the Peugeot headquarters on the Avenue de la Grande-Armée, Paris. Stainless steel. From Sebastian + Barquet.

LONDON.- Yesterday saw Masterpiece London's busiest Preview yet, with a record 5,195 international and UK collectors and designers streaming through its doors to find the most beautiful pieces, from the best of the best. Among the Americans who attended were designers Ellie Cullman, Scott Snyder, Rose Tarlow, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Jamie Drake, Alexander Papachristidis, and Audrey Gruss all of whom are on the Masterpiece London American Committee.

Dealers from the world over, collectively selling £1 billion of art under one roof at Masterpiece London, are confident that the third year, which has brought together more exhibitors than ever before, will be a resounding success.

Masterpiece London strives for quality and diversity, offering the world's very best in fine and decorative arts and premium collectors' items, within supremely elegant surroundings. Taking in this unparalleled fair gives fascinating insight into current art market trends, supported by significant sales.

Egypt is in the headlines at Masterpiece London too
A remarkable wealth of Egyptian artefacts can be seen at this year's fair, demonstrating a fascination with Egypt's rich and influential culture. Sycomore Ancient Art's large wooden statue of a high ranking Egyptian official dating from 2570-2350 BC sold almost immediately, to a German museum for well over £1 million. Meanwhile, Rupert Wace Ancient Art has sold four pieces of an Egyptian stucco falcon head from c.300 BC, to a new customer introduced to the dealer through Masterpiece London.

Celebrated jeweller Hemmerle chose the first day of the fair to launch its spectacularly bold Egyptian-inspired jewellery, and Safani's incredibly rare, museum-quality Egyptian polychrome wood "Posno" sarcophagus (Dynasty 21, c.1,000-900 BC), Egyptian bronze figure of a seated cat (Dynasty 26-30, ca. 664-343 BC) and Egyptian bronze and wood Ibis (Late Period - Ptolemaic, ca. 664-30 BC) are all the focus of great interest.

Contemporary art and design making waves
2012 also sees Masterpiece London's most extensive offering of contemporary art and design yet. A first-timer to the fair, Based Upon brings its highly acclaimed, large-scale and bespoke artworks and sculptural furniture, and has already successfully sold two key pieces - its 'Table / Twist / Mini" sculpted table, and bespoke urban landscape entitled 'Remembering Knightsbridge', created specially for the fair.

Recently knighted Marc Newson makes two appearances: Masterpiece London first-time exhibitor Geoffrey Diner exhibited Newson's iconic Lockhead Lounger, widely considered one of the 20th century's most coveted pieces of furniture, and which sold almost instantly; and Riva's impressive stand exhibits its show-stopping collector's edition powerboat "The Riva Aquariva by Mark Newson".

Damien Hirst is also very well represented: Gagosian Gallery unveiled the eminent artist's gold-plated silver 'Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain 2008' to great acclaim, and Robilant + Voena's 'High Windows (Happy Life)' 2006 [pictured] has received tremendous interest.

The calibre of jewellers exhibiting at Masterpiece London is second-to-none. Hancocks London, Theo Fennell, Fred Leighton, Symbolic & Chase, Sandra Cronan, Epoque Fine Jewels, Verdura, A La Vieille Russie, Wartski, Deborah Elvira, S. J. Phillips and 21st Century Jewels are all involved. Siegelson, from New York sold an exquisite Cartier Brooch for approximately US$350,000 to a private collector, and Symbolic & Chase have had strong interest in a Cartier necklace with a price tag of over US$6,000,000.

Sladmore Gallery has had an incredible start to the fair, with all Martinet sculptures on their stand sold on day one to multiple buyers.

Harry Apter, Fair Founder and Director of Apter-Fredericks Ltd, sums up the atmosphere of the Preview: "This has without doubt been our very best opening day at Masterpiece London yet. We've already sold to clients we have not seen in five to ten years, who wanted to know what the 'Masterpiece' buzz was all about."

Today's News

June 29, 2012

Exhibition at Tate Modern reassesses the work of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch

Christie's to offer Contemporary art at attractive price points in newly re-launched open house sale

"One Life: Amelia Earhart" opens at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

Rare 415-year-old Wytfliet Atlas stolen from the Royal Library of Sweden recovered at NYC gallery

Two group exhibitions of gallery and guest artists open at Stephen Haller Gallery

Phillips de Pury & Company's London Contemporary Art Evening Auction totals $36,233,420

Pottery fragments 20,000 years old found by Chinese and American scientists in a Chinese cave

Exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art explores the relationship of architecture to culture and identity

United States Mint in Philadelphia reopens to public with new $3.9 million self-guided tour

Masterpiece London 2012, with a record 5,195 international and UK collectors, triumphs on opening day

Executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey supports sphere move to 9/11 memorial

First UK solo exhibition of accomplished international artist Jacob Hashimoto opens at Ronchini Gallery

Brooklyn Museum presents the final exhibition in Raw/Cooked featuring artist Ulrike Müller

Study reveals overbuilding of cultural facilities during building boom

Personal collections of Dale Chihuly provide backdrop for progressive American menu at Collections Café

Cindy Sherman, Bruce Nauman, Steven Holl and others elected as new National Academicians

Christie's Auction of the Daphne Guinness Collection achieves $744,285

Statue of firefighter, arson dog visits New York City museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

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