It may only be his fourth exhibiting at TEFAF, but London dealer Daniel Crouch Rare Books made a key sale over the first weekend of the fair: a pair of 17th century globes by Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571-1638), with an asking price of £1.2m.
The funds were made available by a private collector but the globes will go on view in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, reopened last year after a major refurbishment.
The 2ft 2 in (65cm) terrestrial and celestial globes are the largest ever made by the Dutch cartographer, and the largest globes to exist up until the end of the 17th century. In a time of rampant exploration, as new geographical knowledge came to light these globes were updated and so these examples, originally made c.1617, are in their fourth state, having been updated by Dr Joan Blaeu, Willem Blaeu’s son c.1645-48.
Finally, I should confess something. The term ‘The Maastricht Inch’, as referred to in the TEFAF preview a few weeks ago, is not my creation. It was shamelessly filched from Daniel, who claims to suffer from this much-feared affliction.
Taking the concept on stop further, its natural partner must surely be “The TEFAF Pinch’, both in wallet and waistband.