Masterpiece is the world’s top event for leading art collectors

The Louis XIV Walnut 'Os de Mouton' Sofa France c1730

Des O’Sullivan reports on an art sale that will suit those with a cross-collecting taste and deep pockets    

Masterpiece, the London fair at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, which runs until July 6, surpasses itself this year.

With everything from antiquity to 20th century art and design, it offers something special to discerning and wealthy collectors and curators with deep pockets.

Now in its seventh edition and having a global reach it was established to fill the gap left when the Grosvenor House art and antiques fair folded in 2009.

Sonia Delaunay, Rythme Couleur 1966
Sonia Delaunay, Rythme Couleur 1966

The number of galleries showing mid-century and contemporary design is increasing year on year.

Many of the pieces on offer at Masterpiece might be out of reach of the ordinary punter.

Nonetheless it reflects at a very high level the cross-collecting taste that is now so fashionable.

These days it is considered in good taste to have modern and antique pieces side by side.

Graham Sutherland’s Study of Winston Churchill 1954
Graham Sutherland’s Study of Winston Churchill 1954

This should be good news for an antiques trade in Ireland which has long struggled to sell antique furniture.

In the best interiors these days antique pieces sit side by side with the best of contemporary.

Something that collectors, no matter what their area of primary interest happens to be, should never forget is that good design should never be out of fashion.

At Masterpiece you can take your pick.

Monumental fragment from a standing male statue leg and feet on base; Roman second century AD
Monumental fragment from a standing male statue leg and feet on base; Roman second century AD

There is everything from a monumental fragment of a standing male statute leg and feet at Axel Vervoodt and the Louis XIV walnut Os de Mouton sofa at Rose Uniacke, to the 1966 Rythme Couleur by Sonia Delaunay at Helene Bailly Gallery and Graham Sutherland’s Study of Winston Churchill from 1954 at Christopher Kingzett.

This is a rare preparatory sketch for a portrait that was considered so unflattering that it was destroyed.

Royal Bank of Canada continues as the principal sponsor of Masterpiece.


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