Just looking at a map of the Netherlands, it’s most southern part is just a dot of land mass almost appearing separate from the rest of the country squeezed between Belgium and Germany. Without knowing the history It's difficult to understand why this area isn’t controlled by one or both of their neighbors.
It is here that the university city of Maastricht is located. Everyone who’s been there tells me it’s really nice. I will find out soon enough as I will be attending The European Fine Art Fair—more commonly referred to as TEFAF, being held March 11-20.
While the city may be nice this fair is considered almost universally to be the world’s most important classic art fair and also the most difficult to enter as an exhibitor. The vetting process involves no fewer than 175 international experts in 29 different categories, who examine every work of art entering the fair for quality, authenticity and condition.
But why was I invited to a classic art fair? I write about jewelry and watches. It’s because out of the 275 galleries from 20 countries exhibiting, seven of them are high jewelry brands. In addition, a few other exhibitors will offer more traditional antique and period jewels. It's a well curated group of exhibitors. In fact, there are few places in the world (perhaps no place) that could curate such an interesting group of contemporary and historic jewelry specialists.
|Verdura Theodora Cuffs|
The father and son team of Ward and Nico Landrigan, who successfully revived the Verdura brand and is now doing the same for Belperron, is a first-time exhibitor at TEFAF, bringing new jewels recreated from original drawings and original vintage jewelry highlighting each house’s signature design.
|Belperron Leaf Coronet Cuff|
The pieces include the 75th Anniversary limited edition Verdura Theodora Cuff, famously worn by Coco Chanel; and the diamond-studded platinum Leaf Coronet Cuff by Belperron.
|Wallace Chan Gleams of Waves Brooch|
Wallace Chan, the master craftsman and artist, also a first-time exhibitor, will be bringing his sculptural, colorful jewels in his exhibition, “Dream Light Water,” first unveiled in Hong Kong for a five-day public viewing. It’s also the name of his just released book.
|Hemmerle “Clematis” Brooch|
Hemmerle is previewing The [AL] Project; a new series of 15 jewels (earrings and a brooch) exploring the unique properties of aluminum through innovative design and fine craftsmanship.
|Hemmerle planned exhibition space at TEFAF|
The Munich, Germany-based jeweler is also unveiling a special exhibition-stand featuring a sculptural structure designed by the Dutch architect Tom Postma in collaboration with the jeweler. Postma is the fair architect for TEFAF Maastricht. The interlocking architectural structure is composed of 16 individual screens made up of over 3,000 American walnut-wood rods connected to over 16,500 engineered aluminum rods.
|Alexandre Reza Dune Bangle|
Parisian jewelry house, Alexandre Reza, is highlighting two new pieces. Dune, a Cuff bracelet featuring two pear- shaped diamonds and 152 brilliant cut diamonds weighing 31.48 carats, set on sand blasted and polished pink gold; and an ebony faceted ring featuring an oval cabochon Colombian emerald of 17.83 carats set on yellow gold.
|Otto Jakob Coral|
The self-taught German goldsmith, Otto Jakob will be bringing a number of his unique Renaissance-inspired pieces made of rare and natural materials.
|Van Cleef & Arpels Lolanta ballerina brooch|
Two international luxury brands are also among the exhibitors. The French jeweler, Van Cleef & Arpels, and the Swiss luxury watch and jewelry firm, Chopard, will be bringing their high jewelry to the event.
|Chopard Flora and Fauna Bracelet|
At least two firms will be presenting antique and period jewels. Both are well-established in estate jewelry.
|Pierre Sterlé diamond Ribbon necklace presented by Hancocks|
The British firm Hancocks will bring 88 pieces to the fair, including the “highly collectible” diamond ribbon necklace, circa 1960, by French jeweller Pierre Sterlé. The 62.9-carat necklace is centered with a stylised bow motif with tapered ends, set throughout with long elegant baguette diamonds, each side crossing the other.
|Necklace by Parisian jeweler René Boivin in 1945 for Princess Irene of Greece. Presented by Véronique Bamps|
The French antique jewelry specialist, Véronique Bamps, will have a display of her own group of highly collectible jewels for the event.
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