In March 2018 we reopened our shop, after having been closed for 7 years. Acanthus Antiquariaat was founded in 1990 and offers rare, beautiful, and curious books, prints, and objects, in a wonderous venue, newly styled as a true cabinet of curiosities.
We carry a stock of rare & antiquarian books and prints, including subjects like travelling, natural history, science, photography, avantgarde, illustrated books, fine bindings, optical toys, popular prints & broadsides, ephemera, objects of curiosity, and many more… in short, everything that we find interesting, beautiful, remarkable, or simply weird.
In April 1986, Iris van Daalen and two fellow students of History of Art, started selling second-hand books from a booth along the Utrecht's Old Canal. Business was surprisingly good and when a cold autumn came, they decided to hire a shop, Antiquariaat Aleph, that specializes in Art.
In 1990, Iris opened Antiquariaat Acanthus, now located in a 17th century town house, right behind Utrecht's cathedral. After 10 years she started to participate in ILAB's international antiquarian book & print fairs in New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Stuttgart, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Acanthus became an internationally established business.
In 2010, Iris was invited to become the director of the famous book auction house J.L. Beijers (est. in 1865). She took up the challenge and closed her shop. For Beijers, she held some very successful auctions, but the holding company chose to wind down operations after mixed results from its other companies.
After the Beijers adventure, Iris carried out valuations, prepared private collections for the market, advised about donating to institutions, and aided in building private collections. Not only did she now handle books & prints, but also antiques, ethnographical objects and art. Meanwhile, Iris reviewed the stock of Acanthus, buying new items with Cabinet of Curiosities as unifying theme. The shop was restyled accordingly.
In March 2018 the renewed shop was opened. A spectacular installation of glass jellyfish and blowfish chandeliers was commissioned, a beautiful contribution to our world of wonders.
You are welcome to visit us in the heart of the city of Utrecht. We are open on Fridays 11 am - 6 pm and the other days by appointment. If you are travelling from afar, it is advisable to call us in advance of your visit, even on Fridays.