Pieter Johannes van Aalst (I), born in the year 1830, was the first of our four generations. After his apprenticeship as a furniture designer in Metz and Paris, he set up shop for himself in Breda in 1859.
In 1912 Pieter Cornelis van Aalst (II),born in 1886, took over the firm, which had grown by then into quite a large one with important orders to fill. The firm flourished and expanded its activities to include antique furniture and interiors. It seemed he was born for the presentation of his designs by way of his extremely detailed watercolour paintings. This was how he crystallized the essence of his father's philosophy that:
"Confidence and esteem are gained and kept by extra care and attention".
This philosophy is still as valid as it ever was. It has served me, a member of the fourth generation, as a fine basis to work from.
In 1955, my father Pieter Wilhelmus Anna van Aalst (III), born in 1917 and my uncle Hendrik Anna Willem, born in 1919, took over the firm. This marked the beginning of a period of great expansion, on an international as well as a national scale, which also promoted the development of a fine restoration department.
After working for some time in the firm of my father and my uncle, and learning what there was to learn in such renowned antique trade centres as London and Paris, my own development into an art dealer ultimately led to a firm of my own in 1977.
In this way my skills and devotion, as well as a shared love of the objects dealt with, can best be put use to serve the collector's interests.