Patrick van der Vorst (born 2 May 1971) is an entrepreneur, dealer and art expert with over 25 years in the industry of art antiques and collectibles. A former winner on BBC's Dragons Den, he also can be seen on Four Rooms Belgium (Stukken van Mensen), on channel Vier beginning 2 February 2016.
Van der Vorst is the grandson of Gaston Depre, founder of animal nutrition company Group Depre, with an annual turnover of €450 million and employing a workforce of over 400 employees throughout Europe. The business is still owned and run by the Depre family with headquarters in Beernem near Bruges.
Van der Vorst attended the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium where he graduated in Law. In 1995 he moved to London, where he has lived ever since. He started his career at Sotheby’s Billingshurst in 1996 and transferred in 1997 to Bond Street in London, working first in the Impressionist and Contemporary Art departments, before moving into the Furniture Department, which is his main passion. At age 28 he became Deputy Director at Sotheby’s and at 31 a Director and Head of Continental Furniture, specialising in 18th century French Furniture. In these years he helped organise sales for Elton John’s London home, the Easton Neston Sale, Thurn & Taxis, etc. At the age of 39 he left Sotheby’s to set up his own online venture, valuemystuff.com].
Created in 2009, ValueMyStuff is an online antique valuations service. In 2010 van der Vorst appeared on Dragons' Den and secured a £100,000 ($170,000) investment from Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis.
The innovative company has a team of over 60 experts in over 50 collecting fields, encompassing Fine art, antiques and collectables. It was created on the basis that expertise should be for everyone and has been touted as “The Antique Roadshow online”. Famous pieces valued by the company include; a 16th-century chastity belt (£1,500) found in a clear out, an early 19th century Russian gilt-bronze and painted bronze candelabrum (£12,000-£19,000), a Claude Monet painting for £2 - £3 million and a wooden Egyptian Mallet (£4,000) bought at a car boot sale for £3.
Van der Vorst founded St George Valuations in 2011 and is the premium brand of his online antiques business ValueMyStuff. St George Valuations conducts important in-person valuation assignments, appraising and cataloguing the contents of country estates, museum collections and or individual items, from silver spoons to contemporary art.
In 2015, ValueMyStuff and van der Vorst joined forces with Auctionata, the world's leading online Auction house, based out of Berlin, who acquired van der Vorst's company for an undisclosed sum. Like ValueMyStuff, Auctionata believes that the art world should be open and accessible to all, and are the inventors of the livesteam auction. Van der Vorst is currently a shareholder, Management board member and CEO of Auctionata UK. Auctionata holds over 200 auctions annually and has more than 140,000 customers in 140 countries around the world.
Van der Vorst believes that with this merger, further groundbreaking and innovative ideas for the art world can be explored and created.
Van der Vorst is a regular contributor to the Huffington post and features regularly in UK and USA press alike. He is regularly contacted to provide expertise and advice on various news articles concerning art and collecting fields.