Cupboard

Herman Doomer, c. 1635 - c. 1645, furniture, BK-1975-81

Among the possessions left by cabinetmaker Herman Doomer of Amsterdam was a costly ‘large ebony cupboard inlaid with mother-of-pearl’. It was probably this piece of furniture, which is veneered entirely with ebony and decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay. With its diagonally protruding corners and…

The Holy Kinship

Geertgen tot Sint Jans (workshop of), c. 1495, painting, SK-A-500

Christ’s family is gathered together in this fictional medieval church: the Holy Family, known in Dutch as the holy ‘maagschap’, an old word for kinship. Left, in a blue robe, the Virgin Mary is seated with Jesus, and alongside, her mother Anna. Behind are the two husbands: Joseph and Joachim.…

Cabinet of a Militia Company

anonymous, c. 1520 - c. 1530, furniture, BK-KOG-656

The Meeting of Joachim and Anna

Meester van Joachim en Anna, c. 1470, BK-NM-88

Joachim and Anna were childless for many years. Until Anna’s prayers were answered and she miraculously conceived a daughter, Mary. Joyous at the news, they embrace each other tenderly. This intimate, almost timeless scene was once part of a large altar depicting stories about the life of the Virgin…

Virgin and Child

Adriaen van Wesel, c. 1470 - c. 1480, BK-NM-3888

Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman

anonymous, c. 1686 - c. 1710, furniture, BK-NM-1010

The exterior of this dolls house is a work of art in its own right, with its mother-of-pearl and pewter veneer. The owners’ initials - Petronella Oortman and her husband Johannes Brandt, a cloth merchant in Amsterdam - are inlaid on both sides. Remarkably, all the domestic furnishings were made…

Desk

Abraham Roentgen, c. 1758 - c. 1760, BK-16676

This desk has numerous secret compartments and drawers and even includes a fold-out prie-dieu. It was made for Johann Philipp von Walderdorff, archbishop and elector of Trier, and is decorated at the top with his portrait and heraldic arms. The desk is the most expensive showpiece ever made by…

Layette Cupboard

anonymous, c. 1660 - c. 1670, furniture, BK-1985-10

Flower, fruit and shell patterns are carved into the walnut veneer of this cupboard. It was designed to hold nappies (diapers) and babies’ clothes. Old inventories of lying-in rooms mention these cupboards. The Dutch term is: ‘luiermandskast’.

Two toilet caskets

André-Charles Boulle (attributed to), c. 1685 - c. 1690, BK-2009-255-1

These magnificent showpieces were made by Europe’s most celebrated cabinetmaker: André-Charles Boulle. He probably made them for Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé who gave them to his daughter Marie-Thérèse when she married. The boxes have lids so they can be used for storage, although that is…

Two toilet caskets

André-Charles Boulle, c. 1685 - c. 1690, BK-2009-255-2

These magnificent showpieces were made by Europe’s most celebrated cabinetmaker: André-Charles Boulle. He probably made them for Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé who gave them to his daughter Marie-Thérèse when she married. The boxes have lids so they can be used for storage, although that is…