The Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts Fair, also known as Brafa, recently closed its 56th year. In the past, antique fairs were held in cities like New York and Paris, but they are now branching out to other historically picturesque European cities as well.
Brafa’s event this year, which took place from January 21st thru 29th, hosted around 120 art dealers from more than ten countries. This year, 54 of them came from Belgium. The program ensures a variety of exhibitors, ranging from antiquities to contemporary art, by allowing only 20% of participants to re-attend each year.
This year’s impressive antique dealers included Phoenix Ancient Art, as well as Galerie Chenel, Roswitha Eberwein and Tradart. Tradart, a coin specialist, presented a silver tetradrachm with the nymph Arethuse from around 450 BC, while Phoenix’s highlights included an Aegean marble idol from the 3rd millennium BC.
Other artifacts on display included medieval sculptures and other works of art from Mullany and De Backker. The most impressive in these exhibits included a Burgundian limestone sculpture of the Virgin from around 1450 in exquisite condition, complete with original polychromy, as well as an anonymous “Nativity” from 1500 based on a creation of Hugo van der Goes.
The fair was also abundant in Asian art from the 10th and 11th centuries, including a Dancing Ganesh from Central India and whalebone, ivory, tortoiseshell, buffalo horn and rosewood Japanese Bachi. A 1992 Picasso, “Still Life with Fruit Bowl and Guitar”, previously unknown, was also displayed. Other pieces included a bejeweled pendant, unique furniture and much more.