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…

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…

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…

Virgin and Child

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

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…

Cabinet of a Militia Company

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

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.…

Haarlem reception room 1794

Abraham van der Hart, c. 1793 - c. 1795, BK-15613

This interior is from the home of merchant and art collector Willem Philip Kops, at Nieuwe Gracht 74 in Haarlem. The room was probably used for evening receptions. It is complete, except for the stucco ceiling. Abraham van der Hart, Amsterdam’s municipal architect, created a complete neoclassical…

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’.

Silver cabinet

Jan Adolf Hillebrand, 1844, BK-R-4927

As a young cabinetmaker, Hillebrand presented this neo-Gothic showpiece at an industrial exhibition in Leeuwarden in 1844. His ambition was rewarded. King Willem II bought the silver cabinet, having acquired a taste for Gothic art as a student in England. Different Gothic elements are ingeniously…