TEFAF 2018, The Next Generation

Annick Bettink
Dealer Relations
43 Articles3 Curated artworks

As of March 8th, there is only one destination for anyone who is anyone in the global art world: Maastricht. Each year TEFAF maintains its position as the undisputed market leader in the world of art and antiques. In a fast-changing and increasingly globalised art market, TEFAF 2018 derives its power from its progressive vision.   


The dusty image that sometimes surrounds the art and antiques is hard to find at TEFAF. Ground-breaking vetting systems are used to guarantees the highest quality. A new generation of dealers is reinvigorating the market. Upcoming galleries get the opportunity to take the stage while TEFAF tactically adapts to new markets and collecting trends. A leading fair for museums and collectors purchasing artworks and also for younger generations developing passion and taste. This all takes place in an extravagant decor by Ten Kate flowers and Decoration. It’s no wonder that the Al-Thani's gladly paying a visit.

Vetting TEFAF 2018
TEFAF Vetting 2018


An unforgivingly strict vetting committee


A factor that sets TEFAF apart from every other organisation is the thoroughness of its vetting. Armed with endless knowledge and advanced tools, around 175 experts stroll the fair to guarantee the collectors authenticity, condition and quality of the artworks. In addition to these 'connoisseurs de l'art', the Art Loss Register is involved to exclude looted art from the fair.

The participating dealers are each leader in their respective fields and will bring their most unique treasures to present at TEFAF, among which often newly discovered pieces. Kollenburg Antiquairs, for example, showcase a work by Filippino Lippi (c.1457-1504) that comes to the market for the first time in over one hundred years and comes with extraordinary provenance.

Painting by Filippino Lippi, Saint Albinus and Saint Bernardus stand 182 at TEFAF 2018
Saint Albinus and Saint Bernardus, 1496, tempera on panel, by Filippino Lippi (c.1457-1504). The panel, which was part of a larger altarpiece, was painted for the Convent of the San Donato agli Scopeti, to substitute the one commissioned in 1481 to Leonardo da Vinci, who left it unfinished. Kollenburg Antiquairs Stand 182.


A reinvigorating generation of art dealers


The profession is more than once passed on from generation to generation. This is often accompanied by a fresh approach, something that is vital for the lifeline of the art and antique market. This is the case with Ilse Daatselaar who, at the age of 28, decided to quit her job to join forces with her father. They now run one of the most important art and antique stores in the Netherlands: Daatselaar Fine Art & Antiques. Ilse is revigorating for the antique trade with a visible effect on their annual TEFAF stand. The presentation is characterised by a light and an open character resulting in an inviting effect. This year even with a green moss wall. The idea of an eclectic collection is beautifully expressed at Daatselaar, a trend that is working well for the new generation of art buyers. The young collector Paul van den Biesen is a great supporter of eclecticism and refers to it as: 'mix it all up'! In his home, Bauhaus chairs are combined with an austere Dutch neo-classicist coulisse table.

Pierre Francois Feuchere, a pair of empire centerpieces at stand 164 art fair TEFAF
Pierre-François Feuchère, a pair of empire centerpieces, Parijs circa 1810. Daatselaar Fine Art & Antiques - Stand 164

In booth 241 we also find 'the next family generation'. The family-run business Van Gelder Indian Jewellery was founded in 1980 by Bernadette van Gelder - van der Ven. Bernadette was joined by her two daughters in 2000. The thirty-year experience of traditional jewellery on the Indian subcontinent ensures that they bring the most extraordinary quality of jewellery from India to TEFAF every year. Their traditional jewels, which are fused with both an art historical and investment value, are characterised by their refined craftsmanship. Van Gelder brings wearing traditional jewellery back to life. 

18th century Gold enamelled Bajuband at stand 241 art fair TEFAF
Gold enamelled Bajuband, gold & diamonds, North India late 18th century - Van Gelder Traditional Indian Folk Jewellery - Stand 241


The Rise of the Tribal Art Market


TEFAF is paying greater attention to tribal art over the years. With a strong representation of dealers specialised in the arts of Africa, Oceania, Asia and America, the real 'tribal alley' is a fact yet again. In this way, TEFAF responds well to the economic, cultural and influential growth of the tribal art market. Although still struggling to keep up with the dominant Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art markets, the tribal art market is flourishing. The global reach of the internet and the arrival of economic superpowers such as China and Qatar have caused prices to rise significantly. Since the millennium the interest has grown, and tribal art is getting further and further out of its niche. Ethnographic objects are no longer only wanted by a small group of specialised collectors. The lines, the geometric distribution and the symmetry fit perfectly in the hybrid collections of the crossover collectors. The context of an object - for which ritual it was used - hardly plays a role for these buyers. An object has the edge over other pieces when it concerns an iconic piece with a good origin from an important collection. You could almost say that a false sculpture, stemming from Picasso's collection, is worth more than a piece with a good origin. Fortunately, we do not have to worry about the quality of the objects at TEFAF!


Standing Statue, Black Uli and Mask representing an ancestral spirit
Standing Statue, Black Uli, New Ireland. Bernard de Grunne Tribal Fine Arts - Stand 121. And A Mask Representing an ancestral spirit, or a shaman, Northern Alaska, Inupiak (Inupiaq) language group, Point Hope - 18th-19th century - Galerie Meyer, Oceanic & Eskimo Art - Stand 135. 



The next generation art galleries

TEFAF ‘Showcase’ provides upcoming galleries to showcase their works in a renowned fair such as TEFAF. This year, Galerie Le Beau will present a selection of historical works by master designers such as the Scandinavian designer Finn Juhl. The Chieftain Chair is one of the most distinctive pieces of furniture made by Juhl. The wooden frame of the chair was inspired by forms from weapons and utilitarian objects of primitive people, giving it a smooth and organic shape. The design of the chair was made according to strictly scientific principles to ensure maximum comfort.

The Chieftain Chair by Finn Juhl shown at stand 1 at TEFAF
Finn Juhl, The Chieftain Chair, 1949 Galerie Le Beau - Stand 1 Showcase

Cultural heritage for generations to come


TEFAF proofs to be an interesting place to shop for museums. Vereniging Rembrandt can be of key importance for museums at this stage. This Dutch association offers financial support from over 15.000 private patrons for museum art purchases and research.The Netherlands would not have had about three quarters of the current art collections in museums, such as Vermeer's Milkmaid or La perruche et la sirène by Matisse, without donations, bequests and support from art patrons, like the Vereniging Rembrandt. Almost every year, the Vereniging Rembrandt supports one or more purchases that museums acquire at TEFAF. For example, during TEFAF 2016 the Mauritshuis acquired this beautiful flower still-life by Roelant Savery and in 2017 the Bonnefantenmuseum purchased a rare silver crane through a contributions from Vereniging Rembrandt. We look forward seeing which work of art this year has the honour of becoming a museum masterpiece.

Henri Matisse, Stedelijk Museum, Vereniging Rembrandt
Henri Matisse, La Perruche et la sirène, 1952, Stedelijk Museum. Vereniging Rembrandt - Stand 729


The next generation art collectors


Although the next generation will probably not buy at the TEFAF just yet, this is the place where you can find the highest quality of art in Europe under one roof and more importantly: compare to train your eye and taste. If you have aspirations to become a collector, then you should not miss this fair.

That both Sotheby's (since 2009) and Christie's (since 2011) no longer organises antique auctions in the Netherlands is, unfortunately, poverty for attracting international quality and for training new collectors. This means that antique traders now have to take on a greater responsibility to train a new generation of collectors. The art fair could be the perfect location to make a younger audience better acquainted with art and antiques. In this way, the new generation can be taken into the world of art and antiques to develop a passion and taste. And we all know, whoever loves art will not be able to stop themselves collecting.


In a fast-changing and increasingly globalised market, TEFAF moves with the times. It is a good thing that MECC and TEFAF have signed another 10-year contract. Because with a progressive vision as such, TEFAF will be able to maintain its position as market leader for a little while.

Header Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, The Mountains, 1921. Galerie Thomas - Stand 440

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Written by Annick Bettink on 08 Mar 2018, 09:00