FINE ARTS, ANTIQUES, FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Portrait of a woman c.1560 Exhibitor: Galerie Claude Vittet
BELGIUMS ANTIQUE DEALER'S FAIR
A Major International Event
From 19th to 28th
January 2007, the Antique Dealers’ Fair of
From its foundation in 1955, the Antique Dealers’ Fair of Belgium has become one of the longest-standing and most prestigious antiques fairs in the world. It is a key date in the international antiques calendar, offering both professionals and enthusiasts the opportunity to meet, learn and make new contacts, whilst also evaluating a market that has become extremely selective. From the very beginning, the Fair has always stressed quality, and has been able to guarantee the authenticity of its exhibits thanks to a rigorous selection process that is overseen by an independent Committee of Experts. The Fair is confident in its provision of high standards, and is also looking to the future and constantly setting itself new challenges.
Mrs. Grethe Zeberg will chair the Fair for a
further three years, following the unanimous renewal of her mandate.
Established over a century ago in
The last three Fairs were given a new lease of
life by being hosted in the huge halls of the former marshalling yard
known as ‘Tour & Taxis’. Situated right in the heart of the capital of
Europe, this remarkable architectural complex represents one of the jewels
of the industrial heritage of
In addition, Edouard Vermeulen, the famous designer from the Natan couture house will be taking over from Gérald Watelet and Kaat Tilley, and will be enlivening the main alleyway by presenting his new 2007 Spring/Summer couture collection. There will be twenty models bringing a touch of glamour and luxury that should enhance the impression that participants are taking part in an event of exceptional prestige.
The new arrangement used this year at the Tour
& Taxis site will enable the Board slightly to increase the number of
exhibitors to 130. This increase in numbers, which aims to strengthen the
event’s pre-eminence even further, has been achieved in two ways: on the
one hand, as is tradition, the organisers have called on the most renowned
Belgian antique dealers; and on the other hand, a contingent of 28 fresh
exhibitors will breathe new life into the event. The Fair’s international
dimension will also be strengthened by the presence of antique dealers
There are also big names from
Objets d’art, old paintings and antiquities
are still the mainstay, and indeed the major attraction, of the Antique
Dealers’ Fair of Belgium. However, art and antiquity connoisseurs have
been changing over recent years as their tastes have become more eclectic,
and increasing numbers of collectors are diversifying their collections by
mixing classical, modern and contemporary art. The Fair will therefore
abide by the direction that it took in 2006 and will also welcome some
modern and contemporary art exhibitors. This section will be reinforced by
some top level dealers such as Darga & Lansberg (Paris), Patrice
It is clear that the market is becoming increasingly ruthless towards middle of the range goods. Yet, it is hardly a secret that exceptional artefacts are becoming increasingly rare, and the Board of Directors is therefore more then ever in search of outstanding pieces. Consequently, giving priority to this quest for quality and guaranteeing the authenticity of the objects offered for sale, remains the organiser’s priority. The range of pieces on offer, varying from antiquity to modern classicism and even to contemporary art, means that striving for extraordinary quality is a constant task. This is why where other fairs are experiencing a decline in visitor numbers due to insufficient quality, vetting days are taken extremely seriously at the Antique Dealers’ Fair of Belgium. The organisers have set up Expert Commissions for each section: they are made up of curators, non-exhibiting experts, art historians and restorers, and work for two full days before the private viewing when none of the exhibitors are present. All the objects that they examine must receive the unanimous support of the commission members, otherwise they cannot be included in the Fair. This is not because they are fakes, but because they do not meet the stringent quality requirements.
Consequently, the Antique Dealers’ Fair of
Belgium still presents an opportunity for rare and even exceptional
discoveries, in a venue that prioritises the relationship between the work
of art and the viewer. In order to attract the kind of wealthy clientele
that these rare and precious pieces are destined for, the Fair has
arranged a partnership with Bank Delen (specialising in private asset
management) for several years from 2007 onwards. Furthermore, as the Board
is keen to attract the most active collectors from around the world, it is
developing a programme this year that particularly targets
Now allow us to present some of the most exquisite pieces that will surely whet the appetite of these new visitors.
"The farmer" Mixed technique on paper, 40 x 50 cm Signed and dated 1919 lower left. Exhibitor: Galerie Francis Carrette
In the painting section, Oscar De Vos (Laethem-Saint-Martin)
will be presenting a remarkable portrait by Gustave Van de Woestyne. Ronny
Van de Velde (
In the objets d’art category, we will
have the opportunity of viewing a beautiful Puma by Rembrandt Bugatti,
presented by Univers du Bronze (
In the silverware category, a 1937 ‘
Finally, in the jewellery section,
Georgia Chrischilles (
Tour & Taxi and its History
The Tour & Taxis site is located in the North of Brussels, beside the Willebroe canal, where Avenue du Port and Rue Picard meet. The site totals 45 hectares and takes its name from its original owners, the princely von Thurn und Tassis family, founders of the European postal service. The site was marshland until 1897.
The current building was built between 1904 and 1910 on a plot of land that belonged to the princely family at the time. The Torriani e Tassi family, originally from Bergamo, made its fortune and gained glory and nobility by organising the first postal network across the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the Empire. The founder of the dynasty, Francisco Tasso, organised a postal service between Milan and Innsbruck in 1516. The success of this postal service, provided by hundreds of messengers on horseback, unfortunately resulted in a lot of noise on the streets of Brussels, which bothered the townspeople. During a town council meeting on 15th June 1578, the authorities suggested that Francisco limited his night runs to 1200 split as follows: 600 from Porte de Halle, 200 from Porte de Schaerbeek, 150 from Porte de Namur and finally 250 from Porte de Ninove. This compromise seemed impossible to Francisco given the continuing increase in letter and parcel deliveries across Europe. Francisco decided to transfer some of his activities to Frankfurt and so took the name Franz von Tassis. The name La Tour et Tassis was used from then on in Latin countries, while Von Thurn und Taxis was used in Germanic countries.
At the end of the 19th century, the City of Brussels bought the land and decided to use it to develop its new modal distribution centre, which became a crossroads of commerce and development in the 20th century. At the beginning of the last century, several office buildings were built for the new port and the SNCB built a harbour station.
Towards the end of the eighties, the activities ceased, the buildings fell into disuse and the land was largely abandoned. There were several projects to restore the site, but none were really successful. When Project T&T bought the site in December 2001, Tour & Taxis finally saw its new future take shape. It was to be an ambitious, multifunctional and dynamic future.
The site’s success and future lie in its multifunctional nature, combining housing, offices, shops, communal facilities and leisure areas all on the same site. In other words, it was the birth of a new Quarter in Brussels.
The Tour & Taxis site master plan is an initiative from Project T&T, a joint venture between the property company Extensa and the property developer Robelco, who each hold 50% of the shares. Project T&T has owned 30 hectares of the Tour & Taxis site since December 2001.
The Port of Brussels owns the remaining 15 hectares. Since its purchase by Project T&T, the Tour & Taxis site has seen some of the most innovative urban projects in the history of Brussels.
While renovation of the Tour & Taxis royal warehouse is being completed, “Shops” are breathing life into the site by hosting prestigious exhibitions, including ours. The appearance
of the Palais des Beaux-Arts at Tour & Taxis in 2004 was the key to the success of the exhibition, which enjoys easy access thanks to a car park under surveillance on the site itself.
The whole area covered by the next Foire des Antiquaires that will take place from 19th to 28th January 2007, will be 12.315 m2.
The Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique ASBL is very happy to be participating in the development of the Tour & Taxis site once again and is thrilled with the benefits that a whole new Quarter will bring to life in urban Brussels.
Antique Dealers’ Fair of
Rue Ernest Allard 32 - 1000