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TEFAF Maastricht is coming !


TEFAF Maastricht (March 10-19, 2017) will celebrate this year its 30th anniversary with a big party honouring its long career and commitment to beauty, art, expertise and professionalism. Many things have changed, and after 30 years of honourable work TEFAF has gained the reputation of the world’s leading Art Fair, setting the standard for excellence in the art market, championing the finest art works from across the ages, bringing together a network of international dealers who inspire art lovers from around the world since the early edition. This year TEFAF Maastricht will also host some important works from Galleria Borghese in Rome, the extraordinary Villa that embodies the history and development of Italian collecting between the 17th and 19th centuries. Treasures to be exhibited in the ‘Galleria Borghese – An Italian Legacy’ show include a selection of highly significant Italian paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 17th century among which: a large canvas by the Neapolitan painter Battistello Caracciolo (c. 1578-1635), a selection of paintings by Pietro da Cortona (c. 1596-1669), the very early work by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), the Capra Amaltea carved from white marble and Il Sonno by Alessandro Algardi (1598-1654).


The Cesati Gallery will attend again TEFAF Maastricht for the 19th consecutive time and with the new layout of the fair, with three different entrances, the stand will have an important location as it will be facing directly to the right entrance of the fair. The space will be animated by a good number of excellent sculptures and works of art such as: an extraordinary polychromed and gilded wood sculpture of an Archangel mid 14th century, recently re-attributed to the workshop of a sculptor known as the Maestro dei Magi di Fabriano; a rare medieval Capital, of Byzantine origin, carved in marble and representing two Sphinxes grabbing with their claws two zoomorphic heads, certainly inspired by the figurative examples of the famous Maestro della Cattedra di Sant’Elia active in Bari; a wonderful pair of German wrought iron Doorknockers from late 16th century, decorated with animals and vegetal motifs, bearing on both joints the coats-of-arms of two noble families; an elegant bronze female figure recognizable as the Allegory of Peace, attributed to the famous Venetian sculptor Girolamo Campagna (1549-1621).

We look forward to see you in Maastricht!

TEFAF Maastricht – stand n° 155.
MECC, Maastricht, 10-19 March 2017 – Preview 9 March

For more information visit:

Object of the Month: A Spectacular Pair of Doorknockers

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This two wonderful wrought iron Doorknockers are an outstanding example of the German ironwork craftsmanship from the late 16th century.
The body – a round ring, with a diamond shape section – is richly decorated with very fine low-relief engravings depicting animals and vegetal motifs (dogs and hares, flowers and acorns).

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On the string joint of both doorknockers are visible the coat-of-arms of two noble families: the Bobenhausen of Bavaria and the Holz von Holzhausen of Germany.

Interno articolo picchiotti

Another smaller doorknocker with the same kind of work, coming from the celebrated Mylius Collection, is published in Ferro Civile, catalogue of the important exhibition about ironwork held in 1991 at Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo, Italy.

References: VV. AA., Ferro Civile, exhibition catalogue, Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo 1991, p. 73.

Wrought, carved and engraved iron in low relief
Late 16th century
Ø cm. 23

Provenance: Northern European collection

A Rare Capital with Sphinxes

Capital with Sphinxes

This outstanding marble capital, show the addorsed and firmly sat figures of two winged lions with human face – clearly recognizable as sphinxes – clawing the head of a snarling beast, perhaps a lion or a molossian. The nearly trapezoidal silhouette of the whole capital, which belongs to the group of the so-called ‘crutch-shaped’ capitals of Byzantine origin, was adopted – in Western context with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic or fantastic subjects – for setting up cloisters, loggias or simple windows. In Puglia the representation of the sphinx is widely attested since the 11th century – even though often alternated with symbolic winged animals as the griffon, the lion and sometimes the basilisk – and the use of similar capitals is largely documented, originating a typological model characterized by a symmetrical pattern.

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In this regard it is worth to remember some of the most illustrious example and more precisely: the low-relief depicting two opposing sphinxes located on the right side of the Episcopal Seat in the Cathedral of San Sabino in Canosa di Puglia, commissioned to the sculptor Romualdo by the Bishop Ursone between 1080 and 1089 and the fragmented ‘crutch-shaped’ capital with leaning sphinxes coming from the Basilica of San Nicola, from the second quarter of the 11th century circa and attributed to the workshop of Master Acceptus. About the formal treatment an even more relevant similarity can be found with the ‘crutch-shaped’ capital (ca. 1130/40) – rediscovered in the deposits of the Basilica di San Nicola – with two addorsed figures of anthropomorphic monkeys. Another important confrontation can be made with the magnificent ‘crutch-shaped’ capital (1120-1130 circa) with slaves figures and masks, preserved at the Pinacoteca Metropolitana in Bari: a work which can be attributed without any doubt to the Maestro della Cattedra di Sant’Elia.
This present capital echoes also the telamons supporting the Episcopal Throne in the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari: specially for the ‘boxy’ appearance, the protruding cheekbones, the carefully emphasized eyes and the thick clumped hair, still perfectly intact close to the neck.
On the basis of this confrontations it must be therefore be concluded that the work here examined is a precious addition to the Apulian Romanesque sculpture production and – more generally – an important example of Southern Italian medieval art.

Detailed report by Dr. Luca Mor.

Puglia workshop
Carved marble
1140/50 ca.
Cm 48 ×13 x 41 h
Italy, private collection

Tefaf Maastricht 2017: the 30th Edition

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In order to promote its renowned brand, The European Fine Art Foundation has launched in 2016 a large and ambitious expansion program including the setting up of two new annual exhibitions in New York.
However, this has not reduced the big effort in organizing the greater and already established show in Maastricht, which remains unsurpassed in size and importance, celebrating this year its 30th edition.
In 2017 the fair welcomes 270 internationally renowned galleries including five young name for TEFAF Showcase and 18 new exhibitors who will both strengthen and extend the range of objects being shown at the Fair.
Unequalled in the quality of its offering, championing the finest art dealers and experts from around the globe, TEFAF is confirming its excellence in the market as ‘The European Art Fair’, inspiring art lovers and buyers from around the globe.

Tefaf Hall 2017

Divided into nine sections – TEFAF Antiques, TEFAF Classical Antiquities, TEFAF Curated, TEFAF Design, TEFAF Haute Joaillerie, TEFAF Modern, TEFAF Paintings, TEFAF Paper, and TEFAF Showcase – presents over 7,000 years of art history under one roof and in 2017 it welcome 18 new exhibitors.
As the world’s leading fine art and antiques Fair, TEFAF Maastricht provides an unrivalled meeting place for the best dealers in the world, attracting major international private and institutional collectors.
The Alessandro Cesati Gallery will attend TEFAF Maastricht for the 19th consecutive year with a totally renewed stand, facing directly to the right entrance, exhibiting a refined selection of artworks including wood, marble and bronze sculptures together with the unmissable metalwork and curious objects.

MECC Maastricht
10-19 March 2017
Preview 9 March 2017

A ‘True’ Pair of Firedogs


In ancient cultures, especially in the archaic Greek world, already the need was increasingly recognized to invent supports in stone or terracotta, intended to suspend logs above the floor in order to improve air circulation, to facilitate better burning and also to prevent them from moving and falling out from the fireplace.
Later on, with the evolution of metallurgy mostly in the central European cultures at the time of Halstatt and La Tène (8th / 5th century B.C.), these supports began to be made of iron.
Among the earliest known examples of firedogs, we can mention those found in archaeological excavations, both in Gallic and Celtics territories. These were often characterized by stems capped with animal heads, generally ovine or bovine in character.
Nevertheless, further on in linguistic evolution, the word used in the main European languages to define firedogs made a clear reference to the figure of the dog (Chenets in French, Firedogs in English and Feuerhund in German) according to that ancient belief, considering them to be the guardians of the house. Strangely, only in Italian language we use a different term – Alari – which comes from the latin Lares, the Gods protectors of the house.


This outstanding and rare pair of firedogs, characterized by massive quadrangular stems, ending with powerful carved and engraved dog heads, perfectly embodies the sense of the word that the ancients chose to define these household objects. The finely dotted and zigzag decoration on the stem, along with the noticeable traces of use – on the horizontal bar and on the arches supporting the stems – confirm the uniqueness and ancient origin of these two outstanding firedogs, remarkable for their strong sculptural evidence which documents the high quality level of workmanship achieved by the European iron workshops in the late Middle Ages.

Wrought and engraved iron
Late 15th century
cm 60 x 20 x 48 h

Albrecht Dürer in Milan


The Adoration of the Magi by Albrecht Dürer, an extraordinary loan from the Gallerie degli Uffizi, will be visible along the month of January at the Chiostri di Sant’Eustorgio, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Museo Diocesano in Milan.
Dürer is surely the most important German artist during the transition period from the late Gothic to the 16th century, considered also to be the first Northern Renaissance man, an accomplished painter and even more widely praised for his fine woodcuts and engravings.


The Adoration of the Magi, painted in 1504 just before his second trip to Italy, stands on the brink of two significant periods for the European Art and Architecture and gives insight into Dürer’s relationship to the religious and cultural changes of his time.
In this work Italian artistic models are mixed with Nordic elements – coming out, above all, in the fine details – while Dürer gives us also a self-portrait in the central figure, bearded, long-haired and wearing a sumptuously decorated outfit. The Virgin shows the Child to the three Magi, depicted as men of different ethnicities and three different ages. The German master interprets the scene with fantasy and refinement, showing great originality, both in the expressive performance and attitudes of the characters as well as in the definition of clothes, objects and background.

The ADORATION OF THE MAGI by Albrecht Dürer
Through February 5, 2017
Museo Diocesano – Chiostri di Sant’Eustorgio
Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95 – Milan

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