35,000 curators, collectors and art lovers alike flocked to the fair in 2014, eager to check out exceptional works spanning 4,000 years. This four-wheel calèche, a light-weight, horse-drawn carriage, is from the second half of the 18th century and would have been used for a royal child. Offered by the Kraemer Gallery.
The fair's Chief Executive Nazy Vassegh told CNN: "Masterpiece was set up on the ethos of cross-collecting. We believe that collectors don't necessarily just collect one type of artwork. I've been in the art world for a number of years and some of the most fascinating collectors I've known and worked with do collect different works from different categories, also across different timelines." Collisart will be offering an oil painting from American realist painter George Bellows titled Robin (Portrait of Clifton Webb), produced in 1905.
Visitors can see 24 categories of items across different disciplines, ranging from paintings, folk art and sculptures to quirky offerings such as armour, safes and snuffboxes. Many works from British artist Henry Moore will be displayed, including this one-off lead helmet from 1950, offered by the Osborne Samuel gallery. It was previously exhibited in Scandinavia and sold to collector Ann Zwinger, whose name is inscribed on the base.
Works will be presented by over 150 galleries worldwide, including Based Upon, an artist's studio in London that has created the most contemporary piece at the fair. The Birth of Tramazite (2015), is a sculpture roughly the size of a coffee table and is made out of materials the artists made from scratch.
As for the oldest item, collectors will be able to set their sights on an Egyptian faience "ushabti" from the 30th Dynasty, circa 380-350 BC. Made from the oldest known type of glazed ceramic, the small servant figures were commonly placed in tombs and inscribed with spells to carry out manual tasks on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife. "What we've seen across the art market is that there's a growing demand for rare, special art pieces of great prevalence," says Nazy.
Another rarity is a pair of rare pearl earrings worn by Eugenie de Montijo, the last Empress of France. They're worth a whopping $10 million and are the most expensive item at the fair. Offered by the Siegelson gallery.
Robert Delaunay's, La Ville de Paris, La Femmer et la Tour Eiffel painting was made for a Parisian fair in 1925 - and comes to Masterpiece London 90 years later. "The fair became very established and it led to the coining of the term 'art deco'," explains Nazy. "But what is really special about this is two things. One is that the Eiffel Tower was the symbol of love that Robert and Sonia Delaunay had for each other. And this work by Robert was in her private collection when she died." Offered by Dickinson.
Cezanne paintings are known to fetch for millions - so all eyes will be on 'Groupe de baigneurs' from circa 1880, on offer from the Nukaga Gallery.
"Our belief is that everything that comes to the fair, whatever the category it fits in might be, it's a masterpiece in its own right," says Nazy. "So it doesn't matter if it's a piece of design or a rare piece of antiquity -- it has to be the best of its kind to come to this fair." It can also be the most unusual, judging by the life size paper mache model of a great African gorilla created by Dr. Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux, a medical student in France. It was based on a gorilla sent to him from Gabon in 1863 and used for anthropological research. Offered by Peter Petrou