Schelstraete wins case about a painting of Jacob Jordaens

The client of Schelstraete Business Lawyers (SBL) exchanged in 2013 a painting of Jacob Jordaens with an Art Dealer for antique Coptic fragments. These art objects were both estimated to be worth an amount of € 650.000,-.

Claim for damages

A few years later, in 2017, the client of SBL got served, to his own amazement, a subpoena from the Art Dealer. According to the Art Dealer the painting was a copy and not an original work of Jacob Jordaens. In relation to this the Art Dealer claimed an amount of € 650.000,- from the client of SBL. To enforce his claim, the Art Dealer seized several assets as immovable property and the bank account of the client of SBL.

Annulment of contract because of error “dwaling”

Mr. L.M. Schelstraete and Mr. V. Zitman of SBL assisted the client in the Procedure at the Court. They disputed that the painting was a copy and they also claimed back the painting based on error “dwaling”, because after valuation by a sworn expert the Coptic fragments proved not be worth much! They also claimed the Art Dealer had to lift his seizures.

Research showed that the correspondence about the Coptic fragments, allegedly from auction house Christie’s and museum Louvre, which the client of SBL had received from the Art Dealer, was falsified. Following this correspondence the client of SBL thought the Coptic fragments were worth around € 1.000.000,-! Unfortunately for the client this was not the case.


The Court issued its decision on September 5, 2018. The Court rejected the claim of the Art Dealer and the Art Dealer was sentenced to return the painting and to lift his seizures, both under a penalty with a maximum amount of € 650.000,-.

Dealing with an art related matter? Mr. Schelstraete and Mr. Zitman are happy to assist you. You can reach them or +31135114420.