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The Brussels Ancient Art Fair (BAAF): Fair & Art Exhibition
May 18, 2012  | 

The Brussels Ancient Art Fair (BAAF) was created completely from scratch on a whim in 2003 in less than three months by two antiquities dealers, Jacques Billen and Vincent Geerling, both of whom are members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA).

It was a major challenge and few people would have bet on it being successful. This fair is held in early June in various galleries around the Sablon Square in Brussels, the heart of the art market in Belgium. From the outset this specialist fair became the most important event for antiquities collectors in the world, and shortly afterwards a sister-fair was established in Switzerland, in Riehen, the Basel Ancient Art Fair (BAAF). 10 years later, the fair still exists as a not-to-be-missed date for archaeological collectors from around the world.

To mark its tenth anniversary, the Brussels Ancient Art Fair is proud to welcome two new high quality exhibitors, who have just been included in the IADAA (International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art). The first is Karl Stimm, an art historian by training, who is based in Antwerp and who runs the gallery Akanthos (specialized in Greek, Roman and Egyptian art). The second is Randy Hixenbaugh, a classical archaeologist from New York, who was trained in art dealing by Jerry Eisenberg from Royal-Athena Galleries and who runs Hixenbaugh Ancient Art.

For this tenth jubilee edition, we have arranged a large Egyptian art exhibition, entitled Ancient Egypt: Masterpieces from Collectors and Collections. It has only seen the light of day thanks to support from private collectors and European museums (the Museum August Kestner in Hannover and the Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig in Basel), to whom we are extremely grateful.

The exhibition will take place just a stone’s throw from Sablon, opposite the Palais de Justice at Hôtel de Mérode, one of Brussels’ great venues. This princely palace dates back to the 17th century and is home to the very select Cercle de Lorraine/Club van Lotharingen, which counts the elite of the Belgium’s business world among its members. It will enable the public to see 125 very high quality Egyptian pieces, which stand apart due to their aesthetic or originality. Many of them have never been exhibited before. A superb printed catalogue written by a dozen renowned Egyptologists publishes all of the pieces in the exhibition.

Our tenth anniversary is also the perfect opportunity for us to thank all of our exhibitors for their exemplary loyalty. Most of them have been with us from the very beginning, some of them travel far to be with us, and year after year they appreciate the warm atmosphere that descends on Sablon at the beginning of June.

In fact, we are not the only ones to occupy Sablon. Our sister fairs BRUNEAF and BOAFair, under the inspired leadership of Pierre Loos and Georgia Chrischilles, also draw a large number of visitors to Brussels. It is this combination of ancient, tribal and oriental art that gives this tripartite event its originality and unique identity.

If you have a passion for ancient art, you owe it to yourself to be in Brussels – and nowhere else – for BAAF. The fair is exceptional in every way.

Jacques Billen
Member of the organising committee of the Brussels Ancient Art Fair
Hosted by galleries located on and adjoining the Place du Grand Sablon at the heart of the historical centre of Brussels.
All participants are members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA).

• The Art Loss Register (London / New York / Cologne / Amsterdam). The ALR checked every artwork exhibited at Brussels Ancient Art Fair 2012.

In synergy with Bruneaf and Boafair.
Tel. 32.475.48.3682

ANCIENT EGYPT. Masterpieces from Collectors and Collections

The Brussels Ancient Art Fair is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2012 and the organising team wanted to mark the occasion with a special event.

A major exhibition of ancient Egyptian art called Ancient Egypt. Masterpieces from Collectors and Collections will present 120 exquisite artefacts dating from the Predynastic Period to the Roman Period.

The selection was made on the basis of the following criteria: highest quality, unusual or charming objects, mainly in the field of the so-called ‘minor arts’. Visitors will not find large reliefs, statues or coffins in this exhibition, but rather precious items, displaying the finest craftsmanship, such as a Naqada I (4000-3500 BC) flint hippopotamus, a 17th-dynasty (c.1635-1550 BC) flask in blue anhydrite depicting a duck - probably the best of its kind in the world – and a tiny but magnificent head of Harpocrates in obsidian from the Roman period.

Some of the pieces are unique, including an almost surrealistic faience stamp or amulet in the shape of a human foot topped by a falcon head from the Ptolemaic Period or a superb faience statue of pharaoh Rudamun, son of Osorkon III, and ruler of the 23rd dynasty. Several objects will be exhibited for the first time.

Ancient Egypt. Masterpieces from Collectors and Collections has been made possible thanks to the cooperation between the Brussels Ancient Art fair, European or Gulf-based private collectors and public institutions.

Very often, the core of many a museum was initially based on famous past private collections. Even today, benefactors contribute towards their development thanks to donations, loans or sponsoring. With a view to encouraging this policy, museum curators participating in this exhibition are lending objects and presenting the historical background of their collections in the catalogue.

The exhibition will be held at the Hôtel de Mérode, a princely palace dating back to the 17th century located just opposite the Palais de Justice, a few hundred meters from the Sablon Square.

Ancient Egypt. Masterpieces from Collectors and Collections has the privilege of being welcomed by the Cercle de Lorraine/Club van Lotharingen, a select club housed in this historical building, whose members rank among the elite of Belgian finance and business.

Photo credit : Alain Speltdoorn

Ancient Egypt. Masterpieces from collectors and collections
Venue: Cercle de Lorraine / Club van Lotharingen (Brussels), Place Poelaert 6, 1000 Brussels
Organizer: BAAF Organisation asbl: Jacques Billen
Partners: 13 Egyptologists
• Museum August Kestner (Hanovre)
• Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig (Bâle)
• Private collectors
Catalogue: Production of an exclusive catalogue made by 13 renowned egyptologists (limited edition of 1.000 copies), on sale at the exhibition and through
Contact: Bénédicte Duhaut,
Tel: +32 475 483682,