Comedian/singer Martine Bijl decided to clean house last summer and chose to get rid of the remains of an abandoned hobby: many antique picture books she had collected over the years. She contacted Amsterdam auction house De Eland, who promised to take care of everything. Wondering what had happened to the cheque, she contacted the house after a couple of months only to find out that she wouldn’t get any money. The auction house had decided to throw away the 13 boxes of books after a cursory glance in some of them had revealed that they were not worth anything.
According to the print version of newspaper Het Parool, some of the books had an estimated value of hundreds of euro each. By British artist Arthur Rackham (1867-1939), Bijl owned De Ring van de Neveling (1911, 1912; text by Wagner/Kloos), Britsche Balladen (Verwey), and Midzomernachtsdroom (Shakespeare, Burgersdijk). By French artists J.J. Granville (1803-1847) Bijl owned the rare Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (1853). It’s the auction’s house standard policy to throw away any lot that it expects will not net more than 25 euro, which a box of regular books rarely would.