The objects on offer at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), which takes place in Maastricht, The Netherlands from March 16 to 25, are not related by genre or period as is the case at almost all other art fairs. Indeed, while the focus of TEFAF remains traditional art and antiques, the fair has in recent years become known for the increasing amounts of modern art, design and jewelry on sale. Instead, what connects these items is their sheer quality that comes in the form of a combination of extreme rarity, outstanding condition and provenance of the highest pedigree. The fair is a pioneer of stringent vetting, with 29 committees employing some 172 experts to confirm the authenticity and quality of each piece on display. An object shown at TEFAF is as good as certified exquisite.

For its 25th anniversary edition, the 260 exhibitors at TEFAF are once again expecting the world’s most important collectors (Netjets reports that the day of the fair’s VIP preview is one of the busiest for private jet travel within Europe) and museum directors (this is where major art institutions come to quietly fill holes in their collections). Highlights of what they will be discreetly fighting over include a Cycladic head attributed to the Schuster or Ashmolean sculptor at Rupert Wace Ancient Art Ltd, Old Masters from renowned New York dealer Lawrence Steigrad, an unusual 1977 ostrich sculpture by Diego Giacometti from L'Arc en Seine, a specially created baroque gold necklace from Gianmaria Buccellati and galleries worth of works by Fernand Leger, Lucio Fontana, Alexander Calder and Picasso. Prices are often reported in the tens of millions but as connoisseurs attest, the eclectic objects at TEFAF are known for being extremely good value, especially when compared to the contemporary art market. And it’s the unparalleled quality at relatively low prices makes that makes TEFAF a collector’s paradise.

Alexander Calder
Brass haircomb, 1940
Exhibitor: Didier Ltd.

Formed from five separate lengths of brass wire, which were flattened and then shaped to form three simple narrow loops, one wider loop, and a horizontal bar with typical spiral ends. All the pieces were then riveted together to form a rigid comb with eight prongs, 11.5 x 15.5 cm. Signed with sc monogram for Sandy Calder. The original selling price for this comb was $40.

Model of a Bactrian camel
China, Tang dynasty, 618 - 906
Pottery, length 31 cm
Exhibitor: Ben Janssens Oriental Art Ltd

Rhyton Vase
Ming dynasty (1368 –1644), 17th century
Jade, height 17.7 cm
Exhibitor: Gisèle Croës
Provenance: Melle Logé, Paris, 1918.
Photo: Studio Roger Asselberghs - Frédéric Dehaen".

Corinthian vase with three protomes in the shape of female heads
Greece, Corinthian, 6th century BC
Height 12 cm
Exhibitor: Sycomore Ancient Art
Provenance: Private collection, France, acquired before 1950

Cycladic head
Greek. Late Spedos c. 2500-2400 BC
Marble, height: 8 cm
Exhibitor: Rupert Wace Ancient Art Ltd
Provenance: Private collection Switzerland, acquired 1960s

Of the simple form typical of Spedos type. The lyre-shaped head, long and narrow and the convex face with a long raised triangular nose, flares slightly at the hairline, the head curving sharply at the back. Attributed to the Schuster or Ashmolean sculptor.

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
Desk, 1930
Painted Wood, Nickeled Tubular Steel, Glass Top
Exhibitor: Galerie Ulrich Fiedler
Provenance: J.L.F. Mooy , Amsterdam, a friend of Truus Schröder, then in the 1970s to Gerrit Oorthuis.

Dagobert Peche
Mirror, 1922
Carved and gilded limewood, 48.5 x 34 x 9 cm
Exhibitor: Bel Etage, Wolfgang Bauer, Vienna
Provenance: German private collection

Diego Giacometti 1902-1985
Ostrich, circa 1977
Bronze with a dark green patina, height 19¾in. – base 6¾in. x 6in.
Exhibitor: L'Arc en Seine

Gianmaria Buccellati
Grand Baroque Set
A Buccellati creation to celebrate both Tefaf’s jubilee and the reunification of two branches of the Buccellati family under one single brand: two events that needed to have an iconic object to represent them. This Grand Baroque Set is a combination of baroque pearls and a delicate ramage of vine leaves, rich and sumptuous in its original concept, but very simple for the materials used. Baroque pearls are totally unusual for such a necklace and they represent stylized bunches of grapes among golden leaves, overlapped and sinuously modeled with rare reliefs, thus emphasizing the dramatic effect of the object. The back part is enriched with white gold vine stocks with figurative engraving. The necklace matches with a pair of earrings that proposes the same themes and characteristics.

Evan Penny
Michael, Variation #3, 2010
Silicone, pigment, hair, fabric, aluminum, glass, 157.5 x 114.3 x 71.2 cm
Exhibitor: Sperone Westwater

Fernand Leger (1881-1955)
Paysage Animé, 1937
Oil on canvas, 92.1 x 60 cm
Exhibitor: Marlborough Fine Art

Duane Hanson
Young Shopper, 1973
Polyester resin and fiberglass, polychromed in oil, mixed media and accessories, life-size
Exhibitor: Van de Weghe Fine Art

Claudius Ptolemaeus
Cosmographia, 1482
Royal folio atlas, 32 woodcut maps with fine contemporary hand-colour, bound in vellum, 41.4 x 29.7 cm
Translated by Jacobus Angelus, edited by Nicolaus Germanus
Exhibitor: Crouch Rare Books

The remarkable object is the first atlas illustrated with woodcut maps and the first atlas printed outside Italy. The artist responsible for the woodcut maps identifies himself at the top of the world map as Johannes of Arnsheim, making it the earliest datable printed map to bear a signature.

Rudolf Koppitz
Movement Study, Vienna, 1925
Vintage silver print, 27.3 x 20.7 cm
Exhibitor: Galerie Johannes Faber
Provenance: Private Collection, London
Price: EUR 145.000