With 165 000 euros for an original plate of 'Le nid des marsipulamis'(1960) signed by Franquin and for one out of Hergé's 'Sceptre d'Ottokar' (1938), the Belgian comic strips has one again shown it's membership to the world of Art with a capital letter. What common is to all the works of art, is their high market value. A lot of people think of the art market as something obscure or as something for initiates only. Therefore, Brusselslife has decided to open the doors of the auctions' world of the capital.
Thanks to its international status, Brussels has three of the biggest international auction houses on its soil: , the world leader, Lempertz and Dorotheum
. The last one celebrates this year its 300th anniversary and soon its ten years in Belgium. In this context, we met Constanze Werner, the marketing director of the Dorotheum in Vienna. She told us the elements affecting the basic price at an auction sale: the artist, its origin (the price rises if it comes from a prestigious collection), its state of preservation, the signature and finally if it is a newcomer on the art market. If you'd like to buy a work by auction, you can personally attend the sale, bid higher via the Internet or use the telephone and an employee will raise his hand for you or you can ask a third party to remain anonymous.
But if you'd like to sell a painting or if you are simply curious about the value of an object you inherited: ask for the opinion of an expert! You a have two possibilities: you can go to an auction house or find one on your own. But in the last case, you run the risk of being swindled. To avoid this, you can find all the useful information by consulting the Belgian Experts Chamber
or the Belgian Experts Association
But we have also to mention le Mont de Piété
, an institution which lend money against pledge. It has been created in 1618 to contradict the proverb that reputations shape reactions. By decree, le Mont de Piété is the only pawnbroker allowed in Belgium. Every day, numerous valuations take place there as well as public auction and requested sales. Nevertheless, all the experts will certainly agree on the fact that the sentimental value of an object is priceless. Valérie Motmans (St.)