Share article:
Share article:

Foreign collectors attracted by Belgian rare book auctions

The sale of rare books in Belgium is attracting numerous foreign collectors. Now one in three end up in the hands of foreigners, compared to one in five in the 2000s and only one in ten twenty years ago. This is according to an estimate by the Brussels auction house, Arenberg Auctions.

On a global scale, some 400,000 rare books were sold under the hammer last year, including 15,000 in Belgium. One-third were acquired by foreign collectors. These are particularly French, Dutch, Americans and Italians who come to Belgium in search of rare books and other manuscripts.

Henri Godts, a valuer from Arenberg Auctions, explains, “To the extent that Belgium has always been at the crossroads of major European cultures, there is no shortage of material or historic heritage in our country. This amply justifies the interest shown by some international players.”

The development in recent years of new means of communication and new technologies has made consulting sales catalogues from abroad much easier. In this regard, we must not overlook the launch of online sales.

However, the valuer says that Belgian heritage is not threatened by foreign covetousness. Mr Godts goes on, “The book market has always been international, and books have been changing hands during international book fairs going right back to the 16th century. With this in mind, it is worth mentioning that the Belgians will also buy from abroad.” He adds, “Moreover, a genuine historic heritage publication does not come up for sale every day.”


The Brussels Times

Latest news

European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...