Last Minute Diva – TEFAF

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 87px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Diva Readers,

Don’t forget TEFAF starts today – Friday March 13 – and runs through next weekend March 22, 2009.

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>TEFAF is more than an arts and antiques show. It is THE EUROPEAN FINE ARTS FAIR – the most prestigious arts and antiques fair in the world. Dana Micucci writes in Veranda magazine (March/April 2006), “The Netherlands may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but when it comes to art and antiques it leaves a big foot print. This industrious nation of seafaring merchants gave the West some of its first art dealers, auctoneers and affluent collectors. It claims some of the world’s finest museums, and it was the birthplace of many illustrious artists – Vermeer, Rembrantdt and van Gogh – to name a few. It is also home to The European Fine Arts Fair – the prestigious art and antique fair that takes place in the small Dutch border town of Maastricht. Beyond The Netherland’s historical, cultural and commercial prowess lies a distinctive Dutch character – rooted in a subtle combination of the cozy and cosmopolitan, the intimate and urbane, which permeates its ancient cities, Old Master still lifes and genre paintes as well as it’s deocartive antiques such as Delftware, pewter and glass. There is no better place than TEFAF to find such a stunning array of treasures so clealy imbued with the Dutch spirit”.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 214px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />I would add to Dana’s words that vendors and buyers alike come from the four corners of the world – 82% of the participants are non-Dutch with 220 art and antiques representative checking-in from 15 different countries. Museum curators and trustees from 25 countries visited TEFAF in 2008 including the major American institutions, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Shanghai Art Museum, the Tate Britain in London and both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
to 10px; WIDTH: 244px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Competition for a stall at the fair is fiercer than Olympic figure skating (and behind-the-scenes stories make Tonya Harding seem tame). For an antiques dealer, making the fair means they’ve made it! Only the best of the best are allowed to participate in the event. But this year TEFAF is doing something new. They recognize that it is difficult for new dealers to “make it’ into the show when competing against buisnesses which have been around longer than many nations. Thus, TEFAF has recently added The TEFAF Showcase for recently established vendors. These debutantes are allowed to participate in the Showcase strictly on a one-off basis, thereby giving young dealers the exposure of being part of a major international fine art event. TEFAF stall rentals typically run for rates equal to buying an ownership share in an NFL football team, but these debutantes are allowed to participle for peanuts. Their TEFAF costs aren’t as high as the big boys fees, thus their “needed profit margin” aren’t going to be as high. In my opinion, these are the dealers to watch. If you like their inventory, get their names and contact information and 6 months after the fair (once the post-TEFAF- euphoria wears off and their prices have floated back down to reality) give them a call about the item you’re interested in!

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As you walk about the carefully decorated stalls look around – not just at the items for sell, the great floral arrangments and the innovative décor, but at the other visitors to the fair. See that guy over there – he’s a private buyer who just flew in on his private jet. Of course, unless you are a polyglot, you might find eavesdropping on the rich and famous to be a bit difficult. You’re as likely to hear English spoken as you are Russian, Chinese, Aarbic, French, Portugese, German, Dutch or Italian. It’s as if you’ve taken the worlds wealthiest citizens, thrown them in a Baccarat martini shaker and added copious quantities of cologne, silk ascots, and mink. The cocktail comes out tasting a tad Fitzgeraldesque, but with price tags included.

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Photo above by tos/20375562@N02/sets/72157615400184536/” target=”_blank”>Max-Nathan Punter

It’s this latter reason that I send you to the show. When you go to a museum you can’t touch the art, you don’t get to see the reverse of the painting and you certainly don’t hear how much money a Monet costs. But at TEFAF, you can do all these things. Entrance for 2 into TEFAF costs more than I spent on the pair of brass turn-of-the-century-Polish candlesticks I bought at a flea market in Gdansk which grace my table, but the cost is worth it. At 55E per person (it does include the stupendous fair catalog – eye candy itself) you might be wondering why I’m sending you there. Unless your budget is a whole lot bigger than mine you most likely won’t be doing any buying at the fair. Consider it a day out window shopping. But, oh honey, the window shopping is good. Down right Divalicious.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 213px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />I always tell Diva Clients who are interested in learning about antiques to go to the museums. Study the art, study quality and then take that knowledge home with you and out to the flea market and apply it at prices that don’t rival the USA’s national deficit. This is why you go to TEFAF. You go to TEFAF to educate your eye so that you recognize quality (and while you’re there to try and hone in on a few free glasses of champagne). The worlds best antiques have been gathered in this one location (I cringe to think what insurance for the fair must cost). No where else (includng the world’s best museums – the Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, th
e Uffizi or the Met) will you find a collection of art and antiques this good in one locale… that is, until next year. For the fair has been held every March since 1975, recession or no recession.
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Ben Janssens, Chairman of TEFAF’s Executive Committee, said: “There is no evidence that the jittery financial markets have discouraged art buyers and in fact the reverse seems to be true. Visitors said to me that they see no point in investing in stocks at the moment and prefer to put their money into art and antiques. What has also been encouraging is the increase in visitors from Asia including, for the first time, two groups totaling 20 people from mainland China.”

Dates for March 2010 are not yet available but typically TEFAF posts the next year’s dates within weeks following it’s current fair. This information, my friends, is key for you. It might be too late for you to catch a train or book a flight to this years TEFAF, but you will certainly want to add TEFAF to your 2010 calendar and while you’re at it go ahead and book the hotel. Hotels for 30 miles around book up a year in advance.

Just as TEFAF has vetting committees to guarantee the quality, authenticity and condition of the work (taking works of art that do not meet their high standards out of the dealers possession until the fair is over), I have a Diva Guarantee that will be the finest fine arts fair you’ll ever attend!

Until next time,

The Antiques Diva ™

All photos except for the one indicated are property of Art – das Kunstmagazin

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • PANIEK: Heeft u onze folder ontvangen?


    Graag vragen wij uw aandacht voor het volgende: Heeft u onze folder met Veilinginformatie over 2009-2010 met

    agendastickers ontvangen? Deze zou bij u moeten zijn aangekomen tussen 16 en 28 maart.

    Wanneer de folder bij u aangekomen hoeft u niks te doen, WIJ HOREN ECHTER GRAAG VAN U WANNEER DIT NIET

    HET GEVAL IS. Zou u zo vriendelijk willen zijn te antwoorden op deze mail met uw postcode en huisnummer?

    Bij voorbaat dank voor uw medewerking!

    Met vriendelijke groet en wij hopen u graag op de volgende veiling weer te ontvangen.

    De volgende kijkdagen zijn 4, 5, 6 en 7 juni 2009. Voor meer informatie

    Peter J.C. Trommelen
    Veilinghuis De Eland De Zon Loth Gijselman
    Weesperstraat 110
    1112 AP DIEMEN 020-623.03.43

  • Dear Toma,

    I’ve just read your blog on the TEFAF, the fair of fairs. We visited the first day of the fair.
    I tasted some of the delicious food, you’ll find an example of it in your own blog, but far more important I was overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the objects. The catalogue was too heavy for me to carry……..We were spoiled with lots of champagne and could not walk three steps and not meet an acqaintance.
    How are you two? Enjoy your weekend together.

  • De catalogus:

    Kom profiteren van de betaalbare prijzen


    Donderdag 26 maart van 10.00 – 21.00 uur

    Vrijdag 27 maart van 10.00 – 17.00 uur

    Zaterdag 28 maart van 10.00 – 17.00 uur

    Zondag 29 maart van 10.00 – 17.00 uur

    U vindt de gehele catalogus met afbeeldingen op
    Wij maken u graag attent op de grote, particuliere collectie baardmankruiken die in deze veiling wordt aangeboden.
    (zie voor de veilingdata Orde van Verkoop op de website)
    Kunst, antiek, meubilair, schilderijen, grafiek, tapijten, Aziatica, curiosa,
    goud en zilver.

    Op onze website staat de volledig geïllustreerde catalogus. U kunt zelf kiezen welk gedeelte van de catalogus u wilt printen.
    Ook bestaat de mogelijkheid om via de website een gratis koopopdracht te plaatsen.
    Klik hiervoor op het kopje Gratis Koopopdracht in de linkerkolom.
    U dient elke veilingperiode opnieuw te registreren.

    Catering Le Tambour

    Tijdens de kijkdagen is ons restaurant ‘Le Tambour’ geopend van 10.00 uur tot 17.00 uur (op donderdag tot 21.00 uur), en tijdens de veilingavonden vanaf 17.00 uur.
    Wij hopen u hiermee van dienst te zijn geweest, tekenen met vriendelijke groet en zien uw komst tijdens de kijk- of veilingdagen gaarne tegemoet.

    Peter J.C. Trommelen
    Veilinghuis De Eland De Zon Loth Gijselman
    Weesperstraat 110
    1112 AP DIEMEN 020-623.03.43
    e-mail :

  • Polly,

    It is such a small world!! I’m going to have to dig through my scrapbooks to see if I can find my exact address from my university days! Oh how long ago that’s been!! What’s funny is that I recently was talking with an American friend who has lived in Holland for 40 years. He too studied abroad in London in university and when we compared notes on where he lived (20 years before me) and where I lived – we think it was the SAME BUILDING!

    Thanks for the memories!!

    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  • Rose –

    Your comment “It is remarkable how such a small nation in geographical terms has contributed so much to the world” – was spot on. It’s amazing how much the Dutch have contributed to the world… would New York, have become New York, had it not been for them.

    In a world full of Dutch inventions though – there is one invention I hate. Yes, hate is a strong word, but did you know that Dutch are responsible for the SPEED CAMERA!?!? Each time you get a speeding ticket in the mail, you can thank them!

    I thought this was an interesting forum thread discussing the Dutch contributions to the world:

    The Antiques Diva(TM)

    serait honorée de votre visite à l’occasion de l’exposition





    2 av Matignon – 75008 PARIS
    Tél : 01 42 89 26 83

  • You lived across the street from the British Museum in your University days?? What a coincidence! I work right across the street, at the Senate House in Russell Square, you must have walked past there many times, but also I studied at the UCL. I must say as a historian I love British Museum too but V&A; is my favourite… I did post once about my V&A; visit and I'll do it every time I get a chance to go there!

    Hope you had a great weekend. Polly



    Zaterdag 14 maart a.s. om 17 uur wordt de tentoonstelling ‘DE MENS, DE MUZE’ geopend door Roland van Kralingen, kunstliefhebber en auteur.
    Wij hopen u die middag tussen 13 uur en 19 uur in de galerie te mogen begroeten.

    Tegelijkertijd nodigen wij u uit om de komende maanden de expositie van Gérard Redoules bij Does Interieurs te bezoeken.(zie flyer hieronder)
    Does Interieurs, Burg. van Nispenstraat 4, Laren. Geopend dinsdag tot en met vrijdag van 9.30 – 17.30 u en op zaterdag van 9.30 – 17 u.

  • Really enjoyed Dana Micucci’s description of The Netherlands’ rich heritage
    and the ‘Dutch spirit’. It is remarkable how such a small nation in geographical terms has contributed so much to the world.

  • Dear Anonymous,

    The "Debutants of Tefaf" will be indicated by the designator TEFAF Showcase in their booth. For those of you who aren't going to the fair but are still curious who the TEFAF Showcase dealers for 2009 are here's a list of the finalists!

    Alastair Crawford – Vintage Georg Jensen & Contemporary Gold and Silver

    Jason Jacques – Art Nouveau and Japoniste Ceramics

    Katie Jones – Contemporary Japanese Works of Art

    Flo Peters Gallery – B/W Photography, mostly 20th century

    Piacenti Art Gallery – Old Master paintings and sculptures

    Alexis Renard – Islamic & Indian Art

    Michel Thieme Tribal Art – Tribal Art from Oceania and Insular South-East Asia

    Enjoy the fair!
    The Antiques Diva(TM)

  • Victorian Cobweb –

    Think what fun we'd have, painting the town red! Wish you were here too!

    Polly –

    The antique fairs in the UK are divine! I watch BBC and so wish I were there! The V&A; Museum is my 2nd favorite in London. When I lived in London in University I lived right across the street from The British Museum – so it takes precedence merely because of fond memories, but for content I'm all about the V&A;! Hmm.. it would make a great blog topic sometime! And no worries on the "interview post"… I took about a month before I answered the questions from Swisstory!

    Isa –

    You always leave the sweetest comments! Next time I'm in a museum I'll think of you too!

    Much Love,
    The Antiques Diva(TM)

  • Ohhhh Toma, I’m on the wrong side of the ocean! Maybe next year! I’m going to get to a few museums in your honor this week 🙂
    xo Isa

  • The fair sounds amazing!! I wish I was there too… and yes, you're right about the museums, I am very lucky to be living in London which has plenty to offer in that respect. I spend hours in the V&A; which is wonderful for fine art and antiques…

    By the way, I'm sorry it's taking me so long to answer the interview questions, it's been incredibly busy couple of weeks and blogging has gone downhill a little.