* Roy Lichtenstein painting among standout pieces for sale
* Mary Tudor pearl believed to be world's third largest
* Hancocks exhibit Art Deco bangle by Fouquet
By David Brough
LONDON, June 27 Millionaires and celebrities
crammed into the launch of London luxury fair Masterpiece, an
annual shopping extravaganza for the rarest art, jewellery and
Standout items on show on Tuesday night included a huge Roy
Lichtenstein painting called "Puzzle Portrait", a large pearl
that once belonged to Mary Tudor, and a 1925 first edition
"Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Upmarket London clock emporium Raffety showcased a long case
clock believed to have graced the rooms of a Medici palazzo in
Florence, and an unusual George II period walnut bureau bookcase
with a clock above the glass doors.
Wartski offered vintage jewels from Faberge. Exquisite Art
Deco pieces from Paris jewellers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels
were on show at various booths at the fair.
Celebrities, including "Made in Chelsea" UK reality TV
stars, milled around the crowded stands at the Royal Hospital
Chelsea venue, sipping champagne and admiring the treasures.
"We have seen lots of interest. We definitely want to come
back next year," said Marwan Chatila of Chatila, a first-time
exhibitor at Masterpiece who showcased magnificent one-off
diamond jewellery pieces from his Bond Street collection.
Art dealers said privately they believed the bright
Lichtenstein painting, exhibited by the Washington-based
Geoffrey Diner Gallery, could fetch as much as 20 million pounds
($30.41 million) as the market for post-war art boomed.
Simon Shore, a dealer whose paintings at the fair included a
seascape by Claude Monet and a surreal timepiece by Salvador
Dali, said he believed that Chinese investors would develop an
appetite for Western art.
He said the ultra-wealthy in emerging economies where
currencies had slid against the dollar, would look to
high-quality Western art as a safe-haven investment for their
"I think we will continue to see more interest from Chinese
investors who are beginning to appreciate the universal appeal
of art from the likes of Andy Warhol, whose paintings featured
dollar notes," Shore said.
In fine jewellery, standout items included a pearl once
owned by Mary Tudor, which at 64.5 carats is believed to be the
third largest well-formed natural seawater pearl in the world,
available for a seven-figure sum.
London retailer Hancocks displayed an Art Deco bangle with a
striking geometric design by Fouquet for 875,000 pounds.
Peter Harrington, a purveyor of rare books, showcased a
first edition of the novel "The Great Gatsby" for 120,000
pounds, taking a cue from the hit Hollywood movie starring
Leonardo Di Caprio released earlier this year.
Masterpiece runs until July 3.
($1 = 0.6577 British pounds)
(Reporting by David Brough; Editing by Paul Casciato)