Skip to content
Floris Jespers (1889-1965). ‘De kommunicant', 1925. Est.: € 50000 - 60000

25 & 26 April Live auction:

Collections Tracey Emin & De Ridder

PDF version of printed catalogue
For sale in our online store

Viewing days
18 – 22 April
Please note: because of the classic concert, our first floor will not be accessible on 21 April between 10AM and 12.
The other rooms do remain open at all times.

Live auction
25 April, 10AM | From Ensor to Emin, Works on Paper I (1000-1126)
25 April, 2PM | From Ensor to Emin, Works on Paper II (1200-1537)
26 April, 2PM | From the André de Ridder Archives: documents, works of art and valuable books (1600-1737)

Bernaerts is honoured to offer in April a small but exceptional collection of early prints and illustrated correspondence by Tracey Emin, one of the leading ladies in contemporary art. In the early 1980s, as a young art student in the circles of the theatre group ‘Horse + Bamboo’, she met Dutch artist Adriaan Krabbendam. A platonic relationship and especially intense correspondence unfolds between these two searching souls. Emin, then ‘Traci’, illustrates her letters, cards and envelopes with monotypes, woodcuts, watercolours…. The tone is glowing, yearning, but always poetic in tone, even as she recounts the simple events of her life. In this very intense period of her life, just before her admission to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and her breakthrough on the international stage, we follow an artist who is searching very hard to find her own way, using Krabbendam and especially their correspondence/contact as an outlet and touchboard to help the often high emotions find their trajectory.

The absolute highlight of the collection is a unique artist’s book, ‘Sketchbook‘ from 1984 that contains no fewer than seven monotypes and whose front and back covers are illustrated with original drawings.

Tracey Emin (°1963). 'Sketchbook', 1984 (detail). Est. € 30000 - 40000

During the April auction, Bernaerts will also bring the archive of André de Ridder (1888 – 1961) under the hammer. Among the general public, his name will ring fewer bells than that of his associate Paul-Gustave van Hecke.

De Ridder, born and raised in Antwerp and trained as an economist, will make his first modest name as an essayist on Flemish literature. Among other things, he will write a very early monograph on Stijn Streuvels (1907) and will help strengthen the ranks of literary magazines such as ‘Vlaamsche Arbeid’ and ‘De Boomgaard’, among others. It is during this period that he becomes acquainted with Van Hecke, and the friendship will remain intact until De Ridder’s death in 1961.

What both men are most praised for to this day is the establishment in the early 1920s of the gallery and the eponymous magazine ‘Sélection’. Where Van Hecke will be the face of the magazine and the gallery, De Ridder will be the silent force behind the scenes. In the meantime, he was also appointed professor of statistics and finance at the Rijksuniversiteit in Ghent, and the Rijkshandelshogeschool and the Koloniale Hogeschool in Antwerp. From that period, we offer, among other things, Léon Spilliaert‘s original design for the cover of ‘Sélection’, along with the contract and correspondence between De Ridder/ Sélection and Spilliaert. One of the most startling pieces will be the correspondence between Theo Van Doesburg and De Ridder, also from the same period. Dozens of original and unprecedented photos of De Ridder/ Van Hecke and their entourage also surfaced, taken by Robert De Smet and others.

De Ridder also had a very high-end art collection himself. The latest witnesses to this will also be presented to the general public at that auction, such as Floris Jespers’ important 1925 work ‘De Kommunicant’ (sic).

With this collection auction, it will become clear that André de Ridder played a key role in our ‘roaring twenties’ art world and was often (co-)responsible for the many international contacts that gave our magazines and galleries their international name and fame.

Nearby underground parking: Kooldok or Steendok (5 min walking distance)

Collecting your goods
By appointment, between Monday 29 April and Friday 10 May, between 9am-12 and 1pm-5.30pm and on Saturday 4 May between 10am and 1pm.

Frequently asked questions

You can place bids in four different ways:

  1. In our room Platform, Verlatstraat 18, Antwerp.
    You receive a bid number after registration at the front desk, from 30 minutes before the start of the auction.
    Commission = 25%
  2. Online: you can submit a ‘prebid’ or you can bid along ‘live’ during the auction.
    There are 3 platforms you can use: Bernaerts Live or the app ‘Auctioneers Bernaerts’, Invaluable of Drouotonline
    During the auction, you log in to follow the auction live and to place your bids.
    Commission = 28%
  3. Place an absentee bid via the online catalogue or mail a completed form to info(at) at the latest 12h prior to the live auction. The auctioneer will try to acquire your lot at the most advantageous price possible.
    Commission = 25%
  4. Request a telephone line via the online catalogue or mail a completed telephone bid form to info(at), at the latest 12h prior to the live auction. One of our team members will call you during the auction to bid live.
    Commission = 25%