Phoenix Ancient Art Enjoys BRAFA

The 61st edition of the BRAFA, Brussels Fine Arts Fair, returned from January 23-31st and brought with it an exciting week of top-notch art. The fair, one of the leading European art and antiques fairs, included a huge range of items from antiquities to 21st century silver, jewelry, furniture and more. Phoenix Ancient Art was honored to be part of the fair, as it was their 12th consecutive year at the event.

As one of the longest running art and antiques fairs in the world, BRAFA is run by the nonprofit Belgian Antiques Fair Association. The first BRAFA was held in the Arlequin Hall of the Galerie Louiza in 1956. In 1995, the fair was opened to foreign antique dealers for the first time and in 2004, the fair moved to Tour & Taxis in the north of Brussels next to the Willebroek canal. Embracing exhibitors of more modern and contemporary art, the fair changed its name from “Belgian Antiques Fair” to BRAFA: the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair. On September 30th, 2009, the fair was honored to be placed under the High Protection of Her Majesty Queen Paola, Queen of Belgium.

Today, with the remodeling of the event in 2014 and the eclectic mix of antiquities and modern items, the 2016 fair included 137 internationally renowned art spaces. At our booth, we showcased a number of unique and stunning pieces including the Bust of a Young Lady Contemporary of Hadrian and the Helmet of the Illyrian Type.

Bust of a Young Lady Contemporary of Hadrian

The hollow Bust of the Young Lady is a marble Roman piece from 120 – 140 A.D. The hairstyle here is the most important feature as Roman ladies started to wear these hairstyles at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. The hairstyle both helps to pinpoint the date of creation and also to show that Roman women took great care with their hair as an indication of their social rank. These Roman portraits are not frequently found and it was exciting for visitors to see this one on display.
Another item of interest from us at Phoenix Ancient Art was the Helmet of the Illyrian Type. This item is bronze and is of Greek design from the 5th to 6th century B.C. It owes its name to ancient Illyria where many examples were found. What makes it distinct are the twin ridges and the attachment device for the crest, together with the opening at the front that is nearly rectangular. The design was a very successful one and they are thought to have been designed in a Peloponnesian city.

Helmet of the Illyrian Type: Phoenix Ancient Art

Along with these elegant displays, we also had many of our “Young Collectors” items available. Reaching out to younger collectors with this new initiative, Phoenix Ancient Art illustrates our philosophy that art should be available to all. The items on display included bronze, marble and terracotta pieces and this section of our booth generated a great deal of energy.

Participants at the BRAFA came from all over the world to be part of the fair. Countries represented included: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great-Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Monaco, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands and The USA.

As usual, it was a delight for us to be part of this esteemed event.