Rob Kattenburg in his private library

About Rob Kattenburg

More than 50 years of expert and art dealer, specializing in maritime art.

Kunsthandel Rob Kattenburg has been an expert in maritime ancient art for more than 50 years and occupies a unique position in the international art trade. The specialism mainly comprises Dutch and Flemish paintings, drawings and graphics from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries with shipping and cartography as subjects. Art dealership Rob Kattenburg is approached by both private collectors and museums when it comes to purchasing a navy. Due to his great knowledge and interest in our maritime history, Rob Kattenburg has been a source of information for museum curators, major collectors and collectors for decades.

The ever-changing collection includes paintings, drawings and graphics by great masters such as Willem van de Velde and Ludolf Backhuysen, as well as often surprisingly beautiful works by painters who have worked in the shadow of the celebrities and yet have developed their own style. The interesting thing about the latter group is that they are often very attractively priced.

From 1978 Rob Kattenburg participated in the legendary Art and Antiques Fair Delft , followed by the TEFAF in Maastricht and the national Art and Antiques Fair PAN in Amsterdam. Due to its international character and the fact that it is the most important fair for old masters in the world, the Amsterdam art dealer decided to participate in TEFAF again in 2012. His stand was a meeting point for anyone interested in maritime art.

From a passionate hobby to serious work

As a schoolboy, Rob Kattenburg already showed a great interest in our glorious history. With his pocket money he bought prints on the Waterlooplein and sometimes made remarkable discoveries. A beautiful etching by Goya was purchased for 25 cents and he had to pay 10 cents for an etching by Reinier Nooms alias Zeeman. He became especially fascinated by our maritime past. In addition to frequent visits to museums, he read every book he could get his hands on about the VOC, the great voyages of discovery and immersed himself in the ships from the heyday of sailing. It was obvious that the paintings from the Golden Age depicting these ships attracted his special interest. It was therefore almost inevitable that he turned his hobby into his profession. It started with prints and maps, later supplemented with paintings and drawings. It was the time when paintings were relatively cheap and there was a wide range. An excellent start for a novice art dealer.
Now, more than forty years after that first beginning, art dealership Rob Kattenburg is one of the few international art dealers with maritime art as a specialism.

A personal purchase advice

All too often collectors and novice collectors allow themselves to be seduced by well-known names such as Ludolf Backhuysen, etc. when making a proposed purchase. The fact that the great masters sometimes also produced work of lesser quality is overlooked. Not to mention the attribution; is the painting by the master in question? And last but not least the condition in which the work can be. Especially if the asking price is low, one has to be careful. Do not forget that a painting by a well-known painter such as Willem van de Velde or Ludolf Backhuysen, etc., which is excellent in all respects, is generally expensive.
And so it still happens that a ‘cheap’ purchase usually turns out to be a big disappointment. Also financially.

We have been advising on the purchase of a navy for forty years. And that advice has remained the same all these years: buy quality first. The so-called little masters have sometimes delivered paintings of a very high artistic level that can compete with many a great master’s work. And the price of such a quality painting is many, many times lower than what one has to pay for mediocre work by a great master.

The 'Gray School'

The saying ‘unknown makes unloved’ certainly applies to these tonalistic paintings of which Jan Porcellis is the founder. Never before have the sea and rivers been portrayed so ‘lifelike’. Beautiful, sometimes threatening skies, above a raging sea, furnished with one or more ships, make an overwhelming impression. They are purely Dutch paintings that people keep looking at and that continue to fascinate. We would rather see a storm by a small marine painter like Pieter Mulier (1610-1670) worth around €30,000 than a ‘brave’ early Van de Velde or Jan van de Cappelle worth € two to ten million. Anyone who takes the trouble to get acquainted with this still underrated ‘Grey School’ will not be disappointed.

Where to buy

Everyone is free to do that. Paintings are of course offered in the art trade and you can also go to the auction. If you opt for a general art dealership or for a specialized art dealership such as Rob Kattenburg art dealership, you can expect expert advice, a suitable price and guarantee. And of course service. If an auction is preferred, then one should be well prepared. There is a lot of risk involved with just buying. Giving an example; In our archive we have cataloged and examined all Backhuysen paintings that have been offered for auction in the past forty years. The outcome is surprising. More than half of the paintings offered for auction as Backhuysen turned out to be NOT by the painter himself. In almost all cases the work concerned studio work or painters in the style of Aernout Smit, Wigerus Vitringa or Jan Claesz. reed sheaf. The buyers bought a pig in a poke.

The costs of buying, selling or giving in commission

To start with the auction. When a painting is sold, the auction often charges the buyer as much as 24.8% of the hammer price (up to € 400,000). The seller must pay 10% in costs. In other words, 1/3 goes to the auction. Private individuals who want to sell a painting and give it to art dealer Rob Kattenburg on consignment pay a commission of only 20%.

In principle, the auction is not a legal owner. The auction only mediates between the selling party (the contributor) and the buying party. for the selling party (generally) approximately 10% is charged and for the buying party 29.75% of the hammer price. For example: If the auction sells an item for €1,500,000 (ie the hammer price), the seller will receive approximately 1.2 million and the buyer pays €1,500,000 + 29.75% (premium). In total an amount of € 1,946,250. The auction thus earns approximately € 746,250 from this transaction. If we sell the painting for you for a price of €1,950,000, we will charge you 20% commission and 21% VAT, which means you will receive approximately €1,600,000!

From passionate hobby to serious work

As a schoolboy, Rob Kattenburg already showed a great interest in our glorious history. With his pocket money he bought prints on the Waterlooplein and sometimes made remarkable discoveries. A beautiful etching by Goya was purchased for 25 cents and he had to pay 10 cents for an etching by Reinier Nooms alias Zeeman. He became especially fascinated by our maritime past. In addition to frequent visits to museums, he read every book he could get his hands on about the VOC, the great voyages of discovery and immersed himself in the ships from the heyday of sailing. It was obvious that the paintings from the Golden Age depicting these ships attracted his special interest. It was therefore almost inevitable that he turned his hobby into his profession. It started with prints and maps, later supplemented with paintings and drawings. It was the time when paintings were relatively cheap and there was a wide range. An excellent start for a novice art dealer.
Now, more than forty years after that first beginning, art dealership Rob Kattenburg is one of the few international art dealers with maritime art as a specialism.

The 'Gray School'

The saying ‘unknown makes unloved’ certainly applies to these tonalistic paintings of which Jan Porcellis is the founder. Never before have the sea and rivers been portrayed so ‘lifelike’. Beautiful, sometimes threatening skies, above a raging sea, furnished with one or more ships, make an overwhelming impression. They are purely Dutch paintings that people keep looking at and that continue to fascinate. We would rather see a storm by a small marine painter like Pieter Mulier (1610-1670) worth around €30,000 than a ‘brave’ early Van de Velde or Jan van de Cappelle worth € two to ten million. Anyone who takes the trouble to get acquainted with this still underrated ‘Grey School’ will not be disappointed.

Costs when buying, selling or giving in commission

To start with the auction. When a painting is sold, the auction often charges the buyer as much as 24.8% of the hammer price (up to € 400,000). The seller must pay 10% in costs. In other words, 1/3 goes to the auction. Private individuals who want to sell a painting and give it to art dealer Rob Kattenburg on consignment pay a commission of only 20%.

In principle, the auction is not a legal owner. The auction only mediates between the selling party (the contributor) and the buying party. for the selling party (generally) approximately 10% is charged and for the buying party 29.75% of the hammer price. For example: If the auction sells an item for €1,500,000 (ie the hammer price), the seller will receive approximately 1.2 million and the buyer pays €1,500,000 + 29.75% (premium). In total an amount of € 1,946,250. The auction thus earns approximately € 746,250 from this transaction. If we sell the painting for you for a price of €1,950,000, we will charge you 20% commission and 21% VAT, which means you will receive approximately €1,600,000!

A personal
purchase advice

All too often collectors and novice collectors allow themselves to be seduced by well-known names such as Ludolf Backhuysen, etc. when making a proposed purchase. The fact that the great masters sometimes also produced work of lesser quality is overlooked. Not to mention the attribution; is the painting by the master in question? And last but not least the condition in which the work can be. Especially if the asking price is low, one has to be careful. Do not forget that a painting by a well-known painter such as Willem van de Velde or Ludolf Backhuysen, etc., which is excellent in all respects, is generally expensive.
And so it still happens that a ‘cheap’ purchase usually turns out to be a big disappointment. Also financially.

We have been advising on the purchase of a navy for forty years. And that advice has remained the same all these years: buy quality first. The so-called little masters have sometimes delivered paintings of a very high artistic level that can compete with many a great master’s work. And the price of such a quality painting is many, many times lower than what one has to pay for mediocre work by a great master.

Where to buy

Everyone is free to do that. Paintings are of course offered in the art trade and you can also go to the auction. If you opt for a general art dealership or for a specialized art dealership such as Rob Kattenburg art dealership, you can expect expert advice, a suitable price and guarantee. And of course service. If an auction is preferred, then one should be well prepared. There is a lot of risk involved with just buying. Giving an example; In our archive we have cataloged and examined all Backhuysen paintings that have been offered for auction in the past forty years. The outcome is surprising. More than half of the paintings offered for auction as Backhuysen turned out to be NOT by the painter himself. In almost all cases the work concerned studio work or painters in the style of Aernout Smit, Wigerus Vitringa or Jan Claesz. reed sheaf. The buyers bought a pig in a poke.

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