One editor who joined me for champagne on the Ochre Salon said she felt quite humble in the face of Masterpiece, and doubly so having just hotfooted it from Chelsea Harbour’s Superyacht Design week. Walking the plushly carpeted halls of Masterpiece, I could see how even the pious may renounce their vows and wish they’d a few million to spend.
I was at Masterpiece with Ochre, a contemporary design company that I cherish and whose beautifully crafted products I covet. These pieces are modern collectables – something to fall in love with, never tire of and stamped with Ochre’s hallmark – discreet glamour. Ochre’s new creations were in the company of the old masters.
Collectors, curators, and designers flock to savour a staggering array of art, design, fine antique furniture, precious jewels and vintage cars showcasing £1 billion worth of works from antiquity to contemporary.
Standouts range from Impressionist paintings to unique diamonds. Within the first hour of the fair Apter Fredericks had sold an important mirror, a sale that was eclipsed by selling their pair of chinoiserie cabinets by Vile and Cobb to an American collector for a seven-figure sum. Another valuable sale belongs to Symbolic and Chase who have sold a 1912 Cartier Corsage for in excess of $20 million. These are accessible prices for the visiting troupe of shoppers at Masterpiece, which is now part of the glitterati’s social calendar.
The prize for Object of the Year went to Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s ‘The Masterpiece 2014’ exhibited by Blain Southern and Painting of the Year to an ‘en grissaile’ maritime work by William van der Velde The Elder (1611-1693), offered for sale by John Mitchell Paintings.
My highlights Richard Philip and Elizabeth Turk also highlight how Masterpiece is reinvigorating the market in the traditional fields and incorporating that with a new look at contemporary design.
Masterpiece is well worth a visit - even though some of the art and antiquities really do belong in museums…