Having spent so much of the day touring Axel Vervoordt’s empire, I have become intrigued as to how he has built up not just a big commercial operation, but international authority in the exercise of taste.
He was born in 1947. His father was a successful horse trader and his mother bought a series of houses in the Vlaeykensgang, close to the cathedral in Antwerp:-
He started dealing in English furniture which he bought in bulk from impoverished landowners, combining his shop with his living arrangements and thereby creating a distinctive aesthetic based on eclecticism, combining old and new, and valuing the patina of age and use. He became well known in terms of the trade when he invested so heavily in the ceramics which emerged from.the wreck of the Geldermalsen in 1984, but more so when he began making a series of exhibitions at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice in 2007, including hanging an El Anatsui off its façade.
We can learn more from his autobiography, published by Flammarion next month:-