The combination of extremely rare ancient objects displayed alongside contemporary works of art is proving a winning formula for Martin Clist and Charis Tyndall of Charles Ede Ltd, currently exhibiting at TEFAF New York Spring.
The British dealer is determined to build on the success they had getting contemporary art collectors interested in antiquities on their stand at the inaugural TEFAF New York Fall Fair last October, where they sold to a new young collector of contemporary art. The Mayfair-based duo were delighted when he turned up again at the TEFAF Maastricht Fair in March, this time buying a delicately modelled Hellenistic marble head of a Ptolemaic queen, telling them he aims to develop a collection.
“We are one of the few antiquities dealerships that stands at every TEFAF fair, and our symbiotic relationship pays off because clients like to find us wherever they go to the best events,” says Charles Ede managing director Martin Clist.
Now they are taking a 600BC Faliscan Olla – an Etruscan period cooking or storage pot from what is now Tuscany – to TEFAF New York Spring, where they will be one of only two antiquities dealers standing alongside a raft of Contemporary art exhibitors at the Park Avenue Armory from May 4-8.
Its unusual design echoes the work of Picasso, who is known to have been inspired by antiquities and tribal art. This type of pottery is made from impure clay, containing silica, and is native to the Etruscan regions. Impasto was made by coiling rolled lengths of clay into the desired shape, and smoothing down the surface.
The abstract depiction of a horse and other repeated motifs contribute to the extreme rarity of this example. “I’ve never seen one on the market of this size and quality before,” says Clist.
“It would look as good in a Contemporary domestic setting as in a traditional museum collection,” continues Charis Tyndall, who researched and catalogued the piece.
“We want to share our enthusiasm for ancient artefacts with collectors of all stripes, and are having considerable success in showing how the classical world can relate closely to Contemporary art and other spheres,” says Clist.
They are offering the Faliscan Olla for around £120,000.