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As most art lovers now recognise, Maastricht’s annual TEFAF (The European Fine Arts Fair), although only thirty years old, has established itself as the world’s leading rendezvous for all who buy, sell or comment upon fine art, rare antiques and classical antiquities. Visits in recent years have noted some very intriguing heraldry in the illuminated manuscripts on show, as well as in, as might be expected, the many portraits offered for sale each year, so William Hogarth was asked to spend a couple of days there and to report on what would interest our readers. His notes on what he saw and the observations made by the exhibitors he interviewed are to be published in two parts as PDF files, the first now and the second in April.
His first comment was the complaint that Guy Stair Sainty, whose name many readers will immediately recognise as an Internet writer on heraldic subjects, and as the author of a forthcoming book on Orders of Chivalry, had attended as expected but, having a short time earlier sold Baron François Gérard’s Bellisarius to the Getty Museum, had not met the catalogue’s implicit promise. The picture above is a reduced size version of the catalogue’s; the original was very greatly missed (but with such sadness dealers presumably can cope).
Marquis of Antwerp ???
The two shields on the right feature in the first part of the report. The upper appears in the lower left corner of Allegory of Peace and Justice and is stated in the dealer’s catalogue to bear the arms of the Marquis of Antwerp. Although seeming familiar in an inexplicable way, they look wrong. Perhaps a reader may recognise them. The lower shield is in the top right corner of a picture of a Vestal Virgin and is noted in the documentation as bearing “unknown” arms. Perhaps these, too, may be identified by a reader.
“Unknown” arms
The report mentions also a portrait of a Dutch gentleman of the van der Hoef family whose arms include an example of adumbration (rarely seen in the British Isles) ~ in this case a silver shield bearing another silver shield outlined (in theory shadowed) in black. (There will be more on this in Part 2.)
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