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This book exploits a trove of original documents that have survived on the auctions organized by the Orphan Chamber of Amsterdam in the first half of the 17th century. For the first time, the names of some 2000 buyers of works of art at auction in the 29 extant notebooks of the Chamber have been systematically analyzed. On the basis of archival research, data have been assembled on the occupation of these buyers (most of whom were merchants), their origin (Southern Netherlands, Holland, and other), their religion, their year of birth, their date of marriage, the taxes they paid and other indicators of their wealth. Buyers were found to cluster in groups, not only by extended family but by occupation, religion (Remonstrants, Counter-Remonstrants) and avocation (amateurs of tulips and of porcelain, members of Chambers of Rhetoricians, and so forth). The subjects of the works of art they bought and the artists to which they were attributed (only the most important were attributed) are also analyzed. In the second part of the book on “Selected Buyers”, three chapters are devoted to art dealers who bought at auction and four to buyers who had special connections with artists, including principally Rembrandt. To forge a link between the cultural milieu of Amsterdam in this period and the buying public, two chapters are given over to buyers who were either poets themselves or were connected with contemporary poets. As a whole, the book offers a penetrating insight into the culture of the Amsterdam elite in the 17th century.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half title, Cover caption, Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Part I - The Auctions
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. 1. Orphan Chamber Auctions in Amsterdam
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. 2. How Auction Sales of the Orphan Chamber Were Conducted
  2. pp. 20-26
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  1. 3. Extant Records of Auction Sales in Chronological Perspective
  2. pp. 27-32
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  1. 4. Aggregate Statistics of Sales and the Owners of Goods Sold
  2. pp. 33-40
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  1. 5. The Buyers at Auction Sales
  2. pp. 41-51
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  1. 6. The Wealth of Buyers
  2. pp. 52-56
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  1. 7. Clusters of Private Buyers
  2. pp. 57-76
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  1. 8. Remonstrants and Counter-Remonstrants
  2. pp. 77-86
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  1. 9. What Did They Buy and at What Prices?
  2. pp. 87-92
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  1. 10. Attributions
  2. pp. 93-99
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  1. 11. Echoes
  2. pp. 100-107
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  1. 12. Concluding Words on Auctions
  2. pp. 108-110
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  1. Part II - Profiles of Selected Buyers
  1. Introduction
  2. p. 113
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  1. 13. Art Dealers I: Artists and Merchants in the Trade
  2. pp. 114-129
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  1. 14. Art Dealers II: Johannes de Renialme
  2. pp. 130-143
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  1. 15. Art Dealers III: The Story of a Merchant Who Thought He Could Sell Paintings to a King
  2. pp. 144-152
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  1. 16. Art Collectors and Painters I: Rubens's Promise to Hans Thijsz.
  2. pp. 153-163
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  1. 17. Art Collectors and Painters II: Jacob Swalmius and Rembrandt
  2. pp. 164-179
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  1. 18. Art Collectors and Painters III: Marten van den Broeck and Rembrandt's Losses at Sea
  2. pp. 180-187
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  1. 19. Art Collectors and Painters IV: Jan van Maerlen and His Extended Family
  2. pp. 188-203
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  1. 20. Art Collectors and Painters V: Jean le Bleu, François Venant and Rembrandt's "Feast of Belshazzar"
  2. pp. 204-208
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  1. 21. A Collector with Connections to Major Cultural Figures: Robbert van der Hoeve and the "Muiden Circle"
  2. pp. 209-219
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  1. 22. What Santa Claus Brought to the Youth of Amsterdam
  2. pp. 220-225
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  1. 23. When Sellers and Buyers Were Related: Elbert and Cornelis Symonsz. Pool, Jeltge Claes, and Pieter Claesz. Codde
  2. pp. 226-233
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  1. 24. A Collector Who Held On to His Purchase for Over Fifty Years
  2. pp. 234-242
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  1. 25. An Afterword on Mentalités
  2. pp. 243-246
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 247-248
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  1. Published Sources
  2. pp. 249-256
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 257-339
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