By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Dutch and Flemish Furniture
Author: Singleton, Esther
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dutch and Flemish Furniture" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

                      DUTCH AND FLEMISH FURNITURE


  FRONTISPIECE. _Bed by Daniel Marot._

                      DUTCH AND FLEMISH FURNITURE

                            ESTHER SINGLETON
             Author of “French and English Furniture,” etc

                     _With numerous illustrations_

                               NEW YORK:
                          THE McCLURE COMPANY
                     44–60 EAST TWENTY-THIRD STREET

  _Butler and Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, France, and London_



No special inducement need be held out to an educated Englishman at the
present day to take an interest in a particular field of the arts and
crafts of the Low Countries. Long before the nobles of Flanders, France
and England were associated in attempts to free the holy places from the
pollution of infidel possession, the dwellers on the opposite coasts of
England, Normandy and the Netherlands had been bound together by many
dynastic and trade bonds. As we follow the course of history, we find
that the interests of the English and the Flemings were inextricably
connected; and there was a constant stream of the manufactures of the
Low Countries pouring into English ports. The English supplied much of
the raw material upon which the Flemings depended for subsistence. In
mediaeval days the inhabitants of the Low Countries could always be
forced by English statecraft to help the Plantagenet kings in their
continental intrigues by the mere cutting off of the supply of wool.
Later, the community of tastes and interests in Reformation days drew
the races closer together; and all through Elizabethan days, and then
onwards till the close of the Marlborough campaigns, the inhabitants of
England and the Netherlands were on terms of intimate acquaintance,
socially and industrially.

In the following pages, therefore, constant evidence will appear of the
influence of the arts and crafts of the Low Countries on English
manufactures and importations. Trade rivalry frequently gave rise to
coolness between England and Holland, and to an inglorious war in the
days of the Merry Monarch. The latter period I have treated at
considerable length on account of the importance of the Oriental trade
on the interior decorations of Dutch homes.

On taking a general survey of the Decorative Arts of the Low Countries,
we notice several well-defined periods and influences.

Materials are too meagre for us to learn much about domestic interiors
during the Dark Ages, but we know that, in common with England and
Northern France, Scandinavian Art largely prevailed.

The feudal lords of the territories that now formed the Netherlands were
enthusiastic in assuming the cross; and for two centuries the arts and
crafts of Byzantium and the luxury of the East dominated Western Europe.

About 1300 the influence of Byzantium had waned, and the Gothic style
was bursting into full bloom. For the next two centuries it held full
sway, and was then pushed aside by the Renaissance, which made itself
felt at the end of the fifteenth century.

At the end of the sixteenth century we find the Renaissance fully
developed; and for the next fifty years Flanders is the willing slave of
Rubens and his school. The Decadence quickly follows.

The provinces that now constitute Holland and Belgium went hand in hand
in the Decorative Arts until about 1600. If there was any difference,
Holland was more influenced by German and Flanders by French Art. After
the establishment of the Dutch trade with the Far East at the beginning
of the seventeenth century, Dutch and Flemish Art diverge.

In the following chapters I have tried to trace these influences and

In illustrating the book I have gone to the original works of the great
masters of design—De Vries, Van de Passe, Marot and others. As for Dutch
interiors, nothing can convey a clearer idea of the home than the famous
pictures by the Great and Little Masters—Jan Steen, Teniers, Rembrandt,
Cocques, Metsu, Maes, Terburg, Dou, Weenix, Van Hoogstraten, Troost,
etc., etc., many of whose famous canvases are reproduced here.

I also include photographic reproductions of authentic examples of Dutch
and Flemish furniture preserved in the Cluny, Rijks, Stedelijk and other

In my attempt to reconstruct Dutch and Flemish interiors of past days, I
have consulted not only histories, memoirs and books of travel, but
wills and inventories as well.

I wish to thank Mr. Arthur Shadwell Martin for valuable research and aid
for both text and illustrations.

                                                                   E. S.


                                CHAPTER I


 THE MIDDLE AGES                                                    1–29

      Ecclesiastical Art—Wood-carving and Carvers—Primitive
      Character of the Furniture of Castles and Mansions—
      _Huchiers_—_Menuisiers_—A Typical Bedroom—_Dinanderie_—
      Wood-work and panelling—Chest, _banc_, _bahut_, sideboard,
      _dressoir_, credence, table and chair—Embroideries—
      Definition of _Chambre_—Textiles and Tapestries—
      Ecclesiastical Hangings—Tapestry-weavers—Tapestry of
      Philip the Bold—Flemish Looms—Cordovan and Flemish
      Leathers—Goldsmith’s Work—Glass and Glass-workers—Guilds
      of St. Luke.

                               CHAPTER II

 THE BURGUNDIAN PERIOD                                             31–62

      The luxurious Dukes of Burgundy—Possessions of the House
      of Burgundy—The Burgundian Court—Household of Philip the
      Good—the Feast of the Pheasant—the Duke of Burgundy at the
      Coronation of Louis XI—Arras Tapestries—Sumptuous
      _Dressoirs_ and their Adornments—Celebrations in honour of
      the Knights of the Golden Fleece—Luxury of Charles the
      Bold—Charles the Bold at Trèves—Furnishings of the Abbey
      of Saint-Maximin—Charles the Bold’s Second Marriage—
      Furnishings of the Banqueting Hall at Bruges—Descriptions
      by Olivier de la Marche—Aliénor of Poitiers’ Descriptions
      of the Furniture of the Duchess of Burgundy’s Apartments—
      Rich _Dressoirs_—the _Drageoir_ and its Etiquette—the
      Etiquette of the _Escarbeau_—Philip the Bold’s Artisans—
      Flemish Carving—the _Forme_ or _Banc_—Burgundian
      Workmanship—Ecclesiastical Work—Noted Carvers—Furniture of
      the Period—the “Golden Age of Tapestry”—Embroideries—
      Tapestry-weavers of the Low Countries—Introduction of
      Italian Cartoons—Goldsmiths’ Work—Furniture of the
      Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.

                               CHAPTER III

 THE RENAISSANCE: PART I                                           63–96

      Dawn of the Renaissance—The Transitional Period—Coffers
      and _Bahuts_—Court of Margaret of Austria—Perrèal’s Style—
      Margaret’s Tomb by Perrèal—Taste of the Regent—Margaret’s
      Tapestries, Carpets, Table-covers and Cushions—Her Curios—
      Flemish Tapestries—Cartoons by Bernard van Orley—William
      de Pannemaker—English Tapestries—Last Days of the Gothic
      Style—Guyot de Beaugrant, Lancelot Blondeel and Peter
      Pourbus—Stalls in the Groote Kerk, Dordrecht—Carvings in
      Haarlem—Invasion of the Renaissance—Walnut, the Favourite
      Wood for Furniture and Carving—Versatility of the Artists—
      the Fleming as Emigrant—the Renaissance in Burgundy—Hugues
      Sambin—Sebastian Serlio—Peter Coeck of Alost—Pupils of
      Peter Coeck—Lambert Lombard—Francis Floris, the “Flemish
      Raphael”—the Craze for Numismatics—Hubert Goltzius—
      Cabinets of the Sixteenth Century—Italian Furniture—
      Characteristic Features of Renaissance Furniture—
      Ornaments, the Arabesque, Pilaster, Cartouche, _Cuirs_,
      Banderole and Caryatid—Publications of Decorative Design—
      Alaert Claes, Lucas van Leyden, Cornelis Bos and Martin
      van Heemskerck.

                               CHAPTER IV

 THE RENAISSANCE: PART II                                         97–129

      Second Period of the Renaissance—Court of Mary of Hungary—
      Charles V a Fleming—Influence of Burgundian Court in
      Spain—Gilded Leather—Wealth of the Nobles in the
      Netherlands—Margaret of Valois at Namur—Antwerp in the
      Sixteenth Century—Christopher Plantin—Cornelis and James
      Floris—Jerome Cock—Hans and Paul de Vries—Jacques van
      Noye—Famous Designers—Characteristics of the Second Period
      of the Renaissance—Bedsteads, Tables and Chairs,
      _Armoires_, Cabinets and Chests—Porcelain, Glass and Glass
      Cupboards—Windows and Glass-painters—Guicciardini on the
      Artists of the Low Countries—Paul de Vries—Crispin de
      Passe the Elder—the Collaerts—Wood-carving—Music and
      Musical Instruments.

                                CHAPTER V

 SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (FLEMISH)                                   131–167

      Renewed Italian Influence—Rubens: his Studio, his House,
      his Pupils, his Influence, his Successors—Seventeenth
      Century Wood-carvers—Development and Tendencies of
      Furniture—Crispin van den Passe—Rembrandt’s Goods and
      Chattels—Old Belgian Houses—The Pitsembourg—Kitchens—
      Leather-hangings—Tapestry—Marquetry—Chairs—Masters of
      Ornamental Design—The “Auricular Style.”

                               CHAPTER VI

 SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (DUTCH)                                     169–202

      Famous Dutch Architects—The Royal Palace on the Dam, Het
      Loo, The Mauritshuis and Huis Ten Bosch—Interior Carvings—
      Specimens of Rooms and Ceilings in the Rijks Museum—Love
      of the Dutch for their Houses—Miniature Dutch Houses and
      Models of Old Amsterdam Houses in the Rijks Museum—
      Architecture of the Seventeenth Century—A Typical Dutch
      Home—The _Luifel_, _Voorhuis_ and _Comptoir_—Interior
      Decorations and Furniture—Dutch Mania for Cleaning—
      Descriptions by Travellers of Dutch Houses and Cleaning—
      Cleaning Utensils—House and Furniture of Andreas Hulstman
      Janz, in Dordrecht—Inventory of Gertrude van Mierevelt,
      wife of the painter, in Delft—“Show-Rooms” and their
      Furnishings—Cooking Utensils—Bedroom in the House of Mrs.
      Lidia van der Dussen in Dordrecht—The Cradle and
      “Fire-Basket”—The Baby’s Silver—The “Bride’s Basket”—The
      “Bride’s Crown” and “Throne”—Decorations for a Wedding—
      Description by Sir John Lower of the Farewell
      Entertainment to Charles II at the Hague.

                               CHAPTER VII

 THE IMPORTANCE OF PORCELAIN                                     203–235

      Rise of Dutch Taste in Decorative Art—Influence of Foreign
      Trade in the Dutch Home—Accounts of Porcelain by Mediaeval
      Travellers: Edrisi, Ibn Batuta and Shah Rukh—Quotation
      from Pigapheta—A Great European Collection—Monopoly of
      Trade by the Portuguese—Quotation from Pyrard de Laval—
      Portuguese Carracks—Voyages to Goa and Japan—Porcelain and
      Cabinets—Mendoza’s Description of Earthenware—Dutch and
      English Merchants—Presents to Queen Elizabeth—Dutch
      Expeditions and Establishment of the Dutch East India
      Company—Embassy to the Emperor of China in 1655—
      Descriptions of the Manufacture of Porcelain—Manufacture
      and Potters of Delft—Quotation from d’Entrecolles on
      Porcelain and Oriental Trade—Prices—Tea—Tea-drinking—A
      Dutch Poet on the Tea-table—Chrestina de Ridder’s
      Porcelain—Prices of Porcelain in 1653.

                              CHAPTER VIII

 THE DUTCH HOME                                                  237–270

      Love of porcelain—The Amsterdam Mart—Prices of China in
      1615—Oriental wares before 1520—Luxury of the Dutch
      Colonists—Rich Burghers in New Amsterdam—Inventories of
      Margarita van Varick and Jacob de Lange—Dutch Merchants in
      the East—Foreign Views of Dutch Luxury—Dutch Interiors
      after the Great and Little Masters—House-furnishing by a
      young married couple—The Linen Chest—Clothes Chests and
      Cupboards—The Great _Kas_—The Cabinet—The Toilet—
      and Chairs—Woods—Kitchen Utensils—Silverware—Household

                               CHAPTER IX


      The Dutch Craftsmen in the Employ of Louis XIV—Huguenot
      Emigration—Marot—The Sopha—Upholstery—The Bed—Chairs—
      Sconces—Tables—Rooms—English and Dutch Alliances—Hampton
      Court—Queen Mary—Looking-glasses—Chandeliers—
      Chimney-pieces—The _style refugié_—John Hervey’s
      Purchases—Oriental Furniture manufactured after European
      Patterns—Complaints of Home Manufacturers—Trade with the
      Indies—“Prince Butler’s Tale”—Enormous Importations—
      Imported Textiles—Foreign Textiles for Upholstery.

                                CHAPTER X


      Lacquer—Oriental Methods—European Importations and
      Limitations—Prices—An Ambassador’s Report—_Singerie_,
      _Chinoiserie_ and _Rocaille_—The Dutch Decadence—Interiors
      of Cornelis Troost—Mirrors—Wealth and Luxury of Dutch
      Merchants—Court Contrasts—Tapestry—Brussels as a Centre of
      Art and Luxury—Eighteenth Century Furniture—The Empire
      Style in the Low Countries—Dutch Homes of the Nineteenth
      Century—The Maarken House and Furniture—Typical Farmhouse
      and Furniture—Country Seats and Town Houses—Hindeloopen
      Houses and Furniture—A Friesland House—Canal Boat
      Furniture—Dutch Love of Symmetry—Collectors and


    PLATE                                                    FACING PAGE

          Bed by Daniel Marot                             _Frontispiece_

       I. Choir-Stall                                                  4

      II. Bedroom (Fifteenth Century) and Figs. 1–5                    8

     III. Flemish Dressoir (Fifteenth Century), and Figs.             14

      IV. Credence (Fifteenth Century)                                38

       V. Coffer in Flemish Style                                     66

      VI. Flemish Coffer or Huche                                     68

     VII. Huche, or Bahut (Sixteenth Century)                         70

    VIII. Cabinet (Sixteenth Century)                                 84

      IX. Armoire (Burgundian School)                                 86

       X. Bedroom, by De Vries                                        92

      XI. Flemish Bedstead (1580) and Figs. 10–18                     94

          Bed, Tables, Chair and Footstool, Flemish                  106
            Chairs. Figs. 19–25

     XII. Bedstead, Chairs and Table, by J. Stradan                  108

    XIII. Bedstead, by De Vries                                      110

     XIV. Bedstead, Rijks Museum                                     112

      XV. Armoire, Rijks Museum                                      114

     XVI. Glass Cupboard, or Vitrine, by De Vries                    116

    XVII. Glass Cupboard, or Vitrine, by De Vries                    118

   XVIII. Flemish Armoire and Figs. 26–27                            120

     XIX. Cabinet, or Armoire, by De Vries. Design for               122
            Goldsmith’s Work, by Jerome Cock

      XX. Cabinet, or Armoire, by De Vries. Design for               124
            Goldsmith’s Work, by Jerome Cock

     XXI. Design for Goldsmith’s Work, by Adrian Collaert            126

    XXII. Design for Goldsmith’s Work, by Adrian Collaert            128

   XXIII. Lady at Spinet, by J. M. Molenaer                          132

  XXIIIA. Spinet, by Ruckers                                         134

    XXIV. Interior, by Barthol van Bassen (Seventeenth               136
            Century) and Figs. 28–30

     XXV. Panelled Bedstead, Rijks Museum                            144

    XXVI. The Sick Woman, by Jan Steen, and Figs. 31–34              146

   XXVII. Woman with a Parrot, by Jan Steen                          148

  XXVIII. Flemish Chair, Cluny Museum                                154

    XXIX. Flemish Chair Cluny Museum                                 156

     XXX. Chairs, Cluny Museum                                       158

    XXXI. Marquetry Cabinet, Rijks Museum                            160

   XXXII. Kitchen, Stedelijk Museum                                  162

  XXXIII. Chairs, Rijks Museum                                       164

   XXXIV. Chairs, Rijks Museum                                       170

    XXXV. Chairs, Rijks Museum                                       172

   XXXVI. The Oyster Feast, by Jan Steen, and Figs. 35–37            248

  XXXVII. The Sick Lady, by Hoogstraten                              250

 XXXVIII. Interior, by J. Koedyck                                    252

   XXXIX. The Music Lesson, by Terborch                              254

      XL. Interior, by J. B. Weenix                                  256

     XLI. Breakfast, by G. Metsu                                     258

    XLII. Interior, by Jan Steen                                     260

   XLIII. Kas of Ebony and Ivory, Rijks Museum                       262

    XLIV. Dutch Kas, Cluny Museum                                    264

     XLV. Flemish Chair, Cluny Museum                                266

    XLVI. “Buire,” by Mosyn, Auricular Style                         268

          Screen in the Style Refugié. Fig. 39                       272

   XLVII. Carved Oak Bahut, Cluny Museum, and Fig. 38                274

          Sophas, Lower part of Chair, Lambrequins. Figs.            276

  XLVIII. Bed and Bedroom, by Marot                                  278

    XLIX. Mirrors and Sconces, by Marot                              280

       L. Mirrors, by Marot                                          282

      LI. Mirrors, Console Table and Candlestands, by                284

     LII. Tables and Mascarons, by Marot                             286

    LIII. Clocks and Details, by Marot                               288

     LIV. Interior, by Cornelis Troost                               298

          Cabinet from Liège, Dutch Mirror Frame. Figs.              300

      LV. Interior, by Cornelis Troost                               302

     LVI. Room in the Stedelijk Museum                               308

    LVII. In Bruitlaen, by Artz                                      312

                               CHAPTER I
                            THE MIDDLE AGES

  Ecclesiastical Art—Wood-carving and Carvers—Primitive character of the
      Furniture of Castles and Mansions—_Huchiers_—_Menuisiers_—A
      Typical Bedroom—_Dinanderie_—Wood-work and panelling—Chest,
      _banc_, _bahut_, sideboard, _dressoir_, _credence_, table and
      chair—Embroideries—Definition of _Chambre_—Textiles and
      Tapestries—Ecclesiastical hangings—Tapestry-weavers—Tapestry of
      Philip the Bold—Flemish Looms—Cordovan and Flemish Leathers—
      Goldsmith’s Work—Glass and Glass-workers—Guilds of St. Luke.

In the turbulent days of the Middle Ages, the goods of the Church were
the only ones respected, and, sometimes, not even those. The castles
afforded protection to those in their immediate vicinity, but rival
feudal ambitions rendered the calling of a luxurious craftsman more or
less precarious. The abbey walls always sheltered a community of
carpenters, joiners, leather-dressers, iron-workers, goldsmiths,
sculptors, painters and calligraphists.

Towards the end of the Crusades, the new organization of the Communes,
after the period of anarchy, becomes firmly established. Industry,
commerce and art begin to make rapid strides in the towns, and craftsmen
form themselves into corporations that receive special privileges from
their titular overlords. So long as the artists of the ecclesiastical
school remained under the protection of the monastic houses, they
naturally followed a hieratic road. The ornamentation they were called
upon to produce for the Church, they reproduced when luxurious furniture
was required in domestic life. The great Corporations, however, as they
grew in wealth and power, demanded something superior to, or at least,
different from, the work of their forerunners. In the monastic houses,
it was long before this influence made itself felt; but among the
secular clergy it received a hearty welcome.

The distinguishing character of Mediaeval work is the freedom of
execution allowed to the workman. The architect decided on heights,
dimensions, dispositions of parts and profiles of stalls, or _armoires_;
but the details were left to be worked out by the artistic ability of
the skilled workman. Individual expression was allowed full play, while
the original conception of the designer was respected.

Gradually, as the Communes became more powerful and were able to afford
stable protection to their members, the spirit of association and
solidarity tended to break away from exclusively ecclesiastical art.

The art of wood-carving was developed principally in the production of
choir-stalls and altar-pieces. The building of a beautiful temple to the
glory of God was usually begun by some pious founder from motives of
gratitude or repentance. It was dedicated to some patron saint, and the
work was carried out under the supervision of some abbey or other
religious house. Often the church or cathedral was originally the abbey
church itself. In early Mediaeval days, the arts and sciences were
confined to the cloister, and the embellishment of the Holy House was a
labour of love. Many an obscure monk put all that was beautiful and
fanciful in his nature into the production of carvings in stone and wood
that have never been surpassed.

The precise date at which choir-stalls were introduced into churches is
not known; but it is certain that they were in general use as soon as
the Pointed Style was finally established, that is to say, not later
than the thirteenth century. When the sanctuary was railed off from the
rest of the church, the priests, in their light garb, naturally wanted
to be protected from cold, damp and draught by woodwork, which, like the
high back of a settle, enclosed the choir.

The stall is composed of several parts: the socle, the tablet, or seat,
half of which can be raised, as it turns on hinges, the half thus
raised, called the _miséricorde_, serves as a support for a person
resting, half standing, half sitting; the _paraclose_, or sides that
separate it from the adjoining stalls [the forward extremities of these
are called _museaux_ (snouts)]; the arm rest; the high back; the daïs,
or baldaquin; and, lastly, the woodwork at each end of a set of stalls,
called _jouées_ (cheeks).

With the exceptions of the socle and seat, every part of the stall in
all the great Gothic churches has received very richly carved
ornamentation, which is often remarkable for its profusion of detail.

The _miséricorde_ is ordinarily decorated with foliage and fruits; but
it often presents fantastic objects, such as dragons, sirens, dogs,
bears, and hybrid monsters of every kind. Frequently also we find
personages in ridiculous and gross attitudes, and all sorts of human and
animal caricatures. The _paraclose_ is decorated with Gothic tracery in
the earliest examples; and later with foliage, tendrils and branches of
elegant curve. These are usually open-work, the pierced oak producing a
charmingly light and graceful effect. Sometimes here also we find human
and animal forms. The high backs are enriched with bas-reliefs, the
subjects of which are by no means taken exclusively from the Old or New
Testament. On the contrary, here the carvers have given free rein to
their fancy by reproducing scenes of private life, and graceful
compositions of flowers and fruits with little animals intermingled.
Sometimes the subjects are framed in clusters of _colonnettes_, or in
pilasters decorated with niches containing statues. Sometimes also
statues of considerable size adorn this woodwork. The _jouées_ receive
the most beautiful decorations, and frequently these side entrances to
the stalls are ornamented by statues. The daïs, which at first was
merely a shelter of boards on an inclined plane over the whole range of
stalls, began to assume great importance in the fifteenth century. It
curved into vaultings; and very soon each seat received a separate daïs
decorated with _ogives_, pinnacles, little steeples, pendentives,
_culs-de-lampe_ and crockets; and the skilful carver did not hesitate to
introduce delightful statuettes into the company of all these


  PLATE I.—_Choir-Stall._

A fine example of a Mediaeval carved oak stall is shown in Plate I. By
the richness of the carving it must originally have held an important
position in some choir. Richly ornamented with Gothic shafting and
tracery, it is a splendid example of architectural furniture. The
_miséricorde_ represents a knight fighting with a dragon. The scene
depicted with the chisel on the back is the favourite _Judgment of
Solomon_. Around the elbows are various animals and men on all fours.
The side scrolls under the daïs are decorated with angels playing

The names of the carvers who embellished the Mediaeval choirs have, as a
rule, been lost; and fire and iconoclasm have destroyed most of their
work. Some few relics, however, of the splendour of wood-carving as it
existed before the Renaissance are still to be found. For elaborate oak
carving of the fifteenth century, it would be hard to find a more
interesting example than the carved oak stalls in the great church of
Bolsward (Broederkerk) in Holland. This was built in 1280 A.D.; but the
richly carved late Gothic choir stalls date from about 1450.

One of the earliest churches of the Low Countries is that of Nivelles.
The convent was founded about 650 A.D. by Ita, wife of Pepin of Landen.
The Romanesque church, built in the eleventh century, somewhat spoilt by
bad restoration, still stands. On the high altar is the shrine of St.
Gertrude, which was carved in 1272 by the _orfèvres_ Nicolas Colars, of
Douai and Jackenon of Nivelles. This work of art is famous for the
delicacy and beauty of its details.

The Protestant Church of Breda (Hervormde Kerk), built in 1290, also
contains notable carving, especially on the side entrances of the stalls
(_jouées_). The choir was consecrated in 1410, and here the carvers gave
free rein to satire on the clergy, representing the monks in various
comical attitudes.

Examples of ecclesiastical furniture of Mediaeval days are naturally
scarce, as might be expected on the “Battlefield of Europe.” It is
indeed astonishing that so much has survived after the ordeal by fire
and sword to which the Netherlands have been so often subjected.
Occasionally we come across a muniment chest. An interesting one, the
front of which is perforated with quatrefoils, is to be seen in Notre
Dame, Huy. This dates from 1225. Two others in the same treasury are by
the hand of Godefroid de Claire, called “the noble high goldsmith”;
these, however, have lost their original character, having been restored
in 1560 by Jaspar, a Namur goldsmith.

The ordinary movable furniture of a castle or Mediaeval mansion was of a
very primitive character. It must be remembered that in those days
merchants travelled from town to town in veritable caravans. Nobles
whose business or pleasure induced them constantly to be changing their
residence, also travelled with an escort and baggage-train that
resembled a small army. The necessary furniture and goods for the
comfort of the household were carried in carts and on the backs of
mules. The wooden furniture was, therefore, primitive. The tables
consisted of boards and trestles; the beds were of similarly elemental
construction; and what seats were taken along were also of the folding
variety. The beds and benches were supplied with cushions carried in
chests, and the walls were hung with printed linen or tapestry, while
the floors were covered with rugs, or, in the majority of cases, with
odoriferous plants, rushes, or straw. Luxury chiefly declared itself in
rich products of the goldsmith’s art, which were displayed on buffets of
shelves rising like steps. These customs prevailed for several

Pieces of furniture of earlier date than 1400 are exceedingly rare; and
those existing had a religious destination, and are preserved in, or
taken from, churches and convents.

In the fourteenth century, as Gothic Art blossomed after the disturbing
influence of the Crusades, carving entered more extensively into the
decoration of furniture, as it was more highly developed in
ecclesiastical art. The cabinet-makers of the period were skilful
carvers: in France and Flanders these _huchiers-menuisiers_ were called
upon to supply royal and princely castles with artistic furniture, the
accounts of which have come down to us. We find not only carved oak, but
also tables inlaid with ebony and ivory. The chief feature, however, of
interior decoration during the fourteenth century was the hangings. The
Genoese and Venetians still had a monopoly of the trade with the Levant;
and Europe was supplied by the Italians with Oriental rugs, tablecloths
and hangings. The Flemish looms also produced rich stuffs for upholstery
and chamber hangings, which were often sumptuously embroidered.

Through the fourteenth century, wood-carving kept pace with the lovely
stone sculpture of the cathedrals. We learn there was no light furniture
in palace or castle, but that even in the lady’s chamber there were only
benches, trestles, forms, faldstools and armchairs. The wood-carver
carved these with a mass of bas-reliefs and bosses; the carpenters
surrounded them with panelling; and the artists painted them red and
decorated them with white rosettes.

In studying the arts and crafts of the Middle Ages, we must always bear
in mind the fact that art was not specialized. The workmen were
thoroughly trained, and their artistic talents had free play. We find
many men who were at once architects, sculptors, painters, goldsmiths
and image-makers. This condition existed till the middle of the
seventeenth century.

In the Middle Ages, the carpenter made the household furniture which
formed an integral part of the dwelling; and he was quite capable of
giving to it the Gothic ornamentation in vogue.

It was not till the fourteenth century that the increase of luxury and
the progress of the arts demanded a division of labour; and that the
_huchiers_ and joiners formed separate bodies from the carpenters. The
_huchiers_, who then became exclusively what we should now call joiners
and cabinet-makers, devoted their attention especially to all that
required ornate treatment in carving, such as doors, windows, shutters
and panelling, as well as chests, benches, bedsteads, chairs, dressers
and wardrobes. These were largely fixtures and formed part of the
permanent woodwork of a hall, or bedroom. The mouldings and other
ornaments were carved directly out of the oak, and not applied.


  PLATE II.—_Bedroom (Fifteenth Century)._

  Fig. 1: AIGUIÈRE (Fifteenth Century); Fig. 2: AIGUIÈRE (Fourteenth
    (Fourteenth Century); Fig. 5: BAHUT AND CHAIR (Fifteenth Century).

Before the great artists of the Netherlands arise, we must go to the
miniatures of early manuscripts in order to form a correct idea of a
Mediaeval interior. We usually find a very simple arrangement of
furniture, which consists of a bed, a bench, an armchair and some kind
of _dressoir_, or sideboard. The floor is tiled, or tessellated; and
sometimes the bed stands on a rug or carpet, which also covers part of
the adjoining floor space. The windows with small leaded panes are
supplied with shutters of two or three wings: these are sometimes
covered with leather fastened with large brass-headed nails. The
chimney-piece is always wide and high; the funnel shape of this occurs
in the earliest examples. The shelf above the opening is usually adorned
with glass, plate or earthenware. The armchair stands beside, or near,
the bed; the _dressoir_ is close by; and the settle is beside, or
sometimes in front of, the fire. The bed is often nothing but a long
chest on short legs with a mattress and pillows on top; and this is
moved out in front of the fire in case of need. The curtains and canopy
are suspended by cords from the rafters, as is also the chandelier.

This same arrangement of furniture occurs in a picture of the
_Salutation angélique_ in the Louvre, by an unknown Flemish painter: it
has been attributed both to Lucas van Leyden and Memling. This room,
reproduced in Plate II, is one of the middle class at the end of the
fifteenth century. The walls are bare, the ceiling shows open rafters of
natural wood, and the floor is tiled. The panes of the windows are
leaded, and the inner shutters, which are trebly hinged so as at need to
fold into the thickness of the wall, are, moreover, divided in two
parts, so that only the top may be opened if needed. The other window
has a window seat. The high chimneypiece is furnished with the lateral
shelves in use throughout Mediaeval times from the twelfth century
onward. The chimney diminishes in size as it rises, like an inverted
funnel. In summer time, when the fire was not needed, the fireplace was
masked by a wooden screen to prevent draughts. In front of this, with
its back to the screen, was placed the high-backed settle, which in
winter faced, or was placed laterally to the cheerful blaze of the
hearth. The bench shown in this picture is made of plain boards, with a
little plain Gothic carving below the seat. For comfort, it is supplied
with three red cushions. The bed, which is raised on a low platform, is
also furnished with red curtains, bolster and counterpane. The tester is
suspended by cords from the ceiling. Beside the head of the bed is a
chair, and next to that a credence, which is used as a wash-hand stand.
On it are placed a ewer and shallow basin. These, and the brass
chandelier hanging above, are of the manufacture of Dinant, a metal ware
known all over Europe under the name of _Dinanderie_. The chandelier has
six branches, each a grotesque form of some animal, and the top of it is
surmounted by the figure of a seated quadruped. It is raised and lowered
by a pulley and chain.

The ewer, or _aiguière_, standing on the credence, is an excellent
specimen of _Dinanderie_ of the fifteenth century; it has a double
spout, as shown in Fig. 1. Other examples of _Dinanderie_ of this period
are represented in Fig. 2, a grotesque _aiguière_; and Fig. 3, a bracket
candlestick of very graceful form.

_Dinanderie_ became celebrated as early as the thirteenth century.
Although made at first in Dinant, its manufacture spread throughout the
valley of the Meuse, and _Dinantairs_ were established in various cities
and towns in the Netherlands, Germany, England and France. In 1380, one
Jehan de Dinant, living at Rheims, furnished some articles to the King.
Among the copper and brass ware delivered at this period to the royal
household and to the establishments of other great personages by this
workman, we find all kinds of kitchen articles, cooking utensils, stoves
of all sizes, wash-basins, kettles for heating water for the bath,
barbers’ basins, large boilers of all kinds, warming-pans for the beds,
candlesticks, chandeliers, and _aiguières_ (ewers).

The permanent woodwork of the apartments in Mediaeval days was
furniture, without being “movables,” just like the carved oak in the
choir of a cathedral. The panelling contained cupboards and wardrobes;
bedsteads were contrived in the timbered lining of the walls; and the
woodwork readily lent itself to the adaptation of window seats, settles
and benches. It may easily be understood how the woodwork of a room
might conceal a whole series of shelves to which sliding panels, or
panels opening outwards as doors, gave access. These various
compartments served as cabinets for curios, bookcases, glass and plate
cupboards, wardrobes and larders. When one of these compartments was
made as a separate piece of furniture to stand by itself out against the
flat wall of a room, it was called a cabinet, or _armoire_. As late as
the middle of the seventeenth century, however, the _armoire_ was
generally part of the fixed woodwork. _Relai_ was another name for it.
Thus in 1635, Monet defines _armoire_, _armaire_, _aumoire_ as a
“_reservoir pratique en la muraille à servir et garder tout chose_”; and
Cotgrave (1673) has: “_Relai_” as “_armaire_, a hole or box contrived in
or against a wall.”

The plain box, or chest, was the origin of all the developments of
Mediaeval furniture. It had many uses: it contained the treasures and
valuables of the lord; it was used as a packing-case or trunk for
travelling; with supports at the four corners and back, and arms added
above, it served as a chair or settle, with a seat that could be lifted
on hinges; raised also on legs and supplied with a daïs, it became a
_dressoir_, credence, or sideboard; chest-upon-chest superimposed,
developed into the elaborate _armoire_; and, finally, supplied with a
head and foot rail and made comfortable with mattress or pillows, it
served as a bed.

In the old manuscripts of the Middle Ages, we find many illustrations of
the developments of the chest and its various uses. Fig. 4 shows a long
chest with short solid legs on which bedding is laid, and over which a
canopy with curtains has been raised. By its side is a chair, the seat
of which is manifestly the lid of a small chest. The chest-bed and chair
stand on a carpet: the floor is tiled. The shape of the pillow is
characteristic of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The carving of
the panels in bed and chair show the “linen fold,” which was so popular
in the Netherlands and which was laid in even more intricate folds by
the English carvers. Gothic tracery in furniture, in combination with
the “linen-fold” is shown in the chair of Fig. 5, which exhibits also
another chest, or _bahut_. The original illustration shows flames
leaping up the chimney, against which the bed is closely placed. The
cushions, with heavy tassels at each corner, are similar in shape to
those in Fig. 4.

There were several varieties of the chest, known by various names, such
as _huche_, _bahut_ and _arche_. The _huche_ usually had a flat top: it
was the oldest and simplest form—a plain oblong box. As time wore on the
_huche_ gave its name to the cabinet-makers (the _huchiers_) of the
Middle Ages. They made windows, doors, panels, shutters, _bancs_,
_bahuts_, _armoires_, credences, and whatever else was required; and the
guild of _huchiers_ was one of the largest corporations of the period.

The _huchiers_ were particularly distinguished for their execution of
choir-stalls and splendid carving. The _huche_, at first a very simple
piece of furniture, was later decorated with beautiful paintings and
rich carvings; moreover, it was enriched and strengthened with chiselled
and pierced iron hinges and locks.

The chests until the thirteenth century were works of simple carpentry.
The faces consist of plain surfaces which are ornamented with paintings
on linen or leather; and further adorned with hinges and clamps of
pierced and wrought metal.

The _bancs_, benches or settles, were made in the Middle Ages by the
_huchiers_. They were made of planks and often had backs and arms. In
the fifteenth century, they were enriched with sculpture and surmounted
by a canopy or daïs. They were also called _formes_ or _bancs d’œuvre_.
The Cluny Museum possesses many fine examples of this period, both civil
and religious. In the halls and bedrooms of the Mediaeval _châteaux_ the
_banc_ is often seen placed laterally before the wide chimney-piece, and
its high back was very useful in keeping off the draughts. It may be
thought that their rigid form and absence of upholstery rendered them
uncomfortable, but the numerous soft cushions with which they were
supplied quite atoned for the absence of upholstery. (_See_ Plate II.)

The chief use of the Mediaeval sideboard was the display of ornate
plate, crystal and similar articles. The kitchen dresser with its
shelves holding plates and dishes set upright against the wall is a
lineal descendant of the old _dressoir_. The shelves of the _dressoir_
were regulated by etiquette: every noble person could have a _dressoir_
with three shelves; others, only two; royalty had four and five.

According to some authorities, the difference between the _dressoir_ and
the buffet is simply this: the _dressoir_ was intended to display the
articles taken from the buffet, and had no drawers and no cupboard; the
buffet, on the other hand, contained both drawers and cupboards. The
buffet of our dining-rooms and our cellarets that close with lock and
key, are therefore survivals of the _credence_ of the Middle Ages.

Sometimes the _credence_ and _dressoir_ were combined in one piece, or
rather the _dressoir_ served as a _credence_. A small one shown in the
illuminated MS. of the _Histoire de Gérard, Comte de Nevers_, has but
one shelf, upon which the silver platters are arranged, leaning against
the back, which is covered with some kind of fabric. The cupboard
serving as a _credence_ is covered with a cloth on which are placed
three silver ewers—_aiguières_. This was, therefore, more of a buffet
than a _dressoir_, for the real _dressoir_, as we have seen, was
composed of shelves (_gradins_) and had a back (_dorsal_), or sometimes
a daïs of stuff or sculptured wood.


  PLATE III.—_Flemish Dressoir (Fifteenth Century)._

  Figs. 6–7: DRESSOIRS (Fifteenth Century); Fig. 8: TABLE ON TRESTLES;
    Fig. 9: METAL CHAIR.

Varieties of the _dressoir_ of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
appear in Plate III, and Figs. 6 and 7; and a _credence_ of the
fifteenth century of Gothic decoration from the Cluny Museum, Paris, on
Plate IV.

The Mediaeval table was a simple affair, with either fixed or movable
supports. In nine cases out of ten, either in hall or cottage, it
consisted simply of a board and trestles. In court and castle, kings and
nobles sat only on one side, the other being left free for service, and
for a clear view of the mummers, jongleurs and minstrels who entertained
the company during the feast. These boards and trestles could be readily
folded up and packed away in carts for travelling. A good example of the
fifteenth century table of this construction occurs in a picture of Mary
Magdalen at the feet of Jesus, by Derick Bouts (1410–1475). This is
represented in Fig. 8.

We have seen that the chest with its various developments—chair, bench,
bed and _dressoir_—furnished the Mediaeval chamber. The ordinary hall
contained merely a plain buffet and a table, consisting of boards and
trestles, with simple forms for seats. Chairs there were none, except
for the lord and honoured guests at the head of the board. It must not
be supposed, however, that there was no attempt at comfort or decoration
in the homes of the Middle Ages. It would be difficult to attach too
much importance to the use of cushions and hangings.

We have already seen one form of chair in Figs. 4 and 5, which show a
box with a lid for the seat, on which is a cushion. This chair has arms
and a high panelled back. The common stool, faldstool, or _escarbeau_
also appears in Fig. 4. The rigid square high-backed chair, however, was
not the only form known in the Middle Ages. The type represented in Fig.
9 was in great favour. This chair is reproduced from a miniature by
Jehan de Bruges (fl. 1370). This form of chair, with curved lines in the
back, arms and supports, was a great favourite, not only in the
Netherlands, but throughout Europe for several centuries. Sometimes it
was made of wood, and carved on the extremities of the back, arms and
legs; and sometimes it was made of wrought metal, brass, silver and even
gold. In the latter case it was probably plated. Sometimes the
inventories mention chairs of great value and very precious workmanship.
Some of them were even ornamented with enamel. These were the work of
the _orfèvre_. Brass and copper chairs of this type were made in large
numbers by the skilful smiths of Dinant. Naturally they were comfortably
and sumptuously upholstered. An inventory of 1328 contains an item of a
chair of copper garnished with velvet.

Flanders was always famous for its woven stuffs: wool was the staple on
which its prosperity depended. The Duke of Burgundy recognized this when
he chose the Golden Fleece as the emblem of his great Order of
Knighthood. Apart from the looms, the art of the needle was also held in
high esteem; and ladies of high and low estate devoted much of their
time to embroidery.

Everything was embroidered: vestments and cloths for the church; shoes,
gloves, hats and clothes of men and women; and cushions and draperies
for the house. Notwithstanding the lavish use of tapestry, the taste for
embroidered materials was ever on the increase. The entire furnishings
for a bedroom were often the product of the needle; for instance, the
“embroidered chamber” of Jane of Burgundy, Queen of Philip V, at her
coronation at Rheims in 1330, was ornamented with 1321 parrots, with the
arms of the King, and 1321 butterflies, with the arms of Burgundy.

In Mediaeval days, the word “_chambre_” had a broader signification than
it has to-day. By _chambre_ was meant the whole of the rugs, curtains,
hangings and upholstery that adorned a bedroom. There was a distinction
drawn between “_court pointerie_” and “_tapisserie_.” “_Court
pointerie_” included everything pertaining to the bed, such as the daïs,
mattress, head-board, etc. The “_tapisserie_” was changed every season
like the altar cloths and vestments of church and clergy. Cords were run
across the rafters, and the curtains and canopies were hung on these
with hooks. Thus the rooms at the various seasons received such names as
the “Easter,” “Christmas,” or “All Saints’ Chamber.” Then again the
rooms were named after the subjects (mythological, historical, romantic
or religious), of the tapestry that adorned them, such as the Chamber of
the Cross, of the Lions, of the Conquest of England, of Queen
Penthesile, of the Nine Paladins, of the Unicorn and Maiden, etc., etc.

Plate II shows how the canopy and curtains of the bed were usually
supported. Sometimes, however, the hangings were attached to the rods by
means of tenterhooks.

The inventories and chronicles of the Middle Ages frequently mention
textiles; but it is difficult to know from the numerous terms the old
scribes employ whether they are describing woollen and silk tapestry,
brocades, damasks, velvets, or embroidered material. The fabrics are of
many varieties, and their names vary with the details of production and
places of manufacture, as well as the material of which they are
composed, and the subjects they depict.

A great deal of Byzantine tapestry, with other hangings and carpets, was
brought into Western Europe, by those returning from the First Crusade
(1096–1099); and after 1146, when Count Robert of Sicily brought home
from his expedition into Greece some captive silk-workers, and
established a manufactory for brocades and damasks at Palermo, beautiful
materials were carried northward from Italy.

During the early centuries the use of tapestry was very extensively
devoted to the decoration of churches, and therefore represented scenes
from the Scriptures, and lives of the Saints and the Virgin.

Cathedrals and monasteries were very rich in hangings of tapestry,
brocades, and embroideries of various kinds, as well as stuffs on which
ornaments were laid and sewn. About 985, the Abbot Robert of the
monastery of Saint Florent of Saumur, ordered a number of curtains,
carpets, cushions, _dossers_ and wall-hangings, all of wool; and,
moreover, had two large pieces of tapestry made in which silk was
introduced, and on which lions and elephants were represented upon a red

In 1133, another Abbot of the same monastery had two _dossers_ made to
hang in the choir during festivals. On one of these the twenty-four
elders of the Apocalypse with citharas and viols were depicted. The
hangings he got for the nave, represented centaurs, lions and other

On all festal occasions, the cathedrals were beautifully decorated with
superb tapestries. Some of them served as hangings and door-curtains,
others draped the altars, while the seats and backs of the benches were
covered with pieces called _bancalia_, _spaleriae_, and _dossalia_.
Tapestries also covered the baldachins, or canopies; and foot-carpets,
called _substratoria_, _tapetes_, _tapeta_, or _tapecii_ were lavishly
spread upon the ground.

During the thirteenth century tapestries came into general use for
hangings in private mansions. It is not unlikely that Baldwin, Count of
Flanders, who came into power in 1204, stimulated the work of the
Netherland looms; for, from the very opening years of the thirteenth
century, the Flemish weavers adopted brighter colours in their
tapestries; and Damme, the poet of Bruges, received all kinds of goods
from the East, including “seeds for producing the scarlet dye.”

This was the period when the _Roman_ was in full flower, and the
tapestries naturally turned from Biblical to heroic stories. The artists
and weavers now begin to devote their energies to the production of
secular subjects. The stories of _Paris and Helen_, _Æneas_, and others
from Grecian mythology, become as popular as those inspired by the

High-warp workers were established in Paris, Arras, Brussels and Tournay
in the first half of the fourteenth century; but it is not until the
reign of Charles V (1364–1380) that they are explicitly described in the
inventories. The King was a collector of French and Flemish tapestries:
he had more than 130 armorial tapestries and 33 “_tapis à images_” that
decorated the walls.

The Dukes of Anjou, Orleans, Berry and Burgundy, had very valuable sets.
Charles VI also had fine pieces. He bought from Nicholas Bataille, a
Flemish worker, who calls himself a citizen of Paris in 1363, about 250
hangings. Bataille produced many superb pieces for the wealthy houses of
the day, and many sets for Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. A
fellow-worker, Jacques Dourdain, who died in 1407, made tapestries for
the Duke of Burgundy, to whom he sent in 1389 _The Conquest of the King
of Friesland by Aubri the Burgundian_, _The Story of Marionet_, _Ladies
setting out for the Chase_, _The Wishes of Love_, _The Nine Amazons_,
_The History of Bertrand Duguesclin_, and _A History of the Romance of
the Rose_. The latter must have been very choice, as it was woven “in
gold of Cyprus and Arras thread.” He also furnished this rich patron
with other hangings, the greater number of which were cloth of gold.

The marriage of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, to the daughter and
heir of the Count of Flanders, in 1369, greatly helped the Flemish
tapestry-workers, who soon equalled those of Paris. For instance, the
Duke gave an order to Michel Bernard of Arras for a fine piece, called
_The Battle of Rosbeck_, of colossal dimensions. It measured 285 square
yards, and cost 2,600 _francs d’or_. Other sets purchased from the Arras
looms were: _The Coronation of Our Lady_, _The Seven Ages_, _Story of
Doon de la Roche_, _History of King Pharaoh and the People of Moses_,
_Life of St. Margaret_, _The Virtues and Vices_, _History of Froimont de
Bordeaux_, _Story of St. George_, _Story of Shepherds and
Shepherdesses_, _Life of St. Anne_, _Story of Percival the Gaul_, _Hunt
of Guy of Romany_, _History of Amis and Amile_, _History of Octavius of
Rome_, _History of King Clovis_, _History of King Alexander, and of
Robert the Fusileer_, _History of William of Orange_, and a _Pastoral_.

The Flemish looms thus early acquired a great reputation, rivalling
those of the midland and northern provinces of France. Paris, Arras,
Brussels and Tournay were the chief centres for the most beautiful
high-warp tapestry. Arras was celebrated as early as 1311, when
Marchaut, Countess of Artois, paid a large sum for “a woollen cloth
worked with various figures bought at Arras”; and in 1313 she ordered
from the same town “five cloths worked in high warp.” The name became
generic: the Italians called all woven tapestries _Arazzi_; the
Spaniards, _Panos de raz_; and the English, “Arras,” a name that was
used for many centuries. Polonius hides “behind the arras,” in _Hamlet_,
and Spenser, in _The Faerie Queen_, says:

       Thence to the hall, which was on every side
       With rich array and costly arras dight.

                                               Book I., Canto iv.

Agnes Sorel owned a superb specimen at her _Château de Beauté_ in 1350.
It is described as “a large piece of Arras, on which are pictured the
deeds and battles of Judas Maccabaeus and Antiochus, and stretches from
one of the gables of the gallery of Beauté to the other, and is the same
height as the said gallery.”

During the troublous times in France under Charles VI, the Paris looms
ceased to work, and Flanders supplied all the tapestry that came to
France. In 1395, the Duke of Orleans orders his treasurer to deliver to
Jaquet Dordin, “merchant and bourgeois of Paris,” 1,800 francs for
“three pieces of high-warp tapestry of fine Arras thread.”

Leather was also extensively used during the Middle Ages for interior
decoration: it was hung upon the walls and beds; it was spread upon the
floors; and it covered the seats and backs of chairs, coffers, cabinets,
shelves, folding stools, frames, frames for mirrors, and all kinds of
boxes both large and small. In 1420, we hear of a piece of Cordovan
called _cuirace vermeil_ “to put on the floor around a bed,” and also a
“chamber hanging” of “silvered _cuir de mouton_, ornamented with red
figures.” Charles V of France had “fifteen _cuirs d’Arragon_ to put on
the floor in summer,” and the Duke of Burgundy’s inventory of 1427
mentions “leathers to spread in the chamber in summer time.”

The Duke of Berry had twenty-nine great _cuirs_ among his possessions,
which were used to cover the walls, beds and chairs.

Leather made a very sumptuous, durable and decorative wall-hanging. The
patterns of flowers, foliage, arms, devices and other figures were
richly gilded, and stood out in high relief from the brilliant
backgrounds of red, blue, green, orange, violet, brown or silver.
Although the use of gilded leather (_cuirs dorés_) did not become
general until the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the art of
gilding, silvering, painting and goffering leather had long been known.
It is more than probable that the First Crusaders brought home
specimens; but it is certain that Cordova was making beautiful gilded
leathers in the eleventh century. The most beautiful, as well as the
most beautifully worked, leathers came from Spain, where they were often
called _Guadameciles_, from Ghadames in Africa where they were prepared
for many years, and from which town the Moors carried the art into
Cordova. Ebn’ Abd el Noûr el Hamîri el Toûnsi (of Tunis), in his
geographical work written in the twelfth century, thinks it worth while
to mention that the _djild el Ghadâmosi_ comes from Ghadames. The monk,
Theophilus, in his _Diversarum artium Schedula_ shows how well Arabian
leather was known, and describes the methods of preparing it for
decoration; but from what he says it appears that leather was used at
that period only for the coverings of chairs, stalls, benches, stools,
etc., and not for wall-hangings.

From Cordova the manufacture spread into Portugal, Italy, France and
Brabant. The great centres for gilded leathers in the Middle Ages were
Cordova, Lille, Brussels, Liège, Antwerp, Mechlin and Venice; and each
town impressed a special style upon its productions, which
_connoisseurs_ are able to recognize.

The Cordovan leathers are stamped with patterns of very high relief,
gilded and painted, the designs consisting of branches or large flowers
in the style of the textiles of Damascus and India. The South Kensington
Museum has a very fine collection of Spanish leathers ornamented with
foliage, flowers, vases, birds and pomegranates. The colours of the
background are green, blue, white, gold, red, etc.

The Flemish leathers are very similar to those of Cordova, but the
relief is less pronounced and the designs are more delicate. The
hangings of Flanders are almost exclusively made of calfskin, and they
were highly prized throughout Europe.

Generally speaking, the earliest specimens of gilded leathers resemble
on a large scale the miniatures in the manuscripts: there is little or
no perspective, and the subjects are like those of the contemporary
tapestry drawn from sacred or mythological stories. The details of the
faces, ornaments, costumes, arms, etc., are stamped by hand-work and
finished with a brush; and the background, instead of representing sky,
is ornamented by guilloches (twisted bands) in gold and colour, applied
by means of a goffering iron.

The Low Countries were almost as celebrated for their _orfèvrerie_ as
for their tapestries. Celebrated schools of goldsmith’s work existed in
the Netherlands during the tenth and eleventh centuries in Waulsort
under the direction of d’Erembert, in Stavelot and in Maestricht; and
the diocese of Liège had an important _atelier_ for enamel-work in the
twelfth century. A very skilful goldsmith named Godefroid de Clerc
worked in the town of Huy in the first half of the thirteenth century,
and another was Friar Hugo, who made in the Abbaye d’Oignies the famous
pieces now in the treasury of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Namur.

The principal towns of Flanders, Ghent, Bruges, Tournay, Liège and
Brussels, possessed in the thirteenth century skilful goldsmiths who
followed the principles of the School of the Rhine. In 1266, the
Brussels goldsmiths formed an important Corporation to which John III,
Count of Hainault, granted privileges. It was in the fourteenth century
particularly that the Flemish goldsmiths acquired a great reputation.

A great deal of the goldsmith’s work during these centuries was
ornamented with _niello_, the style of decoration following the Rhenish

The goldsmiths were sculptors, chisellers and engravers, as well as
designers; and, moreover, modelled beautifully in wax. When their works
were cast in silver, they ornamented these themselves with beaten
bas-reliefs, or traced delicate patterns upon the surface of the metal
with the burin. Wishing to make the figures stand out more prominently,
they used cross-hatchings on the background and cut out the shadowy
parts, which they then filled with black enamel. This made the uncovered
portions of the silver shine with more brilliancy. To this effective
work was given the name _niello_ (_nigellum_), on account of its colour.
This black enamel was used to ornament the chalices and other church
vessels, the hilts of swords, handles of knives, and particularly the
handsome little coffers, or cabinets, which, with the _bahut_, comprised
the furniture that the bride always carried to her new home. These
little boxes were usually of ebony, ornamented more or less with
incrustations of ivory, shell, mother-of-pearl, _pietra-dura_, or
_niello_, according to the wealth of the respective families. When
decorated with _niello_, the designs consisted of simple ornaments or
arabesques, single figures or groups.

Western Europe made no glass in Mediaeval days: what was used in church
and castle all came from the East. In the early inventories, whenever an
object of coloured glass is found, it is always accompanied by a mention
of its Oriental origin. It is doubtful whether even plain glass was
manufactured in England, France, Germany or the Netherlands before the
close of the Crusades. The efforts made as late as the fourteenth
century by several French and German princes to attract glass-blowers to
their dominions shows how scarce they were.

In 1338, we find a feudal noble giving a portion of his forest to a
certain Guionet, who was acquainted with the methods of glass-making, to
set up a glass factory, on condition of supplying his house every year
with one hundred dozen bell glasses, twelve dozen little vase-shaped
glasses, twenty dozen hanaps, or cups with feet, twelve amphorae, and
other objects. As in all the other industrial arts, Flanders was well to
the fore in the manufacture of plain glass. Before 1400, glass factories
existed there; but the products were only white glass, not gilded nor
enamelled. The Flemish wares, however, were highly prized, and were
freely exported to other countries. In 1379, we find in the inventory of
Charles V of France: “_Ung gobelet et une aiguière de voirre blant de
Flandres garni d’argent_.”

To have glass mounted in silver shows how precious it was considered in
those days. Moreover, the royal accounts of the end of the fourteenth
century prove that Charles VI accorded high protection and recompense to
the Flemish glass-blowers who established their industry in France.
Before the end of the fifteenth century, we find entries that would seem
to show that the Low Countries were no longer exclusively dependent on
the Orient for coloured and enamelled glass. In the inventory of Charles
the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1477), we read: “_Une coupe de voirre jaune
garny d’or; ... une couppe de voirre vert garny d’or; ... un pot de
voirre de couleur vert, garny d’or; ... un aiguière de voirre vert
torssé garny d’or; ... deux petis pots de voirre bleu espez, garnis
d’argent doré; ... ung voirre taillé d’un esgle, d’un griffon et d’une
double couronne garny d’argent_.” These, however, may have come from
Venice, which city had in the latter half of the fifteenth century
learned from the Greeks the secret of making coloured, gilded and
enamelled glass.

Painting on glass was never held in higher honour than during the
fifteenth century: castles and mansions were adorned with coloured
windows like the churches; and, therefore, a considerable number of
windows of this period have survived. The Cathedrals of Tournay, Dietz
and Antwerp offer splendid examples. In M. Levy’s _Histoire de la
peinture sur verre_, are the names of several Flemish glass-painters
that have escaped oblivion.

The principal schools that fostered all forms of Decorative Art were the
Guilds of St. Luke. They sprang up in every prosperous city, and were
very close corporations of trades unionism. The idea probably originated
in Italy. A Society of St. Luke was established in Venice before 1290,
and another in Florence in 1349. One Gerard de Groote organized a
brotherhood of this kind in Cologne in the fourteenth century; and
Societies of St. Luke were founded in Flanders in the fifteenth century.
These Guilds exerted the greatest influence upon taste and skill, for in
these Societies of Guilds of St. Luke, side by side with the Masters of
Painting and Sculpture, were placed what we may call the Masters of the
Decorative Arts. There were workers in stone and marble including
mosaics in colour for the decoration of churches and chapels; workers in
enamel and ceramics for vases, panelling and pavements; workers in wood,
sculptors and carvers for the altar fronts, canopies, choir stalls, etc.
(these _menuisiers_ also worked in marquetry and _intarsie_, and
produced furniture for the sacristy, coffers, _bahuts_, etc., and
pontifical seats); glass-workers who produced windows, panels and
embroideries with glass beads for decoration; metalworkers, including
goldsmiths, bronze-workers, who made sacred vessels, luminaries, fonts
ornamented with _repoussé_-work, chiselling, engraving, incrustation
with precious stones and _niello-niellure_; leather-workers (including
makers of harness for wars and tourneys); gilders, setters of jewels;
bookbinders; illuminators and painters of manuscripts; weavers and
embroiderers of tapestries, silken stuffs, etc.

Society benefited by development of these arts very greatly, and the
sumptuous adornment of the churches soon extended to private dwellings.
Carved panels, or panels inlaid with precious woods, soon decorated the
walls of wealthy houses that were further enriched by magnificent
tissues of silk and gold, tapestries or panels of stamped leather as a
background for pictures beautifully framed in carved and gilt wood. In
marquetry furniture, the most remarkable objects were the coffers for
jewels, and the cabinets (_stipi_), in ebony, shell and ivory,
embellished with gilt, bronze, and the dower chests, “_arches de

                               CHAPTER II
                         THE BURGUNDIAN PERIOD

  The luxurious Dukes of Burgundy—Possessions of the House of Burgundy—
      The Burgundian Court—Household of Philip the Good—the Feast of the
      Pheasant—the Duke of Burgundy at the Coronation of Louis XI—Arras
      Tapestries—Sumptuous _Dressoirs_ and their Adornments—Celebrations
      in honour of the Knights of the Golden Fleece—Luxury of Charles
      the Bold—Charles the Bold at Trèves—Furnishings of the Abbey of
      Saint-Maximin—Charles the Bold’s Second Marriage—Furnishings of
      the Banqueting Hall at Bruges—Descriptions by Olivier de la
      Marche—Aliénor of Poitier’s Descriptions of the Furniture of the
      Duchess of Burgundy’s Apartments—Rich _Dressoirs_—the Drageoir and
      its Etiquette—the Etiquette of the _Escarbeau_—Philip the Bold’s
      Artisans—Flemish Carving—the _Forme_ or _Banc_—Burgundian
      Workmanship—Ecclesiastical Work—Noted Carvers—Furniture of the
      Period—the “Golden Age of Tapestry”-Embroideries—Tapestry-weavers
      of the Low Countries—Introduction of Italian Cartoons—Goldsmiths’
      Work—Furniture of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries.

The most luxurious prince of his age was Philip the Bold, Duke of
Burgundy (1342–1404), son of John the Good, King of France. By its
alliances, conquests and inheritances, the House of Burgundy attained
such wealth and power as to overshadow the French throne itself. Under
his grandson, Philip the Good, the Burgundian Court displayed greater
splendour than any other in Europe. The reigning dukes were powerful
protectors of the arts. Their immense resources, drawn from the Flemish
hives of industry, enabled them to indulge their taste for architecture,
painting, sculpture, illuminated books, tapestry, goldsmiths’ work and
sumptuous furniture. They were also insatiable collectors of everything
that was curious and rare. Any able artist, sculptor, architect,
goldsmith, or image-maker, driven from home by the perpetual civil wars
in England, France and Italy, was sure of refuge and employment at the
Court of Burgundy. Thus, for a century and a half, the Low Countries
were the most important art centre of Europe. Dijon and Brussels, the
capitals of the Burgundian dominions, were Meccas of Mediaeval Art; and
Tournay, Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, Dinant, and many other industrial centres
swarmed with craftsmen who produced all that was luxurious and beautiful
for domestic comfort and decoration.

The house of Burgundy constantly increased its possessions. Some idea of
its power is gained by a list of Philip the Good’s titles. He was Duke
of Burgundy, of Brabant, of Lothier, of Luxembourg; Count of Flanders,
of Artois and of Burgundy; Palatine of Hainault, of Holland, of Zeeland,
of Namur and of Charolais; Marquis of the Holy Empire; and Lord of
Friesland, of Salins and of Mechlin.

The brilliance and luxury of the Burgundian Court are attested by many
chroniclers. The pages of Philip de Comines, Olivier de la Marche, and
others are full of descriptions of feasts and pageantry from which we
can form an idea of the luxurious appointments of the palatial dwellings
of the day. Foreigners also, who were well acquainted with other
European courts, bore witness to Burgundian splendour. One of these, Leo
von Rozmital, who visited the courts of Europe in 1465–7, saw the Duke
of Burgundy’s treasures. His suite was overpowered by the magnificence.
The scribe, Tetzel, tried to enumerate and describe these marvels, but
gave up the task in despair, noting “there was nothing like it in the
whole world and that it far exceeded the Venetian collection.”

The son and successor of John the Fearless, Philip the Good (1396–1467),
was even more luxurious than his grandfather, Philip the Bold. His Court
was unequalled in Europe, and when in attendance upon the King of
France, his retinue completely eclipsed royalty. His palaces in
Brussels, Dijon and Paris were sumptuously furnished; and his
collections of tapestries, silver, gold, jewels, embroideries,
illuminated manuscripts and printed books excited the admiration of the
travellers and chroniclers of the age. His household, composed of four
great divisions—the _Panetrie_, _Échansonnerie_, _Cuisine_ and _Écurie_,
with subordinate departments, was subject to the strictest rules of
etiquette and was adopted as a model by the Spanish sovereigns of the
sixteenth century. The ceremonies of the levee, procession, council,
audience, service of spices, banquet, etc., were selected as precedents
for Vienna and Paris, as well as Madrid.

One of Philip’s most celebrated banquets—the Feast of the Pheasant,
which took place at Lille in 1454—will serve to give a glimpse of the
Court entertainments in his day. The large hall was hung with tapestry
representing the labours of Hercules, and was encircled by five tiers of
galleries for the spectators. The _dressoir_ of enormous size was
adorned with gold and silver vessels, and on either side of it stood a
column. One of these had attached to it a carved female figure from
whose breast flowed a fountain of hippocras; and to the other was
fastened by an iron chain a live lion from Africa, a great curiosity in
those days. The three great tables were covered with the most ingenious
productions of the cooks, confectioners and machinists. “On a raised
platform at the head of the first table sat the Duke. He was arrayed
with his accustomed splendour—his dress of black velvet serving as a
dark ground that heightened the brilliancy of the precious stones,
valued at a million of gold crowns, with which it was profusely decked.
Among the guests were a numerous body of knights who had passed the
morning in the tilting-field, and fair Flemish dames whose flaunting
beauty had inspired these martial sports. Each course was composed of
forty-four dishes, which were placed on chariots painted in gold and
azure, and were moved along the tables by concealed machinery.” As soon
as the company was seated, the bells began to peal from the steeple of a
huge pastry church with stained windows that concealed an organ and
choir of singers, and three little choristers issued from the edifice
and sang “a very sweet _chanson_.” Twenty-eight musicians hidden in a
mammoth pie performed on various instruments, and the fine viands and
wines were circulated. After the exhibition of _entremets_, the pheasant
was brought in, the Crusade proclaimed against the Sultan, and the vows

Another instance of the magnificent display of this Duke occurred when
he accompanied Louis XI to Rheims for the ceremony of his coronation in
1461. This is described as follows by the Duke of Burgundy’s chronicler,
Georges Chastelain (1403–75):

“Their journey resembled a triumphal procession, in which the Duke of
Burgundy appeared as if he were the conqueror and Louis the illustrious
captive. The trappings of the horses, that reached to the ground, were
of velvet and silk, covered with precious stones and ornaments of gold,
embroidered with the Burgundian arms and decorated with silver bells,
the jingling of which was very agreeable and solacing. A great number of
wagons draped with cloth of gold and hung with banners carried the
Duke’s tapestries, furniture, silver and other table service and the
utensils for the kitchen. These were followed by herds of fat oxen and
flocks of sheep intended for food during the progress of the Duke and
his suite. Philip and his son, with the principal nobles, appeared in
their greatest magnificence, and were preceded and followed by pages,
archers and men-at-arms, all in gorgeous costumes and blazing with

Their entrance into Rheims was regarded as the most superb spectacle
France had ever witnessed. Louis was crowned by the Duke of Burgundy,
“the dean of the peers of France”; and at the banquet that followed the
coronation, the Duke of Burgundy was still the most conspicuous figure.
The same chronicler continues:

“Though the King sat at the head of the table, arrayed in regal attire,
with the crown upon his head, he was still the guest of his fair uncle,
whose cooks had provided the dinner, whose plate was displayed upon the
sideboards and whose servants waited upon the company. In the midst of
the repast, the doors were opened and porters entered bearing a costly
present for the new sovereign. Such of the guests as were strangers,
except from hearsay, to the splendours of the Burgundian Court, gazed in
astonishment at the images, goblets, miniature ships, and other articles
of the finest gold and rarest workmanship—amounting in value to more
than two hundred thousand crowns—which Philip presented to the King as
an emphatic token of his loyalty and good-will.”

Chastelain’s note of the great number of wagons that were required to
carry the Duke’s tapestries in his journeyings is of interest. The
products of the Flemish looms were highly prized by the Burgundian
dukes, and great encouragement was given by them to the best work of
this nature.

It was from Arras that they chiefly filled their superb store-chambers
in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Arras looms had become
famous, far and wide; for, when Philip the Bold’s son was taken prisoner
at the Battle of Nicopolis (1396), the Sultan Bajazet said to the Duke
of Burgundy’s envoy that he “would be pleased to see some high-warp
tapestries worked in Arras and Picardy,” and that “they should represent
good old stories.” Philip thereupon sent two pack-horses laden with
“high-warp cloths, collected and made at Arras, the finest that could be
found on this side of the mountains.” The set he chose was _The History
of Alexander_. In 1374, there is an entry in the accounts of the Duke of
Burgundy “to Colin Bataille, _tapissier et bourgeois de Paris_,” for six
pieces of tapestry “of Arras workmanship,” with the arms of M. the Duke
of Burgundy “to cover the pack-horses of Monseigneur when he travelled.”
The favourite subjects produced at Arras were romances of chivalry, such
as _Charlemagne and his Peers_, _Doon de la Roche_, _Baudouin de
Sebourg_, _Percival the Gaul_, _Renaud de Montauban_, _Aubri de
Bourguignon_, etc.; stories from Greek mythology, such as _Theseus_,
_Jason_, _Paris and Helen_, _The Destruction of Troy_, etc.; and
contemporary events such as _The Battle of Rosbeck_, _The Battle of
Liège_, _History of Bertrand Duguesclin_, _The Jousts of St. Denis_ and
_The Battle of the Thirty_. Hunting scenes and pictures of cavaliers and
ladies in everyday life were popular, and stories from the Old and New
Testaments, Lives of the Saints and Acts of the Martyrs. Allegory also
makes its appearance as a subject for cartoons, such as the _Virtues and
Vices_, the _Seven Cardinal Sins_, the _Tree of Life_, _Fountain of
Youth_, etc.

When Philip the Good married Isabella of Portugal, Le Fèvre de Saint
Rémy notes that on each side of the hall there was a _dressoir_ twenty
feet long on a platform two feet high and well enclosed by barriers
three feet high, on the side of which was a little gate for entrance and
exit; and both _dressoirs_ had five stages, each two and a half feet
high. The three upper tiers were covered and loaded with vessels of fine
gold; and the two lower ones with many great vessels of silver gilt.

Again, Chastelain, describing a banquet given by Philip the Good, says:
“The Duke had made in the great hall a _dressoir_ constructed in the
form of a round castle, ten steps (_degrés_) in height filled with gold
plate in pots and flagons of various kinds, amounting to 6,000 marks
(_argent doré_) not counting those on the top which were of fine gold
set with rich gems of marvellous price.”

The above gives some idea of the importance of the _dressoir_, which
undoubtedly was the most showy piece of furniture in hall or chamber. It
often assumed enormous proportions on great state occasions.

A very ornate one of this period is reproduced in Plate III. It is
beautifully carved with Gothic tracery, leaf-work, Biblical scenes and
personages, and coats-of-arms. It is interesting to compare this with
the simple form of Plate IV, which has no intermediate shelf for the
display of plate; but is also interesting on account of its carving.
This, with its drawers and cupboards, was a most serviceable piece of
furniture and must have produced a fine effect in a room when the
cupboard head was decked with plate.

The great celebrations in honour of the Knights of the Golden Fleece
also offered occasion for the display of the greatest splendour at the
Burgundian Court. A veritable army of painters, sculptors, illuminators,
carvers and machinists was employed to design and prepare the
_entremets_ exhibited during the banquets. Among the _huchiers_ who
worked for the banquet given to the Knights of the Golden Fleece in 1453
were Guillaume Maussel and his son, Jacob Haquinet Penon, Jehan Daret
and his two companions, and Jehan de Westerhem.


  PLATE IV.—_Credence (Fifteenth Century)._


When Charles the Bold (1433–1477) succeeded his father, Philip the Good,
in 1467, he maintained his Court with the same state, ceremony and
luxury. His daily life was surrounded by pomp and punctilious etiquette.
He dined in state every day and was always attended by a retinue of
knights, equerries and pages. When he went to war, he always carried
rich silver and tapestries, as well as costly viands and wines. The
Swiss gained rich spoils after the Battle of Nancy and carried away
among other articles of value tapestries which can be seen to-day in
Nancy, Berne and other cities.

The meeting of Charles the Bold with the Emperor at Trèves, in 1473,
occasioned a great display of magnificence. The far-famed luxury of the
Burgundian Court was well exhibited during the eight weeks that the two
Courts spent in the Rhenish city. Charles gave the most superb
entertainments. The Abbey of Saint Maximin, which the Duke chose for his
temporary residence, was fitted up for the occasion with furniture,
tapestries, richly embroidered stuffs, gold and silver from his palaces.
The great hall was hung with tapestries, and the chair of state for the
Emperor, the canopy and the seats for the other great personages on the
daïs were covered with rich embroidered hangings. The arms of Burgundy,
the insignia of the Golden Fleece and other heraldic decorations were
conspicuously displayed. Many of the most valuable ecclesiastical
treasures collected by Philip the Good, such as silver images,
candlesticks, and crucifixes, and reliquaries of gold studded with gems
were brought to adorn the altars and shrines of the church; and, in the
refectory, an immense _dressoir_, twenty feet broad, reached from floor
to ceiling, its ten receding shelves gleaming with gold and silver

Charles the Bold’s second marriage in 1468 to Margaret of York furnished
another occasion for the display of his wealth and magnificence. John
Paston, who went to Bruges to attend the wedding, was simply dazzled and
overwhelmed by what he saw. Writing to his mother, he says: “As for the
Dwkys coort, as of lords, ladys and gentylwomen, knyts, sqwyers and
gentylmen, I herd never of non lyek it, save King Artourys cort. And by
my trowthe, I have no wyt nor remembrans to wryte to you, half the
worchep that is her.”

Passing by the descriptions of jousts and other entertainments, we may
note that workmen—painters, decorators and machinists—had been engaged
for many months to adorn Bruges fittingly for the nuptial festivities.
The streets were hung with tapestries and cloth of gold, triumphal
arches were erected at intervals, and at different points along the road
the bride was diverted with “Histories,” the joint productions of
dramatist, decorator, painter and machinist. The front of the palace was
covered with paintings of heraldic devices and magnificent decorations,
and behind the palace, in the tennis court, a new banqueting hall was
erected for the occasion. This building was a hundred and forty feet
long, seventy feet wide and more than sixty feet high. The walls were
hung with some of the Duke’s most famous tapestries, one set of which
represented Jason’s quest of the Golden Fleece; the ceiling was painted,
and at every possible place banners and heraldic devices were hung. An
enormous _dressoir_ in the centre of the hall displayed on its tiers of
shelves an overwhelming exhibition of gold and silver treasures
glittering with gems. The tables were arranged lengthwise on either side
of the hall, except one reserved for the Duke’s family and the guests of
highest rank. This table was placed on a raised platform at the upper
end of the hall, and over it was spread a canopy with curtains hanging
to the floor, so as to present the appearance of an open pavilion. The
chroniclers of the day note that “the hall was lighted by chandeliers in
the form of castles surrounded by forests and mountains, with revolving
paths on which serpents, dragons and other monstrous animals seemed to
roam in search of prey, spouting forth jets of flame that were reflected
in huge mirrors, so arranged as to catch and multiply the rays. The
dishes containing the principal meats represented vessels, seven feet
long, completely rigged, the masts and cordage gilt, the sails and
streamers of silk, each floating in a silver lake between shores of
verdure and enamelled rocks, and attended by a fleet of boats laden with
lemons, olives and condiments. There were thirty of these vessels and as
many huge pasties in a castellated shape with banners waving from their
battlements and towers; besides tents and pavilions for the fruit, jelly
dishes of crystal supported by figures of the same material dispensing
streams of lavender and rosewater, and an immense profusion of gold and
silver plate.”

The festivities continued for more than a week. Every day a tournament,
banquet and dance took place. At one of the banquets, the decorations
were so wonderful that the guests marched around the tables to examine
the artistic creations. These consisted of gardens made of a mosaic-work
of rare and highly polished stones, inlaid with silver, and surrounded
with hedges made of gold. In the centre of each enclosure was placed a
tree of gold with branches, foliage and fruit exquisitely enamelled in
imitation of orange, pear, apple and other trees. Fountains of variously
perfumed waters rendered the air deliciously fragrant.

Olivier de la Marche’s description of the banqueting hall is as follows:

“In this hall were three tables, one of which was placed across the ends
of the others. This table, higher than the others, stood upon a
platform. The other two tables were placed on the two sides of the hall,
occupying the whole length; they were very long and very handsome, and
in the centre of the said hall a high and rich buffet in the form of a
lozenge was placed. The top of the said buffet was enclosed with a
balustrade, and the whole was covered with tapestries and hung with the
arms of Monsieur le Duc; and above rose the steps and degrees on which
were displayed many vessels, the largest on the lowest, and the richest
and smallest on the top shelves; that is to say, on the lowest shelves
stood the silver-gilt vessels, and above them the vessels of gold
garnished with precious stones, of which he had a great number. On the
top of the buffet stood a rich jewelled cup, and on each of the four
corners large and entire unicorns’ horns, and these were very large and
very handsome. These vessels of parade were not to be used, for there
were other vessels, pots and cups of silver in the hall and chambers
intended for service.”

Turning now from the _buffet d’apparat_, he describes the “_buffet
d’usage_.” Regarding the service, “The new Duchess was served by the
cup-bearer, the carver and the pantler, all English, all knights and men
of noble birth, and the usher of the hall cried: ‘Knights to the meat!’
And then they all went to the buffet to fetch the meat, and all the
relations of Monsieur and all the knights marched around the buffet in
the order of the great house two by two after the trumpeters before the

We sometimes get a glimpse of a luxurious chamber of the Burgundian
Court from Aliénor of Poitiers, who wrote _Les Honneurs de la Court_.
Her testimony is trustworthy, for her mother was maid of honour to the
Duchess Isabella, third wife of Philip the Good; and, therefore, she
undoubtedly witnessed what she describes. She tells us that the chamber
of Isabella of Bourbon, wife of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais,
was very large and contained two beds, separated by a space four or five
feet wide. A large _ciel_, or canopy, of green damask covered both beds;
and from it hung curtains of satin which moved on rings, and could
completely screen the beds when desired. The lambrequin of the canopy
and the curtains were fringed with green silk. On each bed was an ermine
counterpane, lined with very fine violet cloth. The chronicler expressly
notes that the black tails were left on the fur. “_La grande chambre_”
from which the “_Chambre de Madame_” was entered, called the “_chambre
de parement_,” contained one large bed in crimson satin. The _ciel_ was
very richly embroidered with a great gold sun, and “this tapestry was
called _la chambre d’Utrecht_, for it is believed that Utrecht gave it
to the Duke Philip,” writes Aliénor, who adds: “The curtains of crimson
samite are looped up like those of a bed in which nobody sleeps.” The
hangings of the wall were of red silk. At one end of the bolster was a
great square cushion of gold and crimson, and by the side of the bed a
“large shaggy carpet.”

In each of these rooms there was a handsome _dressoir_; and our scribe
continues: “In the chamber of the Countess de Charolais there was a
large _dressoir_ of four beautiful shelves, the whole length of the
_dressoir_, each covered with a cloth; the said _dressoir_ and the
shelves filled with vessels of crystal garnished with gold and precious
stones, and some of fine gold; for all the richest vessels of Duke
Philip were there—pots, cups and beakers of fine gold, and other vessels
that are never exhibited except on state occasions. Among other vessels
there were on the said _dressoir_ three _drageoirs_ of gold and precious
stones, one of which is estimated at 14,000 _écus_, and another at
30,000 _écus_. On the back of the dressoir was hung a _dorset_
(_dorsal_) of cloth of gold and crimson, bordered with black velvet, and
on the black velvet was delicately embroidered the device of Duke
Philip, which was a gun....

“Item, on the _dressoir_ which was in the chamber of the said lady,
there were always two silver candlesticks which they called at Court
_mestiers_,[1] in which two lights were always burning, for it was
fifteen days before the windows of her room were allowed to be opened.
Near the _dressoir_ in a corner was a little low table containing the
cups and saucers in which something to drink was served to those ladies
who came to see Madame, after they had been offered a _dragée_[2]; but
the _drageoir_ stood upon the _dressoir_.”

Footnote 1:

  Night candles.

Footnote 2:


In the “_chambre de parade_” there stood a very large _dressoir_,
ornamented with superb pieces of gold and silver.

It was the custom for both lords and ladies to receive their
acquaintances informally in the “_chambre de parade_,” while the inner
room was reserved for their intimate friends. On the occasion of a
birth, these two rooms were as superbly furnished as the house could
afford. The richest cloths and tapestries were brought out, and the
_dressoir_ was adorned with articles of gold and silver that were only
placed on view on important occasions.

When Mary of Burgundy was born, the same authority informs us that
Isabella of Bourbon’s room was very richly furnished; and in honour of
Mary of Burgundy, the daughter and heir of Charles the Bold, there were
five shelves upon the _dressoir_, a privilege reserved for queens only.

The _drageoir_ was a very important article. It contained the various
“_épices de chambre_,” generally called _dragée_, and meaning all kinds
of sugar plums and _confitures_, conserves, sugared rose leaves (_sucré
rosat_), etc. A writer in the sixteenth century mentions “Curious
_dragées_ of all colours, some in the shape of beasts, others fashioned
like men, women and birds.” Sometimes the bonbons were taken with the
fingers, as may be seen in one of the fine set of tapestries in the
Cluny Museum, representing _The Lady and the Unicorn_. An attendant
kneeling presents the _drageoir_ to the lady, who is standing with a pet
bird on her left arm, and she is about to dip the fingers of her right
hand into the _drageoir_ to get something to delight the bird.

The _drageoir_ was generally handed to the guests after dinner, and made
its appearance at all ceremonial feasts. Froissart, describing the
reception to the English knights sent by the King of England in 1390 to
negotiate peace in France, says they were entertained at the Louvre, and
“when they had dined they retired to the King’s chamber, and there they
were served with wine and sweetmeats in large _drageoirs_ of silver and
gold.” It was always handed with solemnity, and subject to strict
etiquette. The Constable of France had the honour of presenting the
_drageoir_ to the King. At the Duke of Burgundy’s Court, according to
Olivier de la Marche, the steward handed the _drageoir_ to the first
chamberlain, who handed it to the most important personage present, who
then presented it to the prince or duke. When the latter had helped
himself, the honoured guest returned it to the chamberlain, who gave it
to the steward.

Aliénor also informs us: “When one of the princes had served Monsieur
and Madame (the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy) with sweetmeats, one of
the most important personages, for example, the first chamberlain, or
Madame’s _chevalier d’honneur_, took the _drageoir_ and served the
Duke’s nephews and nieces; and after they had been served it was handed
to everybody.”

The _drageoir_ was one of the most valued and popular presents during
the Middle Ages. In the inventory of Margaret of Austria occurs a
beautiful and large silver-gilt _drageoir_, fluted, presented to Madame
by the gentlemen of the town of Brussels for her New Year, 1520.

Aliénor de Poitiers also says there should always be in the lady’s room
a chair with a back near the bolster of the bed; and that this chair
should be covered with silk or velvet, for “velvet is the most
honourable covering, no matter what colour”; and “near the chair should
be placed a little bench, or stool, covered with a _banquier_ and some
silk cushions for visitors to sit on when they call to see the invalid.”

The little stool or bench, called _escarbeau_, was very low and without
back or arms. Sometimes it was triangular in form. Sometimes it served
for a low table. Rich people often threw over these _bancs_ a piece of
tapestry or silk, known as _banquiers_.

The memory of the vast majority of the artists of this period has
perished, but a few names have survived.

When Philip the Bold built a second St. Denis for his race at Dijon
(1390), his art and craftsmen were all drawn from the Low Countries.
Nicholas Sluter was in charge; and under his direction the Chartreuse
became a veritable Flemish museum of carving. He sent for his nephew,
Nicholas van de Werve, and paid him from six to seven shillings per
week. Other Flemish workmen in his employ were: Jehan Malouel, Hennequin
van Prindale, Roger Westerhen, Peter Linkerk, John Hulst, John de
Marville, John de Beaumetz and Williken Smout. The coloured windows were
made at Mechlin, by Henry Glusomack. The oak retables with their
numerous figurines, were the work of a Flemish carver named Baerze of

In fact, the only Frenchman who had any part in the work was Berthelot
Héliot, “_varlet de Monseigneur_,” an ivory-carver.

The two _retables_ carved by Jacques de Baerze in 1391 for the
Chartreuse are now in the Dijon Museum. One was made for the Duke’s
chapel at Termonde (Dendermonde), and the other for the Abbey of
Billoche, near Ghent. These were painted and gilded by Jehan Malouel and
Melchior Broederlam, who had been engaged by the Counts of Flanders; and
worked in Hesdin and Ypres before becoming court-painters to Philip the

The same Museum contains three cylindrical boxes of beautiful
workmanship of the same period. Two of these are ornamented with
arabesques and birds painted and gilded; the third is decorated with
polychromatic bas-reliefs, and a round boss representing scenes from the
New Testament. These boxes are supposed to have belonged to the
toilet-tables of the Duchesses of Burgundy. Two _retables_, ornamented
with bas-reliefs in the Cluny Museum are called “_oratoires des
Duchesses de Bourgogne_.” These were bought from Berthelot Héliot,
“_valet de chambre_” of Philip the Bold; and it is thought that they
came from Italy.

Another fine piece of Flemish wood-carving is preserved in the old
_Salles des Gardes_ of the Palace in Dijon, where it forms a decoration
of the chimney-piece. This is a panel of carved wood, the last remnant
of the choir-stalls in the ducal chapel. The centre of the panel was the
back of John the Fearless’s seat. The upper part terminating in a
pointed arch and bordered with festoons ornamented with foliage
surrounds the Duke’s shield, which is supported by two angels. The arms
of eight dependent provinces are carved in the lower part of the panel,
enlaced in a trellis of mouldings decorated with chicory leaves, and
further enriched by four angels playing various instruments.

The Dijon Museum contains another splendid piece of wood-carving of the
same date in the seat or _forme_ for the accommodation of the priest,
deacon, and subdeacon of the Chartreuse. This was carved in 1395 by John
of Liège, a carpenter, for the sum of two hundred and fifty francs, to
which another hundred were afterwards added in recognition of the
excellence of the work.

The _forme_ is a species of _banc_ divided by arms into stalls like
choir-stalls. The _forme_ always had a back which grew larger about the
end of the twelfth century, and at a later date, it was surmounted by a
daïs. The _forme_ was always considered to be a seat of honour.

John de Marville set to work on the Duke’s tomb in 1383, and in 1388 was
succeeded by Claus Sluter, who also executed much important work. In the
chapel of the Chartreuse at Dijon, he represented Philip the Bold and
the Duchess Margaret kneeling at the feet of St. Anthony and St. Anne.
In 1404, he retired to the monastery of St. Etienne de Dijon, and was
succeeded in his post of “_imagier_ and _valet de chambre_” to the Duke
of Burgundy by his nephew Claes, or Nicholas, van de Werve.

In 1393, Philip the Bold sent his painter, Jehan de Beaumetz, and his
sculptor, Claus Sluter, to see the works that his brother, the Duke of
Berry, had had André Beauneveu make at the Château Mehun-sur-Yèvre.

Burgundy was especially famous among French provinces for its woodwork.
Many masterpieces were created by the Dukes of Burgundy. There were,
however, other patrons of this art, the great Abbeys of Clairvaux,
Citeaux, Cluny and Vézélay. Numerous schools of workmen gathered around
these monasteries, faithfully preserving the traditions of the
master-sculptors of the past and bequeathing them to their successors of
the Renaissance. A great deal of their most ornate and skilful work was
naturally upon the choir-stalls. Those in the Abbey of Charlieu with
figures of saints painted on wooden panels (later in the Church of
Charolais), and the old Abbaye de Montréal (Yonne) are especially

The Brabant artists perhaps manifested their fertility most in
wood-carving. Flanders, during the fifteenth century, produced an
enormous number of _retables_, choir-stalls, pulpits, chairs, tables,
communion benches, and similar work. The energies of the skilful
wood-carvers found vent in civil as well as ecclesiastical work. The
public buildings of the prosperous cities contained many beautiful
products of the chisel.

The ducal expense accounts that have come down to us contain many
entries of payments made to various Flemish joiners and cabinet-makers
(_huchiers-menuisiers_). When the great _Halles_ of Brussels had to be
rebuilt in 1409, the following experts were employed to do the work:
Louis Van den Broec, Pierre de Staete, Henry and Godefroy den
Molensleyer, Adam Steenberch, Henry van Duysbourg, Pierre van
Berenberge, Henry van Boegarden and John van den Gance. We find these
names employed on other contemporary work. A few years later, Charles de
Bruyn executed the wood-carving for the Louvain cathedral. In 1409, John
Bulteel of Courtray was commissioned to carve the choir-stalls for the
chapel of the oratory of Ghent. Peter van Oost received the order for
the ceiling of the town hall of Bruges; and in 1449, W. Ards was carving
that of the town hall of Mechlin. In 1470, the great altar-piece of
Saint Waltrude in Herentals was executed by B. van Raephorst. In 1459,
the beautiful stalls of the Abbey of Tournay, which were unfortunately
destroyed by fire in the following century, were carved by Jan

A noted carver of this age was Jehan Malouel Hennequin van Prindale,
who, as we have seen, was in the employ of the Duke of Burgundy. The
hands only of a Magdalen that he made (1399–1400) are in the Dijon
Museum. This statue was remarkable as having a copper nimbus, or diadem.

The fame of the Flemish wood-carvers spread far beyond the confines of
their own provinces, and their services were eagerly sought in England,
France, Spain, Italy and even Germany.

Although German wood-carvers were plentiful, John Floreins was employed
on the choir-stalls of the Cologne Cathedral. In 1465, Flemish
_huchiers_ were called upon to carve the stalls of Rouen. Italy
attracted many artists whose work still attests their ability. Among the
innumerable workers in intaglio and marquetry of that period, we find
the names of almost as many Northerners as native Italians. The Church
of St. Georgio Maggiore, Venice, contains forty-eight stalls, adorned by
Van der Brulh of Antwerp with carved bas-reliefs illustrating the life
of St. Benedict. The _armoires_ of the sacristy of Ferrara bear the
signatures of Henry and William, two Flemish carvers; and many other
examples might be cited.

In Spain, the entire Spanish school, until Berruguete brought the New
Art from Michelangelo’s studio in 1520, was led by Philippe Vigarny, a
Burgundian, who was considered the best wood-carver in Spain. His style
was frankly Gothic.

The influence of the Flemish and French was so great in Spain at this
time, that Juan de Arphe severely reprimands his fellow-workers, who
never cease copying the “_papelas y estampas flamencas y francesas_.”

There was not a prosperous city in the Netherlands whose public and
private buildings were not embellished with the products of the great
artists in wood-carving. The great masters of Bruges were Guyot de
Beaugrant, L. Glosencamp, Roger de Smet and André Rasch, sculptors and
carpenters who executed the chimneypiece in the _Palais du Franc_ in
Bruges after the designs of Lancelot Blondeel.

One of the most characteristic specimens of Flemish carpentry-work of
the fifteenth century is the oak pew richly carved in the Gothic style
(1474), belonging to the Van der Gruuthuuse family in Notre Dame of
Bruges that is connected by a passage with the Gruuthuuse Mansion, built
in (1465–70).

It is important to keep constantly in mind the fact that at this period
architects, sculptors, painters and goldsmiths did not confine
themselves to one particular field of labour. Sculptors worked both in
wood and stone in both civil and religious buildings, and the best
talent was employed equally on _retables_, choir-stalls, pulpits,
bishops’ thrones, _armoires_, _dressoirs_, chests and seats. The Duke’s
accounts show many entries of payments for elaborate furniture. Two
examples will suffice: “June 20, 1399: From the Duke of Burgundy to
Sandom, _huchier_, living in Arras, for a _dressoir_, with lock and
keys, which was placed in the chamber of our very dear and much-loved
son Anthoyne, xxxii _sols pariis_”; and again, “To Pierre Turquet,
_huchier_, living in the said town of Arras, for a bench, a table, a
pair of trestles, and for a _dressoir_ with lock and key for our chamber
in our abode in the said place, for goods supplied by him four _livres

The fifteenth century has been called the “Golden Age of Tapestry.” Not
only were the halls and chambers of rich lords hung with “noble auncyent
stories,” woven in silk and wool of the most gorgeous hues and enlivened
with shining threads of gold, but the store-rooms were filled with sets
that were brought forth to decorate the outsides as well as the
interiors of houses on the occasion of some great festival, marriage,
tournament, or return of a conqueror from the wars. Wealthy princes
often took valuable sets to war to decorate their tents. Charles the
Bold, for example, had with him some of his richest treasures, which
became the trophies of his Swiss conquerors and are now in Berne.

Owing to her wars, the industries of France had declined, and among them
her tapestry. Flanders now, particularly under the patronage of the rich
and powerful Dukes of Burgundy, enjoyed the greatest prosperity.
Flanders became the centre of the manufacture of tapestry; and Arras,
Brussels and Bruges produced works that have never been surpassed.

Every subject lent itself to reproduction. The inventory of a princely
but small collector in 1406–7 mentions: _A Stag in a Wood_, _Story of
Pyramus and Thisbe_, _History of the God of Love_, _History of King
Pepin_, _Hawking_, _A Lord and Lady playing at Chess_, _A Trapped Hare_,
_Monkeys_, _Castles_, _Parrots_, and _Verdures_. The latter shows how
early the beautiful landscapes were valued. Throughout this century the
tapestries show charming backgrounds of daisies, violets, strawberries,
jessamine, primroses, bellflowers and lovely leaves often scattered in
artistic disorder.

The influence of Memling and the Van Eycks and their school was
insistent, although comparatively few of their pictures were translated
into tapestry. One of the pupils of the Van Eycks, Roger van der Weyden,
designed many cartoons, among which were the _Legend of Trajan_ and
_Story of Heckenbald_ for the Town Hall of Brussels.

The great impetus to the Flemish looms was given by the Dukes of
Burgundy. Philip the Bold (1384–1404) encouraged the weavers of Arras by
giving orders and large payments in advance. Finally, he owned such a
superb collection that he had a special officer, a _garde de la
tapisserie_, to take charge of it.

Philip the Good (1419–1467) inherited this taste for beautiful tapestry
and gave numerous orders to the tapestry-makers of Flanders. The
inventory of his treasury made in Dijon in 1420, shows that he possessed
at the beginning of his reign five _chambres_ of tapestry, each
comprising several pieces, and more than seventy high warp “storied”
tapestries to ornament the halls and the chapel. Among them was a set of
eleven pieces containing portraits of “the late Duke Jehan and Madame
his wife on foot and on horseback,” hawking, with birds on their wrists
and birds flying all around them. The same prince also had: “A red room
of high-warp tapestry woven with gold, on which were represented ladies,
pheasants, persons of distinction and rank, nobles, simple folk, and
others, with a canopy ornamented with falcons.”

Then there was a rich “chamber,” “with high-warp tapestry of Arras
thread, called the _chambre_ of the little children, furnished with the
canopy, head-board, and coverlet of a bed, worked with gold and silk,
the head-board and coverlet being strewn with trees, grasses, and little
children, and the canopy representing trails of flowering rose-trees on
a red background.”

Another set of “high-warp tapestry, worked in Arras thread and gold” was
called “The Chamber of the Coronation of Our Lady.” It was furnished
with “a canopy, a head-board, a bed coverlet, and six curtains two of
which were worked with gold, and the remaining four without gold. On
each of these were two figures, the late Duke Anthony of Brabant and his
wife and their children, screened with a small _dosser_; the whole was
of Brabant work.”

In addition to these superb sets, there were sixty “saloon tapestries”
in which the hangings woven with gold depicted scenes from famous
romances, stories from Grecian mythology, pastoral scenes, and
contemporary events.

There were thirty-six _dossers, banquiers_ and thirty-six hassocks, and
nineteen long-pile carpets. Then there were thirteen “chapel hangings,”
with religious subjects, an altar-cloth “entirely of gold and silk,”
besides high-warp tapestries “of gold and Arras thread.”

Philip the Good was also a collector of embroidery. In his inventory
(1420) are mentioned many “_chambres_” of velvet and silk, embroidered
with gold and silks. More than thirty famous embroiderers were employed
regularly at the Court of Burgundy.

There was no more valuable possession in the Middle Ages than tapestry.
When Mary of Burgundy was married to the Duke of Cleves in 1415, one
prized item in her dowry was a “superb bed of tapestry representing a
deer hunt.”

Tapestry was considered one of the most complimentary gifts that could
be offered to a royal personage, or diplomatist; and when it is
remembered that every nobleman of wealth was a collector, a present of
this nature had to be of rare quality and exceptional beauty. The Dukes
of Burgundy were fond of making gifts from the looms they patronized.

For example, Philip the Bold sent several pieces to Richard II in 1394
and 1395, and superb sets to the Dukes of Lancaster and York. John the
Fearless gave the Earl of Pembroke, ambassador of Henry IV, three
handsome pieces, and to the Earl of Warwick, ambassador of Henry V, in
1416, “a rich hanging covered with various figures and numerous birds.”
In 1414, a “_chambre de tapisserie_” was sent as a present to Robert,
Duke of Albany, who then governed Scotland.

The weavers of Liège boasted as high an antiquity as those of Louvain.
The _Chronicle of St. Trond_ says that the weavers in 1133 at St. Trond
and Tongres, and they were more independent and high-spirited, or, to
quote more exactly, “more forward and proud than other artisans.”

Brussels, which in after years eclipsed both Paris and Arras in the
manufacture of tapestries, possessed one corporation only of
tapestry-workers (_tapitewevers_) in 1340. In 1448, these were
reorganized under the name of _Legwerckers Ambacht_ (tapestry-weavers
trade), but there was no great interest in the Brussels looms until
1466, when Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, bought in that city _The
History of Hannibal_ in six pieces and a set of eight landscapes.

The looms of Ypres, Middelburg, Alost, Lille, Valenciennes, Douay and
Oudenarde flourished during the fifteenth century. To this list we must
add the fine looms of Bruges, established by Philip the Good, which for
a time eclipsed all others in Flanders. After Bruges supplied this Duke
of Burgundy with _The History of the Sacrament_ and “two chambers of
tapestry” in 1440, many commissions were received from foreign
countries. The Medicis and other Italian families ordered rich sets, but
they supplied their own cartoons by Andrea Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci
and other great painters.

Bruges, doubtless, owed no little of its fame as a centre for fine
tapestry to the Flemish artists, Memling and the Van Eycks and their
school who lived there. It is believed that the famous tapestry that
found a home in the Château des Aygalades, representing the marriage of
Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, under the allegorical figures of
Esther and Ahasuerus, was made in Bruges. The cartoons have been
attributed to the school of Van Eyck.

In 1449–53, Philip ordered from Tournay _The History of Gideon_ and _The
Story of the Golden Fleece_ in eight pieces.

In 1430, one Jean Hosemant, a tapestry-weaver of Tournay, was in Avignon
and the Pope’s chamberlain, the Archbishop of Narbonne, ordered him to
make “a tapestried chamber on the hangings of which were to be
represented foliage, trees, meadows, rivers and clouds, as well as birds
and quadrupeds.” Italy also attracted the French and Flemish weavers to
learn their secrets, and they flocked in numbers to Rome and other
cities. Their work was in such demand that the Flemish workers found
encouragement everywhere; and in the fifteenth century they emigrated to
England, Spain, Italy and even Hungary.

Rinaldo Boteram of Brussels was in charge of the workshop in the court
of the Gonzagas in Mantua, where Andrea Mantegna was employed to design
the cartoons. Jehan de Bruges and Valentin d’Arras directed the
workshops in Venice as early as 1421; Giacomo d’Angelo the Fleming had
charge of the Marquis d’Este’s tapestries at Ferrara with a large number
of Flemish weavers under him. Flemish workmen and master workmen were
engaged in Siena, Florence, Correggio, Urbino and also by the Sforzas in

A woman was also weaving Arras at Todi in 1468, one Giovanna Francesa,
“_maestra di panni de arazzi_.”

At home, the Flemings grew ever more and more realistic, weaving into
their woollen pictures types of character, costumes and scenes with
which they were familiar; and while their technical skill was
appreciated in Italy, their pictures certainly were not liked. All the
orders sent from princely patrons to the looms of the Low Countries were
accompanied by cartoons, which became the property of the workshop, and
were repeated again and again as their popularity asserted itself. The
Italians introduced perspective, clearness of grouping and a dramatic
feeling entirely opposed to the Flemish school. The Italian cartoons,
particularly those of Raphael and Romano, had a great influence upon the
Flemish tapestries.

Like all the other industrial arts, that of the goldsmith flourished
under the patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy. They spent an enormous
amount of money in acquiring fine pieces of gold and silver and richly
set jewels for their own treasury and use, and to give as presents. It
was not long before the chief cities in Burgundy, Artois and Flanders
saw the workshops of gold and silversmiths multiply greatly and gain a
widespread reputation. These goldsmiths not only produced vases and
chalices for the churches and chapels and beautiful articles for the
Duke’s _dressoirs_, but they particularly excelled in the setting of
jewels and in making beautiful pieces of delicately worked gold and
silver, with which the costumes were laden to such an extent that
Martial d’Auvergne, the author of _Arrets d’amour_, says “_on
s’harnachoit d’orfévrerie_.”

Some of the Duke’s silver is especially described in his inventory, and
among his possessions at the end of the fourteenth century, we find two
silver chandeliers for the chapel. The central bulbs were fluted and
they were hung with crystal. On the foot, the arms of France were
engraved. There were also three other chandeliers (these were evidently
what we should now rather call candlesticks), and were carved profusely
with big leaves; and also three candlesticks of silver for the
“_fruiterie_,” bearing on the base the arms of the Duke of Burgundy. The
foot of another silver-gilt candlestick was decorated with three
dragons; another candlestick of white silver (_argent blanc_) was
decorated with the arms of the Dowager Countess of Hainault. In all
probability these were among the candlesticks that Charles the Bold took
to the Abbey of St. Maximin.

Among the artisans that were patronized by the Dukes of Burgundy, we
find the names of Jehan Villain, a goldsmith of Dijon from 1411 to 1431,
and _valet de chambre_ to John the Fearless and Philip the Bold; Jehan
Pentin, goldsmith of Bruges under Philip the Good; Corneille de Bonte, a
celebrated goldsmith of Ghent; and Henry le Backer of Brussels and
Gérard Loyet, both goldsmiths of Charles the Bold. The former executed a
famous altar group for the Count of Charolais (Charles the Bold) in
1456, consisting of a great cross at the foot of which knelt the Count
and Countess of Charolais with St. George and St. Elizabeth. Gérard
Loyet, who was goldsmith and _valet de chambre_ to Charles the Bold,
made in 1466 a statue of gold that the Duke presented to the Cathedral
of St. Lambert of Liège. He also made in the year of Charles the Bold’s
death two silver busts and two statues of that Duke. The busts, of
natural size, were made for St. Adrien de Grammont and St. Sebastian of
Brussels and the statues for Notre Dame d’Ardembourg and Notre Dame de
Grâce of Brussels. The latter, although of silver, were coloured and
were large in size. They represented Charles kneeling with folded hands
dressed in armour with sword at his side and wearing the collar of the
Golden Fleece.

There is very little furniture of the fourteenth and fifteenth century
in existence. One of the few good buildings dating from the fourteenth
century is the Guildhouse of the Tanners (Toreken) on the Rue des
Peignes, Ghent. The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam has a copy of the solid
oak ceiling of the Senate House at Sluis, dating from 1396, an imitation
of the ceiling and chimney of the Senate House at Zwolle, built by the
architect Berent in 1447; and a cast of an ornamental fireplace of the
fifteenth century from the Markiezenhof at Bergen-op-Zoom. The Rijks
also owns several Gothic cabinets, and a large Gothic cupboard of the
fourteenth century from a convent in Utrecht. The Museum in the Steen,
Antwerp, contains some good fifteenth century furniture.

A few names of wood-carvers of this period have survived. For example,
the Town Hall of Louvain, the ancient capital of Brabant, is a very rich
and lovely example of late Gothic work. It even surpasses the famous
Town Halls of Brussels, Oudenarde, Ghent and Bruges. This was built by
Matthew de Layens between 1447 and 1463. It is very rich in statues of
local celebrities, and the supporting corbels are ornamented with almost
detached reliefs representing biblical subjects.

The models in wood for the stone-cutters were executed after the designs
of De Layens, by John Vander Eycken, Goswin Van der Voeren, Mathew
Keldermans and John Roelants in 1448.

In decorative art, the Gothic style is feebly represented by great names
that have survived. Most of the glorious work that was done by the
Mediaeval carvers has perished, and the names of its producers have
perished with it. Two names, of the period immediately before the
Renaissance, of men who applied themselves to the composition and
engraving of ornaments have survived. Le Maître à la Navette was born at
Zwott; and was at work about 1475. Alart du Hameel was a native of
Bois-le-Duc; and lived at the close of the fifteenth century.

                              CHAPTER III
                        THE RENAISSANCE: PART I

  Dawn of the Renaissance—The Transitional Period—Coffers and Bahuts—
      Court of Margaret of Austria—Perréal’s Style—Margaret’s Tomb by
      Perréal—Taste of the Regent—Margaret’s Tapestries, Carpets,
      Table-covers and Cushions—Her Curios—Flemish Tapestries—Cartoons
      by Bernard Van Orley—William de Pannemaker—English Tapestries—Last
      Days of the Gothic Style—Guyot de Beaugrant, Lancelot Blondeel and
      Peter Pourbus—Stalls in the Groote Kerk, Dordrecht—Carvings in
      Haarlem—Invasion of the Renaissance—Walnut, the Favourite Wood for
      Furniture and Carving—Versatility of the Artists—the Fleming as
      Emigrant—the Renaissance in Burgundy—Hugues Sambin—Sebastian
      Serlio—Peter Coeck of Alost—Pupils of Peter Coeck—Lambert Lombard—
      Francis Floris, the “Flemish Raphael”—the Craze for Numismatics—
      Hubert Goltzius—Cabinets of the Sixteenth Century—Italian
      Furniture—Characteristic Features of Renaissance Furniture—
      Ornaments: the Arabesque, Pilaster, Cartouche, _Cuirs_, Banderole
      and Caryatid—Publications of Decorative Design—Alaert Claes, Lucas
      van Leyden, Cornelis Bos and Martin van Heemskerck.

As in all other departments of human taste, thought and activity, there
is no sudden change in Decorative Art, no swift rupture with old
traditions. There is a period of transition, during which one style
supplants another almost imperceptibly. Even when one great genius
arises, he meets with opposition from the members of the old school; and
it takes years for his ideas finally to triumph. Moreover, periods
overlap: in one district the old style will persist half a century after
the new is firmly established in another. Again, even in the same town,
we sometimes find the two streams flowing side by side for some time.
This is true of the Renaissance, as of all other styles. We even find
that a palace within a space of ten years’ time might be begun in the
Gothic and completed in the Renaissance style.

When Charles the Bold received his deathblow on the field of Nancy, a
new era was dawning. The arts that had been fostered by the splendid
Dukes of Burgundy already felt the impetus of a new movement. It was a
period of momentous changes. Printing had already been invented, and
designs for title-pages alone were to have a tremendous effect on
Decorative Art. America was shortly to be discovered, and before long
exotic woods were to end the exclusive sway of walnut and oak. Above
all, Italy was to be practically rediscovered by Western Europe.
Although many courts benefited by the fall of Constantinople, in 1453,
the luxurious Italian states received by far the greater number of
skilled artisans who brought with them the traditions of Classic Art.
The maritime republics were, moreover, no strangers to the art products
of the gorgeous East; and Venice especially then held almost a monopoly
of the Levant trade, and distributed Oriental wares to France, Germany,
England and the Netherlands.

The days of Feudalism had come to an end: Mediaevalism was dead. Wars of
petty piracy and private spite ended almost simultaneously in Western
Europe; wars of national competition in trade and bitter wars of
religion were to succeed. In England, the Wars of the Roses were
extinguished in 1485: the last private battle between the retainers of
feudal lords was fought in 1483. In France, Louis XI, after the death of
Charles the Bold, had reduced his other great vassals to order. In
Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella had expelled the Moors and married their
mad daughter, Joanna, to the heir of the Burgundian dominions, the issue
of this marriage being Charles V, who was born at Ghent in 1500. In
1494, Charles VIII had crossed the Alps; and in Italy the French were as
dazzled by the luxury and magnificence they saw as the Crusaders had
been at Byzantium four centuries before. On their return, the
Renaissance in France and the Netherlands may be said to have begun to

Before the opening of the sixteenth century, however, there was a
remarkable activity in all the arts; and a coming change can be felt.
The spirit of the Gothic and of the Classic style—Christian and Pagan—
were already at war. In the Low Countries, this transitional period is
noticeable during the last days of the House of Burgundy.
Simultaneously, architecture and ornament insensibly underwent
modifications, in which we recognize the earliest Renaissance, as it
appeared also in France under the reign of Louis XII. Building and
furniture have already become Classic in form and general aspect: the
antique column becomes a leading feature of decoration, although the
pilaster, which offers a convenient flat surface for the carving of
arabesques, is often preferred. These arabesques are particularly
characteristic of this transitional period. They consist of rather
slender and simple branches, allowing considerable spaces of the
background to appear; and very frequently they are divided into two
symmetrical parts about a strongly accented middle axis. There is little
relief and little projection in the composition. The details of
ornamentation are taken especially from the floral world; and, if human
figures or animals are used, they are attenuated and expressionless, and
play an unimportant rôle. Figures of this description appear in Plate V
that represents a coffer in carved wood in the Flemish style, from the
Cluny Museum, Paris. The panel in the centre represents the
_Annunciation_, rudely carved. Pilasters decorated with leaves separate
it from two niches that contain figures boldly but crudely carved. Above
the _Annunciation_ is a lock of fine workmanship, the flap of which
bears the figure of the crowned Virgin, in high relief.

Another typical coffer, or _huche_, of Flemish workmanship of the
sixteenth century appears on Plate VI. Here we have three panels
separated by caryatides. The subjects of the panels are _Christ on the
Cross_, the _Annunciation_, and the _Adoration of the Infant Jesus_. The
panels are also decorated with the heads of cherubs.

Another _huche_, or _bahut_, of the sixteenth century, of more delicate
workmanship, is shown in Plate VII. The subject of the central panel is
taken from the story of David. Allegorical figures decorate the
pilasters, and Mercury and Cybele fill the niches. This is also from
Cluny and is of French work of the sixteenth century.


  PLATE V.—_Coffer in Flemish Style._


The Renaissance was too strong a movement not to carry everything before
it; but it must not be imagined that it met with no opposition. There
were people in high places who clung obstinately to the old order of
things and resented innovations. Gothic art was still supreme under the
short rule of Mary of Burgundy; but her daughter Margaret of Austria,
Regent of the Netherlands, had to face the new ideas, and found it hard
to reconcile herself with them, notwithstanding her encouragement of the
arts as a whole. She kept a brilliant court, and she and her husband,
Philibert of Savoy, warmly encouraged genius and talent. She gathered
around her more than one hundred and fifty painters, sculptors,
architects and decorators in all branches of art.

On the death of her husband she was inconsolable; and planned a splendid
church in which his and her remains should finally rest side by side. In
1505, she intrusted the planning of the work to Jean Perréal. In an
early letter, he writes to her that he is delighted to undertake the
work, and will take advantage of all he has observed regarding convents
in Italy, where the most beautiful in all the world are to be found. In
another letter, in 1509, we read: “_Jy me suis mis après tant pour mon
devoir envers nostre Majesté que pour l’amour que je vous doy, et ay
revyré mes pour-traictures, au moins des choses antiques que j’ay eues
ès parties d’Italie, pour faire de toutes belles fleurs ung trossé
bouquet, dont j’ai monstré le jet au dict Le Maire_.”

The Flemish character of Peréal’s early style had undoubtedly made him
acceptable to the Regent. During her residence in France, from 1483 to
1493, she had then been subjected to no other than Flemish influence in
art. The Italian taste had not yet reached Paris. But Perréal crossed
the Alps with Charles VIII in 1495; Louis XII went into Italy in 1502,
and again in 1509. We are thus on the threshold of the Renaissance.
Perréal, as the above quotation shows, instead of remaining true to the
memories of his Flemish education, wanted to seek adventures in the
domain of Italian art. He had the temerity to offer to Margaret for her
tombs a bunch of his _troussés bouquets_. She was scandalized, and broke
off all relations with the erring artist. She looked around her for an
artist who conformed to the principles of Flemish art, one who would not
be likely to betray national traditions for foreign modes. Her choice
fell upon a master mason named Louis van Beughem to build the great
church of Brou. A member of one of the corporations of St. Luke,
faithful to Gothic art, van Beughem produced a work that shows that
style in its latest development and decadence. He showed so much zeal
and ability that Margaret forced him to take charge of not only the
masonry, but of the woodwork and windows too. With him were associated
John of Brussels for the decorative work, and Conrad Meyt for the
carving. Conrad of Mechlin was Margaret’s favourite “image-maker.” She
paid him the generous salary of five _sous_ a day. She paid her head
cook twenty-six. Conrad carved the choir-stalls and other woodwork that
demanded decorative treatment. He also executed all the great sculptural
work on the tombs, including the life-size figures of Philibert of
Savoy, Margaret’s dead spouse, and herself, represented both alive and
dead, Margaret of Bourbon, ten children, a couching lion and many
armorial devices.


  PLATE VI.—_Flemish Coffer or Huche._


This instance is interesting as showing that the greatest abilities in
that age were applied to the smallest matters of art as well as the
greatest. Among the objects for which Conrad was paid in 1518–19, we
find two Hercules in wood, and two portraits of the princess in wood
(for these he received eight _Philippus_ in all), a wooden turret for
the Regent’s cabinet and a carved stag’s head for her library

Margaret’s tastes are easily learned from the inventory she drew up with
her own hand of her possessions in Mechlin shortly before her death. She
seems to have cared almost exclusively for paintings, rich embroideries
and curios. She made a complete list of her pictures, many of which were
undoubtedly painted to please her by the artists of her Court. Among her
embroideries were a great number of handsome ecclesiastical vestments
and a few coifs, belts and gorgets for herself embroidered with gold
thread “_à la mode d’Espagne_.” The greater number of her tapestries,
bed-hangings, cases for cushions, table-covers and _serviettes_, etc.,
to adorn the shelves of _dressoirs_ were from Spain. Her tapestries are
worth noting. She had two pieces woven of gold, silver and silk,
representing the history of Alexander the Great, which came from Spain;
four pieces, representing the story of Esther, also of gold, silver and
silk, also from Spain; three pieces of gold and silk depicting the life
of the Cid; two of the Seven Sacraments, another of Alexander; and four
of Saint Helena. In addition to these Spanish tapestries, she had six
pieces called the “_Cité des Dames_,” presented to her by the city of
Tournay when she went there to meet the King of England.

The gift of the _Cité des Dames_ may perhaps have made some atonement
for her vexation at having to attend that splendid meeting of the King
and Emperor. She was very unwilling to go, and wrote to her father
Maximilian, on September 22, 1513, as follows:

“If you think it necessary for me to go and I can be of service to you,
I am ready to do all that it pleases you to order, but otherwise, it is
not the part of a widow woman to _trotter_ and visit armies for

She also owned seventeen rich Spanish velvet carpets. Among her
chamber-hangings, bed-hangings, and canopies were several articles made
of rich cloth of gold, bordered with crimson and embroidered with the
arms and device of the “late King of Aragon.”

She had a camp (or folding) bed with hangings of cloth of gold richly
embroidered with gold thread and silk, and a canopy for a camp bed
covered with cloth of gold and trimmed with a fringe of black silk and
gold threads; and she also owned four large pieces of cloth of gold,
each differently bordered, to decorate her throne, and also one of green
velvet. She had two curtains of green and grey tafetas, and four of
crimson tafetas, a number of pieces of cloth of gold, four hangings for
a chamber of green velvet and white damask, and two palls, one of white
silk embroidered with gold, and the other gold, green, red and white;
and the furnishing of a camp bed with canopy, counterpane and three
curtains of green tafetas lined with black. Margaret did not despise
leather hangings, for she had several pieces of “tapestry of red
morocco” each 4½ ells long and just as wide, trimmed with bands of green
brightened with gold, and three other pieces of “red morocco” with
gilded bands. These probably came from Spain.


  PLATE VII.—_Huche, or Bahut (Sixteenth Century)._


A “pavilion” of grey and yellow silk threads “as a protection against
the flies,” shows how early the mosquito net was known.

We should also note “packs for mules in the Spanish style,” covered with
cloth of gold and silver.

Among her table-covers was one of cloth of gold and white with trimmings
of crimson velvet embroidered and fringed with gold, and one of cloth of
gold with a crimson satin border.

The collection of “_serviettes_” were exquisitely embroidered with gay
coloured silks and gold threads. Some of them were trimmed with silk
borders and some with narrow fringe. One, for instance, was embroidered
with violet, and adorned with a violet fringe; another was embroidered
in silver, blue, flesh-colour, crimson and green and had a little fringe
of red, blue and gold. The two dozen beautiful cushions were of cloth of
gold with gold tassels; of gold and blue lozenges; and embroidered in
variously coloured silks.’

The choice articles in her cabinet included three fine pieces of amber;
a branch of coral in a wooden box; four other branches of coral; a piece
of coral shaped like a horn; a little silver box with two coral images;
a little _parfumador_ of silver for scent-balls; a little Spanish fan,
beautifully made; a little gilded St. George in a black leather case; a
little agate salt-cellar with a gilded foot; three spoons—one of
mother-of-pearl with a silver handle, the others of cornelian with
handles of chalcedony; a picture of St. Mark on canvas; two East India
boxes; a pair of East Indian slippers; a piece of violet silk; a little
_retable_, containing an image of Notre Dame and St. Joseph; another,
with a hawthorn in blossom; a little paradise with all the apostles
represented; a lacquer box garnished with silver; a little silver cage;
two tablets of wood framing pictures; two clocks, the larger one
striking the hours and half hours; a Saint Margaret made in the likeness
of Mlle. de Mon-Lambert; a little crying child painted by a good artist;
the Emperor’s face in black and white; the little Duke of Milan on
canvas; an Annunciation on canvas; a Saint Anthony made by Master
Jacques; a little ivory picture given to Madame by M. de Chièvres; the
face of the Duke Philip; a silver gilt picture of the Annunciation with
two leaves of porcelain, portraits of the late King Philip and Queen
Joanna, his wife; a Notre Dame in amber; a beautiful steel mirror; a
Notre Dame of alabaster; a round piece of alabaster in which a lion is
cut; and several sets of chess, of silver, silver-gilt, ivory, carved
wood, ivory and wood; a set in jasper wrapped in a flag; and a set of
chalcedony and jasper in an old painted box. She also had two
dice-boxes, one gilt and one ivory. She also owned a good deal of
curious needlework; two steel mirrors, one framed in silver gilt; and a
netted purse of green and silver, marked with a unicorn.

Margaret was by no means peculiar in her liking for sumptuous
tapestries. The walls of every palace, castle and mansion of the day
were adorned with rich hangings, and these products of the Flemish looms
were sought by prince and prelate throughout Europe.

Although Flanders continued to produce the most important sets of
tapestry during the sixteenth century, and cartoons were supplied by the
Flemish artists, Bernard van Orley, Michel Coxie and Peter of Campana,
and the French artists, Primaticcio, Matteo del Nassaro, Caron and
Lerambert, by far the greater number of designs came from Italy. Paul
Veronese, Titian, Pordenone, Salviati, A. del Sarto, Bronzino, Giovanni
da Udine, Giulio Romano and Raphael are among the most prolific
designers; and in the tapestries after their cartoons, the grouping and
distribution of the figures as well as the colouring (that requires much
more shading) differ greatly from the works of the past. The borders are
also more varied; instead of being decorated only with fruits and
flowers tied with ribbons, other motives are introduced—birds, nude
children, fishes, crustaceans, vegetables, emblems, quivers, masks,
grotesques, etc., etc.

Most of these fine sets were made in Brussels to order; but many
tapestries were made there and sold in Antwerp. If Brussels was the
workshop of Europe, Antwerp was the mart. In this city, where all kinds
of merchandise abounded, Guicciardini informs us that more than a
thousand foreign merchants had established themselves and exhibited for
sale to the eyes of purchasers the fine tapestries made in Brussels.
There was a special place, “Le Pand, _halle aux tapisseries_, where many
beautiful and marvellous inventions and works were exhibited and sold.”

Regarding the Brussels tapestries, the same old traveller tells us:

“Especially admirable and yielding great profit, is the trade of the
tapestry-makers, who weave, design and warp pieces in high warp in silk,
gold and silver, at great expense, and with an industry that wins
everybody’s admiration and wonder.”

During the sixteenth century, the looms of Flanders enjoyed great vogue
and received orders from all the princes of Europe. When the merchants
of Florence wished to enrich the Church of St. John with tapestry, they
sent to Flanders; when Francis I, who possessed some magnificent pieces
of Flemish tapestry, wanted to make a present to the Pope, he had twelve
scenes from the _Life of Christ_ made at Arras, from cartoons by
Raphael; and from 1518–39 there are many entries in the accounts of the
Treasury of France for sums paid for Flemish tapestries for the King. As
there was no manufactory for high-warp tapestry in France, Francis I
decided to establish one in Fontainebleau in 1539, and gathered there
fifteen skilled Flemish workmen whom he placed under the direction of
Philibert Babou, Sieur de la Bourdaizière, and Sebastian Serlio, the
Italian architect.

Throughout the Renaissance, tapestry was regarded on a level with
painting. The Pope, the Doges of Venice and the wealthy families—the
D’Estes, the Medicis and Sforzas—made superb collections and decorated
their halls with splendid hangings. The greater number of these were
made in Flanders, although a few lords—the D’Estes and Sforzas, for
example—had looms of their own, worked by Flemings.

Subjects from mythology, the Scriptures and martyrology are still
popular, but scenes from the old romances of chivalry are banished.
Valiant princes and prosperous cities make use of the weaver’s art to
commemorate their victories and triumphs, and many gorgeous sets
depicting current events are hung in mansions, villas, and town halls.
Antwerp, for example, orders _The Course of the Scheldt_ for her Town
Hall. Flanders also makes such pieces as _The Hunts of Maximilian_,
_Battle of Pavia_, _Victories of the Duke of Alva_, _Destruction of the
Armada_, _The Deliverance of Leyden in 1574_, _The Defeat of the
Spaniards by the Zealanders_, _Genealogy of the Princes of Nassau_, etc.

Brussels produced the famous set of ten, _The Acts of the Apostles_,
ordered by Leo X in 1515. The cartoons, for which Raphael received 100
ducats each (£200), were sent to Peter van Aelst, the most noted
tapestry-worker in Flanders. The Pope paid him 15,000 gold ducats
(£30,000) for the set. Peter van Aelst was _varlet de chambre_ and
weaver to Philippe le Beau, in 1504, and later to his son, Charles V.
Bernard van Orley, a pupil of Raphael, was associated with him in the
production of _The Acts of the Apostles_, which were hung in the Sistine
Chapel, December 26, 1519. In 1549, Vasari wrote of them: “One is
astonished at the sight of this series; its execution is marvellous. One
can hardly imagine how it was possible, with simple threads, to produce
such delicacy in the hair and beards, and to express the suppleness of
flesh. It is a work more Godlike than human; the waters, the animals and
the habitations are so perfectly represented that they appear painted
with a brush and not woven.”

Another beautiful set, _The Loves of Vertumnus and Pomona_, now in
Madrid, was also made by Flemish weavers from Italian cartoons; and were
bought by Charles V in Antwerp, before 1546.

Bernard van Orley designed _The Grand Hunts of Guise, or of Maximilian_,
formerly attributed to Dürer. In these realistic pictures of costume,
landscape and national types, there is a return to the Flemish disregard
for perspective and grouping.

Mention should be made of the famous _Lucas Months_, long believed to be
the work of Lucas van Leyden, but certainly by a Flemish artist. These
were frequently copied at the Gobelins. In the month “January” a superb
sideboard is represented.

A very celebrated tapestry-worker, William de Pannemaker, was
commissioned by Charles V to weave _The Conquest of Tunis_, the cartoons
for which were made by Jan Vermay, or Vermeyen, of Beverwyck, near
Haarlem. Although eighty-four workers were employed, it took five years
to complete it.

Pannemaker also made _The Victories of the Duke of Alva_.

What the principal centres of tapestry were, we learn from an edict of
Charles V, in 1544, that says: “It is forbidden to manufacture
tapestries outside of Brussels, Louvain, Antwerp, Bruges, Oudenarde,
Alost, Enghien, Binche, Ath, Lille, Tournay and other free towns, where
the craft is organized and regulated by ordinances.”

Holland also produced tapestry in this century. Looms were set up in
Middelburg in 1562; and later in Delft, where Franz Spierinck worked.

A little tapestry was produced in Italy, but even there the greater
number of weavers were Flemings. Two Flemish tapestry-workers, Nicholas
and John Karcher, were employed by the Duke d’Este, at his court in
Ferrara; and Cosmo I employed Nicholas Karcher and John Rost of Brussels
at his establishment, the “_Arazzeria Medicea_,” in Florence.

The store-rooms of royalty and nobles in England were filled with superb
sets that were brought out for decoration on occasions. Most of these
were imported from the Continent; but towards the end of Henry VIII’s
reign, William Sheldon orders one Robert Hicks to make maps of Oxford,
Worcester, Gloucester and Warwick counties at his manor in Warwickshire,
and calls Hicks “the only auteur and beginner of tapestry and arras
within this realm.”

Returning now to the consideration of furniture as an architectural
accessory, we find that Margaret of Austria’s tastes were shared by many
of her contemporaries. The Gothic style lingered here and there far into
the sixteenth century, and even those whose sympathies were frankly in
favour of the Renaissance did not entirely cast away Gothic traditions.
(_See_ Plate X.)

For example, let the student examine the beautiful choir of St. Gertrude
in Louvain. The stalls are adorned with statuettes and twenty-eight
reliefs of scenes from the lives of Our Lord, of St. Augustine, and of
the patron saint, Gertrude. The ornamentation recalls the last days of
the Gothic style. The work ranks among the finest examples of
wood-carving in Belgium. It was executed by Mathias de Waydere, of
Brussels in 1550.

Mechlin was the capital of the Netherlands while Margaret was Regent.
Her palace, now the _Palais de Justice_, shows both the old and new
styles. The older parts date from 1507, and were built in the late
Gothic style by Rombout Keldermans. Before the palace was finished, in
1517, a French architect, Guyot de Beaugrant, was associated with
Rombout in the work. This part of the palace is the oldest Renaissance
building in Belgium.

It is somewhat puzzling to reconcile Margaret’s preference for Gothic
art with the fact that her own palace shows a halting between two
opinions. It may be that she merely drew the line between civil and
ecclesiastical edifices, and would welcome in a palace, or town hall,
decorations that she would exclude from a church.

Oudenarde, the birthplace of Margaret’s grandniece, who was also to be
Regent of the Netherlands, contains work that marks this transitional
period. The doorway of the Council Chamber in the Town Hall is a
splendid piece of Renaissance wood-carving, executed by Paul van
Schelden in 1531; and a fine chimney-piece carved in the Flamboyant
style only two years earlier. Another late Gothic chimney-piece, by his
brother Peter, is in the _Salle des Pas Perdus_.

Guyot de Beaugrant was the architect who executed the most famous and
important monument of this period. This is the chimney-piece of the
_Palais de Justice_ at Bruges. Of all the productions of this kind that
the sixteenth century has bequeathed to us, and they are numerous, none
is more remarkable, either for its dimensions or the beauty of the work.
Its general effect is imposing, and its masses are distributed with that
feeling for effect that reveals the man of genius.

The lower part is of black marble with four reliefs in white marble on
the frieze, representing the story of Susanna and the Elders. The
painter, Lancelot Blondeel of Bruges, supplied the designs for the upper
part, which is of carved oak. The statues represent Charles V as Count
of Flanders, Mary of Burgundy and her spouse, Maximilian, Ferdinand of
Aragon and Isabella of Castile, all ancestors of Charles. Busts of his
parents, Philip and Joanna, adorn the throne; and on two small
medallions are Margaret herself and Launoy the commander at Pavia.

As for the details, pilaster, figurines, bas-reliefs, shields,
medallions, trophies of arms, etc., everything is of incomparable
finish, and the art of wood-carving has never been so boldly pushed to
its uttermost expression. This occupies nearly the entire side of the
Court Room and was made in memory of the Battle of Pavia and the Peace
of Cambrai, by which the independence of Flanders was recognized. This
masterpiece was begun in 1529; it was completed in 1530, the year of
Margaret’s death.

Lancelot Blondeel, of Poperinghe, was essentially a painter of the
transition period. He was a man of most extraordinary gifts, being at
the same time a painter, sculptor, mason and engineer. Besides painting,
he designed several masterpieces of sculpture in addition to this
celebrated _Cheminée du Franc_. He was also a wood-engraver, and made
drawings for the glass painters and tapestry-workers. In 1546, moreover,
he submitted plans to the magistracy of Bruges for a canal to connect
that city with the sea. He gave his daughter in marriage to Peter
Pourbus, the last of the great painters of the school of Bruges. Pourbus
was as versatile as his father-in-law, and was intrusted by the city
with the organization of public festivals and rejoicings. He dabbled a
little in architecture, engineering and cartography.

Works of the early Renaissance are rarer in Holland than in Flanders;
but Holland possesses one of the most remarkable carvings of the
sixteenth century, the stalls of the Groote Kerk in Dordrecht done by
Jan Terween Aertsz, of Antwerp, in 1538–42. Four years only were
required to carve this great allegory. These stalls, of magnificent
proportions, are divided into two sections: one, at the side of the
altar, consists of thirty stalls in two tiers. This is the most richly
treated, being intended for the clergy. The sides on the passageways are
most elaborately carved. The second section is much simpler and has no
separate seats. It is intended for the choristers. No work in the Low
Countries surpasses this. The spectator is first attracted by the superb
construction and handsome outlines, but it is only when the details are
examined that the work is fully appreciated. The dazzled eye notes such
a profusion of ornamental figures and motives that it would be hard to
find their equal. The only carvings in the Netherlands that can be
compared with them are the choir-stalls in the cathedral at Ypres, made
in 1598, but these have not quite the same distinction in execution. The
first carvings one notes are the friezes in relief above the seats and
under the graceful little columns that adorn the back. The subjects of
these bas-reliefs are the _Triumph of Christ_; the _Triumph of the
Eucharist_; _Scenes from the Old and New Testament_; the _Triumphal
Procession of Mutius Scaevola_; and the _Triumphal Entry of Charles V in
Dordrecht_, on July 21, 1540. The cycle of the Triumph of Christ opens
with two archangels with trumpets, announcing the King of Kings; then
follow Adam and Eve, Noah with the Ark, Moses with the Tables of the
Law, Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, David with his harp, Jonah,
Samson with the lion, Elias and John the Baptist—all prototypes of
Christ. Then come the twelve apostles with palm branches, and Christ in
a triumphal car, decorated with dragons’ heads and richly ornamented
with the symbols of the Cross and dove, and drawn by symbols
personifying the four Evangelists. Chained to Christ’s car is Death,
accompanied by the monster Sin, swallowed by the colossal open jaws of
Hell, in which the Devil is seen riding. Lastly, come Mary and the four
saints, Catherine, Barbara, Lawrence and Christopher.

The _Triumph of the Eucharist_ opens with choristers and other children
singing, followed by Franciscan monks, nuns, canons, deacons, deans, the
Fathers of the Church—Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose and Gregory, then the
Church in a triumphal chariot with the Holy Sacrament, then the Pope,
cardinals and bishops. The procession of Mutius Scaevola is, of course,
Roman in character, and consists, likewise, of eight panels. The
_Triumph of Charles V_ resembles in some respects the Triumph of
Maximilian by Dürer (Dürer visited the Low Countries in 1520). Two
cavaliers with trumpets open the march and are followed by three others;
then comes a grandee of Spain with the orb of the Empire, his horse led
by pages. Other grandees follow, then the imperial train, guided by
allegorical virgins, and the Emperor, seated under a baldaquin in a
richly-decorated chariot, with the palm of peace in his left, and the
sceptre in his right hand. The sword and orb of state lie at his feet.

Some of the terminal figures on the ends of the stalls are very fine,
particularly Matthew, Luke, David, Solomon and Daniel in the lions’ den.
The heads and busts that are developed out of the foliage are of
exceptional interest. The _miséricordes_ (seats) are decorated with
humorous and Biblical scenes. The luxuriant foliage that forms no little
part of the ornamentation is in the style of the first Italian
Renaissance and in many places is mingled with musical instruments,
heads, fruits, figurines, children and coats-of-arms.

Terween is supposed to have been born in Dordrecht, in 1511. He died in
1598. For other Gothic carved work during the early Renaissance the
student may go to the Groote Kerk of Haarlem. This is also especially
interesting on account of its transitional features; for while the
magnificent choir-stalls and rood-screen still retain the Gothic
character (the screen was erected in 1540 by Diderik Sybrandszoon, of
Mechlin, and bears several municipal coats-of-arms), the side railings
of the inner choir are in the style of the early Renaissance. A
remarkable example of Mediaeval carved oak, called the “_H. Geest
Stoel_,” is also preserved in this church.

The church of St. Nicolas, at Dixmuiden, also contains a splendid
rood-loft carved in the richest Flamboyant style, dating from about

The Gothic period, therefore, practically ended at the close of the
fifteenth century. The Renaissance restored Greek and Latin taste. In
furniture, it followed the forms and ornaments of architecture, as the
Gothic had done; so that now, instead of pointed arches with trefoils,
quatrefoils, or flamboyant tracery, we have pediments and various Orders
with their columns, capitals, arcades and superpositions of colonnades.

After the transitional period, during which the Decorative Arts freed
themselves from the domination of ecclesiastical influence and acquired
individuality of form, we find a rapid development during the sixteenth
century. The Renaissance quickly passed through its stages of growth in
the styles of Louis XII and François I, and burst into full bloom in the
Henri II style.

Before the invasion of the new school, Gothic tracery quickly
disappears; and with all the wealth of decoration, cartouches, mascarons
of gods, heroes, nymphs, etc., in order to produce the proper effect and
the correct massing of details, it becomes necessary to submit furniture
to the rules of Classic architecture; and furniture, therefore, breaks
with all traditions of the past and becomes a special art. New tools,
new methods, and a new technique are invented. Walnut becomes the
fashionable wood, and to follow the taste of the day the Flemings
forsake their much-loved oak. Nearly all the great pieces of the
Burgundian school of this period are carved in this wood.

After slight hesitation, Flanders welcomed the Renaissance with open
arms. Like the Venetian, the Fleming was artistic and commercial at the
same time, and thoroughly understood how to turn his talents into
profit. He scented a new fashion as soon as it made its appearance,
assimilated it and added a touch or two of his own. The Renaissance
found in Flanders, moreover, as we have seen, a ground already prepared
by the princes of the House of Burgundy. Skilful engravers provided the
studios with models and designs, wood-carvers multiplied to embellish
the palace and church, town-halls and guild-houses, castle of the lord
and home of the burgher and merchant.

The great artists of the period were extraordinarily versatile: they
were architects, sculptors, painters, glass-painters, goldsmiths,
designers for furniture and triumphal arches, machinists, historians,
engravers, numismatologists, and sometimes geographers and poets all at
once; and a talent for art always seemed to run through all the members
of one family through several generations, including both men and women.


  PLATE VIII.—_Cabinet (Sixteenth Century)._

They had great intellects that were equal to every conception, and their
skilful hands were capable of the most minute as well as the most
important work. If the Renaissance produced so many original works, the
cause must be sought in the complete education of the masters of this
remarkable period. The artists of the Low Countries knew how to
assimilate in the most complete fashion the artistic principles of other
schools; but although drawing inspiration from foreign sources they knew
how to imprint on their creations a particular cachet, which
distinguishes Flemish work. They used to great advantage the colour of
the material, the exigences of the climate and produced picturesque

The Fleming was the traveller _par excellence_ of the Renaissance—
sculptor, cabinet-maker, painter, architect, potter, weaver, goldsmith—
we find him everywhere. He even reaches Hungary, Russia and Turkey.
Spain he finds a congenial soil, and also England.

Although Burgundy resisted the Italian invasion for a time, the
Renaissance was destined to reach, perhaps, its most brilliant
development, after Italy, in this very province. It is generally
conceded that the Burgundian style owes its character to Hughes Sambin,
an architect and master carpenter, born about the beginning of the
sixteenth century. In 1535, he finished the porch of St. Michel’s in
Dijon, and in 1572, published in Lyons, after a period of study in
Michael Angelo’s studio, a book filled with wood engravings, and
entitled _Oeuvres de la diversité des termes dont on se sert en
architecture, réduit en ordre par Maistre Hughes Sambin, architecteur en
la ville de Dijon_.

Sambin’s most important work is the _Palais de Justice_ in Dijon, where
there is a very beautiful wooden door carved by him, or under his
direction, and the _Salle des Procurateurs_, built under Henri II, the
ceiling of which is carved wood. Sambin’s book shows that he was an
adept in the Renaissance style, and devoted to the study of antique
monuments. Regarding him, Champeaux says:

“In truth, it is the taste for caryatides and grotesque figures
surrounded by garlands, and supporting broken pediments that predominate
in all his compositions. The result is a certain character of heaviness
and _bizarrerie_ that is more conspicuous in the buildings contributed
by him than in his furniture, for the material of the latter, less cold
than stone, allows more scope to the original fantasy of the artist. The
furniture inspired by Sambin’s designs does not exhibit the ponderous
grace of the _armoires_ and _buffets_ made in Paris; the lines are not
traced with the same tasteful harmony; but it must be recognized that no
school equals the vigour and the dramatic expression of the Burgundian
artists of this period. The figures of the caryatides and chimerical
animals that support the various parts of their furniture and conceal
the uprights, are animated with a brutal energy that only skilful
chisels can create. Moreover, the walnut wood of which they are carved
has been clothed with a warm tone that sometimes equals that of
Florentine bronzes.”


  PLATE IX.—_Armoire, Burgundian School._

A fine example of the Burgundian school appears on Plate IX. This is an
_armoire_ showing fine and bold carving with Renaissance motives. The
panels of the lower drawers are carved with grotesque figures, flanked
by pilasters bearing caryatides. The drawers above them are furnished
with keyholes. The upper section has a large central panel with a
terminal figure in the centre, the head of which forms a fine ornament
between the broken pediment. On either side are terminal figures. This
beautiful _armoire_ resembles in form the “court cupboard” that was so
extensively used in England at this period.

Many of the great artists of the day went to Italy to study on the spot,
but it would seem that the works of Sebastian Serlio were in high
repute, and were closely studied in the Low Countries. Guicciardini, who
wrote in 1588, tells us that “Peter Coucq of Alost was great in cartoons
or designs for tapestry; and has the peculiar praise of first bringing
from Italy the canon of architecture, and translated into Flemish the
work of Sebastian Serlio of Bologna, to the great advantage of the

Peter Coeck was born in Alost in 1502, and died in Brussels in 1550. He
was a devoted follower of Serlio. He translated his works into French
and Flemish, and engraved all the plates for this publication himself.
These were issued in Antwerp: parts I-III in 1516, part IV in 1539, and
part V was published by his widow in 1553.

Coeck was painter to Charles V, and to his sister, Mary of Austria,
Queen of Hungary (born in Brussels in 1503), to whom Charles V gave the
government of the Low Countries. In her the arts and sciences found as
enthusiastic a patron as they had in her aunt Margaret of Austria. Just
as the latter had had her favourite painters in van Orley and Jean
Mostaert, so she chose Peter Coeck for hers.

Coeck achieved great fame in the remarkable triumphal arches which he
designed for the joyous entrance of Philip II into Antwerp. In 1527, he
was made master of the Guild of St. Luke. Thierry de Moelenere intrusted
him with the decoration of his rich house in Antwerp, in which he
displayed his knowledge as architect, painter and sculptor. Some of the
caryatides from this house are now preserved in the Steen Museum. A
superb mantelpiece with three tiers of subjects carved by his hand is in
the Town Hall of Antwerp.

Coeck also executed a window for the Church of Notre Dame in Antwerp.

Among his pupils were the painters, Pierre Clays, Gilles de la Hee,
Nicholas van Nieucasteel, surnamed Nicholas Lucidel, and Pierre Breugel
the Elder (who married his daughter).

Lambert Lombard (1506–66), went to Italy in 1537. He returned to Liège
in 1539. He was a painter, and more particularly an architect. He set up
a school of painting and engraving, the first of its kind there. Three
of his pupils brought great honour to his school: these were Francis
Floris, called the “Flemish Raphael,” William Key and Hubert Goltzius.
He worked very little himself beyond designs for engravers, and more
often for paintings on glass. He was rich enough to indulge his taste
for objects of antiquity. It was at this date that the study of
numismatics came into existence in Belgium, and learned men took delight
in setting up a cabinet of medals and coins: among the wealthy it became
even a mania that was carried to extremes. Lombard’s collection, the
beauty of which was praised by all his contemporaries, was composed of
medals, coins, carvings, and other objects of high antiquity.

Hubert (or Hugo) Goltius (or Goltz), was a painter, engraver,
numismatologist and historian. He was born at Venlo in 1526 and died in
1583. He studied under Lambert Lombard and was also influenced by
Erasmus’ friend, van Watervliet, who guided him in his classic studies,
Greek and Roman antiquities, etc.

Goltius visited all the great towns in Belgium, Holland, Germany, France
and Italy, in order to examine the cabinets of collectors for material
for his book on coins. His itinerary reveals an astonishing number of
collectors of coins and medals.

Goltius made the decorations in Antwerp for the fêtes of the Golden
Fleece. He was also appointed historian to Philip II.

A marriage coffer of leather, designed by him, represented the King of
Spain and Margaret of Austria standing beside the Fountain of Love.

The craze for medals, coins and curios during the sixteenth century was
widespread. We have seen that the Regent had a coffer full of corals and
various trifles. To meet the demand for housing curios, the cabinet was
developed. This was usually a double chest, the upper one smaller than
the other. Both closed with doors and contained drawers and shelves.

Like almost all the pieces of furniture called “cabinets” of the
sixteenth and seventeenth century, the one reproduced on Plate VIII is
in two parts, the upper being smaller than, and standing back on the top
of, the lower. It is carved in walnut wood, enriched with sculptures,
and here and there plaques of marble are set in order to relieve the
monotony resulting from the sole use of wood. Stone of various colours
was largely used at this period, as an inlay for furniture in the
Netherlands and France, and more especially in Germany.

The principal fault with which the Flemish artists of the period are
reproached is that of “painting the lily.” They frequently are lacking
in restraint, and overcharge their surfaces with riot of ill-combined
mouldings and carvings; but in this specimen we have fine restraint. Its
structure and general disposition are strong and well-contrived; the
mouldings have a good profile; the sculpture is in the right place, and,
at the same time, is subordinated to the lines whose mission is to
contain and quiet it. This piece belongs to the best school of the
Renaissance, and will hold its own in almost any surroundings.

In the lower part of this cabinet, the two panels that form the doors
are carved with the figures of Diana and Juno with their attributes. The
drawers above are decorated also: the central one has a lion’s head, to
which a ring is suspended, and the two others have a simple knob. In the
panels of the upper doors, Paris is presenting the golden apple to
Venus, whose beauty has outshone that of her rivals. A garland of fruits
with a mascaron in the centre is above this, and the whole is topped by
a broken pediment framing an armed Pallas.

If we cast a glance at Italian furniture, we shall see that the French
and Flemish artists at first frankly copied what they had seen when they
accompanied the three expeditions to Naples.

In the sixteenth, as in the preceding century, the Italians were
particularly fond of the Roman triumphal arch and sarcophagus, as forms
for furniture. The Classic Orders were in great vogue, and the arabesque
and candelabra-shaped pilasters, introduced so long ago into decoration,
were renewed and made popular by Raphael. To the ancient style of
marquetry, composed of little geometrically-cut cubes of natural wood,
there succeeded a marquetry of coloured woods arranged to form actual
pictures with perspective. Some of the furniture was carved, and then
painted, or gilded; but other furniture shows large surfaces that are
decorated with beautiful oil paintings.

The Italian furniture was particularly _da pompa_, made for the
adornment of long galleries, enriched with paintings, gildings,
tapestries, velvets, damasks, brocades, cushions, curtains, mirrors, and
sumptuous _cassoni_. Beds, chairs, tables, cabinets, mirror and picture
frames, standing candelabra, bellows, coffers, chests, seats and buffets
(_credenza_), are of the most luxurious nature; and the latter display
magnificent gold and silver work (Cellini is busy at this period), and
marvellous examples of faïence; for, be it remembered, it is also the
period of Luca della Robbia and his school.

The Italians cared little or nothing for the large chimney-pieces, so
dear to the northern races in their colder climate; and the great seats
by the fireside have also no attractions. The Italian has no oak, nor
half-timbered houses with pointed gables without and heavy beams within:
his woods are walnut, pine and chestnut for ordinary furniture, and
ebony, cedar and cypress for his luxurious articles. His materials, like
his taste, are more decorative than practical.

Such was the taste that invaded the Low Countries during the
Renaissance; much of it brought home by the Flemish artists who visited
Italy; and some of it coming into the country by way of France, where
Serlio was the guiding spirit, Cellini had settled, and the school of
Fontainebleau was in full blast.

The characteristic feature of Renaissance furniture consists in the
monumental façade that is like a Roman temple, and various orders of
Classic architecture are superimposed: it is Doric at the base; Doric in
the centre; and Corinthian at the top. The whole is surmounted by a
pediment, the triangle of which is broken in the centre to receive a
bust, vase or statuette. (_See_ Plate VIII.)

The projections stand out boldly and form sharp cornices. In the panels,
in the supports and between the columns, niches are cut out and framed
in an architectural motive of some kind. In them are figures of heroes
or classic deities. Sometimes also there are round medallions in the
form of dormer windows from which curious heads with outstretched necks
peer forth.


  PLATE X.—_Bedroom, by De Vries “Cubiculum.”_

Ornate pieces of furniture exhibit a whole world of real or imaginary
beings, mingled with garlands of fruits, or flowers, and ribbons. Often
the figures are fantastically developed out of the leaves and floral
branches. The favourite decorative motives are antique columns,
pediments, broken pediments, terms, garlands, pagan deities, classical
heroes, caryatides, grotesque figures, initial letters smothered in
branches of foliage, cartouches, pilasters and arabesques. Gothic
perforations are also used, although they are more geometrical than
during the preceding period. (_See_ Plate X.) The favourite linen-fold
pattern dies very hard. Strips of leather called “_cuirs_,” variously
folded and plaited, enjoy a great vogue. (_See_ panel on Plates XXI and
XX). The _encoinçon_ (_see_ Figs. 17 and 18) is also popular; and the
“_compartiment_” appears in hundreds of designs. The compartment ceiling
is a favourite room decoration, and is often ornamented with roses,
brackets, floral designs and monograms. A compartment ceiling of
intricate design appears in Plate XXIV.

The arabesque, which so often forms a central motive, is usually in the
form of a flower stem, a knot of ribbon or a candelabra, symmetrically
arranged with branches to right and left, and charged with trophies,
vases, fantastic beings, animals, etc., at the caprice of the artist.
These delicate ornaments flourish in the panels, mingling with the horn
of plenty, bold sirens, and medallions of antique heroes in high relief.

The arabesque was beautifully treated by many artists, but the most
successful were Marc Gerard, a celebrated painter, sculptor and
architect of Bruges, and Lucas van Leyden whose style of treating
arabesques follows Albrecht Dürer. Examples of Lucas van Leyden appear
in Figs. 10, 11 and 12.

The pilaster is a decorative necessity of the upright, marking the
division of the façades, or accenting the uprights of the chests,
chairs, _dressoirs_, etc.

The cartouche (Italian _cartoccio_) scrolled paper, is generally
composed of a frame made of mouldings, or scrolls, enclosing a plain,
convex, or concave space, of regular or irregular form intended for an
inscription, coat of arms, cypher, etc. Vredemann de Vries and Theodore
de Bry decorate their cartouches with swags of fruits, which were copied
by Gerrit Hessels, a Dutch engraver whose compositions mark the
transition between those artists and Crispin de Passe, Francouart and
the school of Rubens. One of the peculiar features of the cartouche of
the sixteenth century is the use of motives composed of strips of
leather twisted, and variously decorated. Vredemann de Vries calls these
“Compartments” in his well-known _Multarum variarumque protractionum
(compartimenta vulgus pictorum vocat) libellus utilissimus, jam recens
delineatus per Johannem Vreedemanum, Frisium Gerardus Judaeus
exculpebat_ (Antwerp MDLV).

This peculiar style of leather ornamentation known as _cuirs_, and
consisting of strips interlaced in so many forms, is a much loved
decoration of the Flemish school. A notable collection of _cuirs_ was
published by Jerome Cock, the printer-engraver, in Antwerp, his native

Among the favourite decorations is the banderole, the floating ribbon or
streamer which had been much used during the Middle Ages. It was used in
great variety by many artists during the Renaissance.

The peculiar form of caryatid called _gaîne_ or _terme_, a species of
support, is also extremely popular. It is used by Peter Coeck of Alost,
in most of his compositions; and by his pupil Vredemann de Vries, who
composed a special collection of _Caryatides ou termes_.


  PLATE XI.—_Flemish Bedstead_ (1580).

  Figs. 10–12: Designs by LUCAS VAN LEYDEN; Figs. 13–16: Designs by A.
    CLACES; Figs. 17–18: ÉCOINÇON, by DE VRIES.

In studying the furniture of the early Renaissance, the works of the
masters of design are most important aids. Before 1500, as we have seen,
publications of purely decorative design, and even of architecture as a
whole, are exceedingly scarce. From the opening of the sixteenth
century, however, such publications rapidly multiply. Interior
decorators who used the chisel in panel and pillar, and the contemporary
joiners and cabinet-makers decorated their surfaces with details and
motives taken from the Italians, and from the designs of native
goldsmiths, engravers, painters and architects. As we have seen, it was
no uncommon thing for one individual to be an adept in all these

Therefore, the decorations of the designers of the early Renaissance
have a special interest for us when we want to see what motives
supplanted Gothic tracery, Biblical scenes and angels on carved chests,
_credences_, _armoires_, beds and seats.

The first decorative designers who adopted the style of the Renaissance
were Alaert Claas, Lucas van Leyden and Cornelis Bos. Claas (painter and
engraver) worked in Utrecht from 1520 to 1555. Lucas van Leyden (painter
and engraver), whose family name was Damesz, was born in Leyden in 1494
and died in 1533. Cornelis Bos (glass painter, architect and engraver),
was born in Bois-le-Duc about 1510. He worked in Rome and was famous
from 1530 to 1560. Another artist and engraver who belonged to the same
school of decorative art was Martin van Heemskerck (1494–1574). He
worked and died in Haarlem.

A mascaron with typical floral scroll-work dated 1523, the work of Lucas
van Leyden, appears in Fig. 10. Another decorative composition with
grotesque sirens and floral scrolls in Fig. 11, also by the same master,
is dated 1528. A third and very graceful design of the same date by
Lucas van Leyden is shown in Fig. 12. Decorations for panels, or other
flat surfaces in wood, stone or goldsmith’s work are represented in
Figs. 13 and 14 and Figs. 15 and 16; these are by Alaert Claas (or

                               CHAPTER IV
                        THE RENAISSANCE: PART II

  Second Period of the Renaissance—Court of Mary of Hungary—Charles V a
      Fleming—Influence of Burgundian Court in Spain—Gilded Leather—
      Wealth of the Nobles in the Netherlands—Margaret of Valois at
      Namur—Antwerp in the Sixteenth Century—Christopher Plantin—
      Cornelius and James Floris—Jerome Cock—Hans and Paul de Vries—
      Jacques van Noye—Famous Designers—Characteristics of the Second
      Period of the Renaissance—Bedsteads, Tables and Chairs, Armoires,
      Cabinets and Chests—Porcelain, Glass and Glass Cupboards—Windows
      and Glass-painters—Guicciardini on the Artists of the Low
      Countries—Paul de Vries—Crispin de Passe the Elder—the Collaerts—
      Wood-carving—Music and Musical Instruments.

The first half of the sixteenth century in western Europe was completely
filled with the ambitions, intrigues and wars of three powerful
sovereigns—Charles V, Francis I and Henry VIII. Each of these was a
chivalrous and luxurious monarch, devoted to the arts, science and
literature. At their courts, the Renaissance received every
encouragement; and at their death, half-way through the century, the
Renaissance is generally regarded as entering on its second period.
Henry and Francis both died in 1547, and Charles in 1558.

On the death of Margaret of Austria in 1530, Charles had intrusted the
government of his Burgundian inheritance to his sister, Mary of Hungary.
She was as liberal a patron of the arts as her aunt Margaret had been.
She kept a splendid court, and was entirely in sympathy with the new
school. The artists who were struggling against foreign influence could
not look to Mary for support. The stream of Flemish pilgrims to Rome was
constantly broadening; and the Romanists under her Regency gained
disciples daily in Brussels, Mechlin, Liège and Antwerp.

At this period, the Low Countries bowed to no foreign authority in the
art domain except the Italian. It must be borne in mind that Charles was
a prince of the House of Burgundy, who had been brought up by his aunt,
the daughter of the heiress of Burgundy, and the Emperor of Austria. He
was a Fleming by birth and training. He was born at Ghent in 1500, and
spent the first sixteen years of his life in the Netherlands. His pride
in his natal town is well known. It is recorded in his famous pun—that
he could put the whole of Paris in his _Gant_ (glove). Spanish
influence, therefore, did not affect the studios and workshops of the
Flemish hives of industry till late in the century; for when Charles
went to Spain, his train was full of Flemings, who influenced Spanish
art; but we find no return influx of Spaniards to modify Flemish art.
The splendid traditions of the Court of Burgundy still dominated in the
Low Countries; and its unbending formality survives in Spain to-day.
When Philip II joined his father Charles V in Brussels in 1548, his
natural inclination led him readily to adopt the multitudinous equipage
and minute and pompous etiquette of his Burgundian ancestors; all this
he retained and transmitted to his descendants. Till the end of the
century, the Flemish Renaissance was a domestic development of purely
Italian inspiration. The principal things that the Netherlands obtained
from the Iberian peninsula were ornamental leather and Oriental wares,
through Lisbon.

The Renaissance gave a great impetus to gilded leathers, the manufacture
of which was still flourishing at Cordova and increasing in the
Netherlands. It would seem that workmen emigrated from Spain to other
countries. Tomaso Gazoni in his _Piazza universale_ (1560) writes
regarding gilded leather: “Some people think that the origin of this
noble work is due to Spain, because from that country come the best
masters of modern times who have obtained the greatest renown in this
kind of work.” A native of Cordova, Ambrosio Morales, writing in 1575,
says: “This manufacture brings much wealth to the town, and also gives a
fine appearance to its principal streets. In truth, when these stamped,
painted and gilded leathers are spread out on large tables to dry in the
sun they make a beautiful sight, for the streets are adorned with the
greatest splendour and variety.”

The inventories of the period show us how important was the use of
leather. Margaret of Austria has at Mechlin in 1527 several pieces of
“_tapisserie de marroquin_,” as we have noted.

The gilded leather was often called _or bazané_ and regarded as a mark
of opulence. For instance, Pierre Binard, a tapestry-worker and author
of a collection of _Noëls_, dedicated to Marguerite, wife of Henri IV,
says in one of his verses:

                   Au moins est-elle bien coëffée
                     De fins rézeaux?
                   Et sa couche est-elle estoffée
                     De beaux rideaux?
                   Son ciel n’est-il pas de brodeure
                     Tout campané?
                   N’a-t-il pas aussi pour bordeure
                     L’or bazané?

The nobles vied with royalty in luxury, and the beautiful tapestries,
furniture, gold and silver work, enamels, etc., found ready sale. Such
magnificent homes as the Counts of Egmont excited the anger of the
populace; and those of many successful artists and rich merchants were
hardly inferior.

The clergy did not suffer either. Granvelle, for example, made Bishop of
Arras, and chief adviser to Philip II in all the affairs of the
Netherlands, had a magnificent establishment. His furniture, tapestry
and other personalty amounted to no less than £50,000.

Contemporary travellers are constantly speaking of the startling
splendours they encountered in the Low Countries. When Marguerite of
Valois, Queen of Navarre, who was certainly used to splendour, went to
Spa in 1577, with the excuse to drink the waters, but really to intrigue
in Hainault so as to advance the interests of her brother, the Duke
d’Alençon, in the Netherlands, she was received at Namur by Don Juan of
Austria. When this gallant escort, who rode by her litter, escorted the
Queen to her lodgings, she was “astonished at the magnificence of the
apartments.”[3] A superb hall gorgeously furnished led into a series of
chambers. The bedroom and bed prepared for the Queen were hung with
superb tapestries, which, appropriately enough, represented the Battle
of Lepanto.

Footnote 3:

  _Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois._

Antwerp now becomes the centre of commerce, and the town expressed so
much wealth and was so crowded with ships that when the Ambassador from
Venice, Marino Cavalli, landed on the Scheldt, in 1551, he exclaimed in
amazement: “Venice is surpassed!” In 1567, Guicciardini wrote: “One word
alone can define the number of trades exercised in Antwerp; it is the
word _all_!”

In 1560, Antwerp numbered three hundred and sixty painters and
sculptors: artists and decorators flocked thither, and many new
industries were likewise attracted; for instance, Piccol Passo of Urbino
established a factory for Italian majolica; Amould van Ort of Nimeguen,
the celebrated stained-glass maker, transplanted his workshops; Jahn de
Lame of Cremona, Murano glass; and Christopher Plantin of Tours
(1514–89), his printing-presses, from which so many books of decorative
design were issued. He settled in Antwerp in 1549; but from 1576 to the
present day, the business has been conducted in the house known as the
Musée Plantin-Moretus, in the Marché du Vendredi. Plantin’s son-in-law
Moretus or Moerentorf, succeeded him. In 1876, this house, with its
antique furniture, pictures, tapestries and other collections, was
bought by the city of Antwerp for a Museum. The greater part of the
furniture, staircases, mantelpieces, etc., date from the seventeenth
century; but despite this fact and many restorations, this house affords
an interesting picture of the dwelling and office of a rich Fleming of
the sixteenth century. The printing offices are untouched, and two of
the rooms are hung with gilt Spanish leather of the sixteenth century.

In the last chapter we brought the masters of Decorative Art down to the
middle of the sixteenth century. After these came Cornelius and James
Floris, whose family name was de Vriendt. The head of the family,
Cornelius de Vriendt, a stone-cutter, used the name of his grandfather,
Floris de Vriendt, a member of the Guild _des Quatres-Couronnes_ in
1476. Cornelius had four sons: John, a potter, who settled in Spain;
Frans Floris (1518?-70), a painter; James (1524–81), a celebrated
glass-painter; and Cornelius (1514–74), a sculptor and architect, who
was responsible for the Antwerp Town Hall, the house of the Hanseatic
League, the tabernacle of Léan and the rood-loft of the Cathedral of

James was also a skilful engraver, and was particularly noted for his
panels, or compartments, which in his day were such favourite designs.
His drawings were edited by Jerome Cock, and obtained a great success.

Jerome Cock produced a great deal of decorative design in the second
half of this century. His figures are graceful and well disposed, and
his draperies and garlands of fruits and flowers are charmingly
effective. Two of his designs for goldsmiths’ work are reproduced on
Plate XIX and Plate XX.

Cornelius and James Floris developed a new style, still known in
Flanders as the Floris style. The school included many able designers
whose names still survive, including that of Vredemann de Vries. The
ornamentation is principally composed of “_cuirs_” cut into various
shapes and rolled, accompanied by a mixture of figures, animals, birds,
flowers and fruits, all tied together by ornamental motives, ribbons,
draperies, etc., a form of decoration which the Flemish masters carried
to its highest point of perfection.

It was the custom of the day for these masters of ornament to supply
designs for furniture when “the newest thing out” was required. Their
designs that have survived consist chiefly of grotesques, cartouches,
“_cuirs_,” panels, compartments, friezes, trophies, “_pendeloques_” and
other goldsmiths’ motives. Contemporary with Floris were Hans Liefrinck
(1510–80); Cornelis Matsys (1500–56); Jerome Cock (1510–70); John
Landenspelder (_b._ 1511); Adrian Collaert (_b._ 1520); Hans Collaert
(1540–1622). These all worked at Antwerp.

The most famous designers of the Renaissance, however, were the De
Vrieses, father and son, Hans and Paul. Hans Vredemann de Vries,
painter, architect, sculptor, designer, and poet, was born at Leeuwarden
in Friesland (whence his name) in 1527. For five years he studied in
Amsterdam in the studio of Reijnier Gerritsz, the painter, and he
studied architecture under Coeck of Alost. His pictures are valued
highly and are crowded with architectural details. He also studied
painting on glass. Owing to his special aptitudes and varied knowledge,
as well as the skill with which he treated the different styles of
architecture and ornamentation, he may be said to sum up in himself the
great period of the Flemish Renaissance.

Vredemann published a great many collections of designs that are highly
valued for the interesting studies they present of the Flemish Art of
the Renaissance. His sons, Paul and Solomon, followed his style.

De Vries was famous for his leather ornamentation (_cuirs_) and his
_encoinçons_, which apply to oval frames and ornament the corners of
twelve of his twenty-one oval plates among the fifty composing the
collection, _Variae Architecturae formae a Joanne Vredemanni Vriesio,
magno artis hujus studiosorum commodo inventae_. (_See_ Figs. 17 and

In his own country, he was called the king of architects. He may be
called the Dutch Du Cerceau. He was contemporary with Du Cerceau; and
was apparently greatly influenced by the work of the latter, or it may
be that they both got their inspiration from the same Italian source. A
comparison of the work of the two masters will show individuality in De
Vries. His designs are not so light and graceful as the Frenchman’s.
Besides all kinds of architecture, gardens, wells, fountains, vases,
armour and decorative work for goldsmiths, he designed _Differents
Pourtraicts de Menuiserie à sçavoir_, _Portaux_, _Bancs_, _Tables_,
_Escabelles_, _Buffets_, _Frises_, _Corniches_, _Licts de camp_,
_Ornements à prendre à l’essuoir les mains_, _Fontaines à laver les
mains_. This collection of designs appeared about 1580, and forms a most
valuable record for those who desire to study the style of the early
Renaissance in the Netherlands. It is noticeable that the change is not
so much in the general form of the furniture as in the ornamentation. As
an example, let us take the bedroom (Plate X). This was published in
1580; but it evidently belongs to the transitional period, since the
furniture reveals almost as many Gothic as Renaissance features.

It will be noticed that De Vries expressly styles his design a _modern_
bedroom; so that it deserves study as the latest novelty about the
middle of the sixteenth century. The first thing that strikes one is
that though the ornamental details of Gothic tracery have almost
disappeared, yet the linen-fold in the panelling is everywhere. Even the
_dressoir_ on the left with its Classic columns and spiralled caryatides
has Gothic panels; and the presses between the fireplace and the window
have Gothic panels with a Renaissance daïs. The long heavy chests that
serve as benches also belong to Mediaeval days. The massive table looks
transitional also. It is also to be noticed that the furniture cannot
yet be designated as “moveables”; it is still an integral part of the
carpentry work that lines the walls of the room. The chair beside the
bed is the sole note that tones down its severity. At the time the plate
was published (1580), the Renaissance was in full flower, and its
interest for us lies chiefly in the disposition of the furniture and the
evidence it supplies of Gothic tenacity. The floor is tessellated
diagonally with squares of wood or stone. The chimney-piece with its
funnel-shaped top is essentially the same as represented in miniatures
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The _credence_ or _dressoir_
is opposite to the door, the bed, well protected by woodwork and
curtains against draughts, is close to the fireplace, and the table in
front of the window. A general effect of coldness is noticeable, due to
the almost total lack of upholstery; but this is doubtless owing to the
artist’s intent to emphasize the woodwork.

Though De Vries was the most important designer of furniture in the
Netherlands during the sixteenth century, he was by no means the only
one to influence the taste of the day. There were many architects,
goldsmiths and engravers whose designs contributed to the development of
the Renaissance style. One of these was Jacques van Noye. He was
employed by Cardinal Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, to embellish the palace
in Besançon, built by his father, Sebastian van Noye, also a notable

In 1550, Van Noye became architect of Philip II; and called to Spain by
the King, died in Madrid. One of his important works was the palace that
the Cardinal erected at Brussels on the Coperbeke.

Other designers in decorative art who lived during the second half of
the sixteenth century were Mark Geraerts (1530–90); Hendrick van Schoel;
Martin de Vos (1531–1603); G. Tielt (1580–1630); Cornelius Grapheus
(1549-?); Baltazar Silvius (_circ._ 1554); Guilhelmus de la Queweelerie
(_circ._ 1560); Peter Miricenis (1520–66); Hans Bol (1535–93); Abraham
de Bruyn (1538-?); Crispin de Passe, the Elder (1536-?); Peter van der
Borcht (1540–1608); Peter Baltens (1540–79); Paul van Wtanvael (_circ._
1570); Nicholas de Bruyn (1560–1635); Clement Perrete (_circ._ 1569);
Assuerus van Londerseel (_b._ 1548); Jerome Wierix (_b._ 1551); John
Wierix (_b._ 1550); John Sadeler (1550–1610); Raphael Sadeler
(1555–1628); Ægidius Sadeler (1570–1629); Dominic Custode (_b._ 1560);
Ger. Groningus; Cornelis Galle (1570–1641); Philip Galle (1537–1612);
Theodore Galle (_b._ 1560); Cornelis Dankherts (_b._ 1561); John Sambuci
(_circ._ 1574); Francis Sweert (_circ._ 1690); Jodocus Hondius
(1563–1611); James Hannervogt, and some anonymous engravers.


  Fig. 19: BED, by J. STRADEN; Figs 20–22: TABLES, by DE VRIES; Fig. 23:

Of the above, the most prolific were the Galles. They were particularly
rich in frames, but their ornamentation already shows signs of the
Decadence; and the work of Philip alone shows traces of the pure
Renaissance. Most of these masters of ornamental design were natives of,
or were attracted to, Antwerp; though some of them travelled far afield.
Custode worked at Augsburg; Ægidius Sadeler died at Prague; Geraerts
died in England; Cornelius Bos worked in Rome; and Crispin de Passe, the
Elder, worked in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris and London.

In the second period of the Renaissance, the general effect is more
severe and geometrical; the projections are more restrained, and the
general form of furniture more rectangular. The vertical lines are more
conspicuous than the horizontal lines; and columns with elongated shafts
and delicate flutings or grooves replace human figures that in the first
period of the Renaissance act as uprights and supports. The bed on Plate
XIV is a good example of the second period.

There is also during the second period a great, and often elegant, use
of ceramics. Some pieces of furniture, particularly cabinets, are
decorated with incrustations of stones, amber, enamelled work and even
Venetian glass.

Gothic decoration still lingers for a time in the ordinary bedsteads
(_see_ Plate X) but those of the new fashion show all the popular
ornaments of the Renaissance. Caryatides sometimes appear as columns;
and sometimes and ever more frequently as time wears on, slender pillars
cut in the form of balusters, lances or distaffs, often grooved, and
more or less decorated with carving. Later in the century, the columns
are frequently enveloped in the same material as the hangings, which
become so important that the sculptor and joiner give place to the
upholsterer and embroiderer. The beds are so high, or built so high with
mattresses, that it is impossible to get into them without the aid of

A glance at Plate II will inform us that the bed of the fifteenth
century depends more for its effect upon the curtains and other
draperies than on the framework. In the time of the Renaissance, we find
the bedstead of supreme importance. It is carved in the richest fashion,
and is often enriched with gilding and painting; it is also adorned with
marquetry. The mattresses, bolsters and pillows are of down or feathers,
the sheets and blankets of finest linen and wool, for which Flanders is
famous; and the hangings are of silk, velvet, tapestry, serge, or gilded
leather. The Renaissance bed is never allowed to stand in an alcove: it
is far too handsome a piece of furniture for that. Its canopy, often
richly carved, is rectangular and exactly the size of the bed, which is
large; and it is no longer suspended by cords from the ceiling, but
rests on carved or grooved columns. It is usually finished with a
projecting cornice, variously ornamented, and to this cornice the
curtains are attached. In Fig. 19 and Plate XII, we see exactly how
these curtains were hung. These beds, from engravings by J. Stradan
(1578), also show us how the curtains were looped up in the daytime, how
the square pillows were placed formally at the foot of the bed, and the
shape of the round bolster. These beds could be completely enclosed by


  PLATE XII.—_Bedstead, Chairs and Table, by J. Stradan._

The bed in Fig. 19 is interesting as an example of a Renaissance bed
without supporting corner posts. The canopy and curtains are evidently
suspended from the ceiling by cords in the old style, for there is no
woodwork visible above the carved head-board. This is very unusual and
is doubly interesting as the bed in Plate XII, by the same artist, is
massive in form, and the dome is supported by strong Classic columns. In
the latter design the curtains are looped around the columns and a
pillow is placed on the bolster at the back. The canopy is dome-shaped
and the top of each column is decorated with a “_pomme_,” destined to
develop and survive as a decoration for the bedstead. The head-board is
quite ornate, and the bedstead, like that in Fig. 19, stands upon a low

A similar dome-topped bed appears in the inner room in the background of
Plate XXIV.

One of De Vries’ designs for a bed is reproduced on Plate XIII. It has a
heavy panelled head-board surmounted by a pediment with _pommes_; and
the four supporting posts consist of turned caryatides. The bedstead
proper that holds the mattress and other bedding is supported
independently by vase-shaped legs. The frieze of the canopy is decorated
with scroll-work. In this style of bed, the curtains did not hide the
elaborately carved woodwork; they hung from the cornice and feet
_inside_ the outer posts. The hangings could thus be very sumptuous
without detracting from the effect of the carved woodwork. Plate XIV,
which represents a beautiful bed of this period, massive and richly
carved, shows the same arrangement of curtains. It should be borne in
mind that wherever the framework is richly carved, curtains were never
intended to hide it. This magnificent specimen, from the Rijks Museum,
Amsterdam, is of beautiful proportions. The ornamentation is chaste and
in perfect harmony, consisting of carved panels, cornice and Corinthian
columns. The woodwork is walnut and the hangings are pale blue damask.

The Plantin Museum in Antwerp contains an _armoire_ and a bed after the
designs of De Vries.

Another De Vries bed in the now dispersed Minard of Ghent collection had
a canopy and balusters and the central part was arranged in the form of
an _armoire_ with two shutters decorated with low reliefs of religious
subjects. Upon the upper gallery was a cartouche held by two angels, and
on this cartouche the inscription, “Vriese inv. 1565.”


  PLATE XIII.—_Bedstead, by De Vries._

An interesting example of Renaissance work is the bedstead on Plate XI.
The distaff or lance-shaped columns shoot boldly upward from a floral
calix that stands on the head of a mermaid at the foot, and the head of
a merman at the head of the bed. A frame for a dome-shaped canopy is
connected with the four posts by a tester. The bedstead is panelled and
stands on four large square blocks. In the centre of the headboard is a
cartouche for a coat-of-arms; in the centre of the footboard the head of
a cherub is carved. The peculiar characteristic of the decoration of
this piece of furniture is that the scrolls are all carved in the shape
of the human ear. This is an early example of the _genre auriculaire_,
which was destined to become popular in Flanders and Germany. On this
piece of furniture the ear is omnipresent—on the head and foot board, on
the sweeps of the canopy and on the square feet—wriggling, squirming and

Folding-beds are frequently mentioned in the inventories. Margaret of
Austria (1523), had two wooden camp or folding-beds.

The Flemings were particularly skilful in the production of tables and
chairs. We have now come a long distance from the simple board and
trestles of the past, for we find dining-tables, writing-tables,
bureau-tables, card-tables, chair-tables, bench-tables (_tables à
banc_), round tables, square tables, oval tables, tables that stand on
one foot, tables that stand on three feet, and tables of walnut, oak,
maple, cedar, cypress, marble and even silver. We also find tables of
mosaic work and of marquetry and tables beautifully carved and
embellished with gold.

The drawing-table was much in vogue. It was composed of extra leaves
superimposed on lower ones that could be drawn forward so that the top
leaves could fall into the space they made and form with the lower
leaves, thus lengthened, one continuous surface. The mechanism by which
these leaves were lengthened and dropped was very intricate and
ingenious. Jacques Wecker, a physician of Colmar, in his treatise _De
Secretis_ (Bâle, 1582), says: “One must not despise the make of these
tables that I have often seen in Ghent in Flanders.”

The tables designed by De Vries and reproduced in Figs. 20, 21 and 22,
are a great advance on the one that appears in his _Cubiculum_. (Plate
X.) The form is much the same as those in Figs. 20 and 21, but the
linenfold has given way to panels and pilasters of pure Renaissance
character and the corner supports of sphinxes and animals and vases have
no memory of the Gothic age. Fig. 22 shows us a table of an entirely
different character. It is much lighter and has drawers. With its
foot-rails it is well adapted for a dining-table.

A much more ornate specimen of this period called a “fan-shaped table,”
(“_table à l’éventail_”) is owned by the Dijon Museum. It is of
Burgundian workmanship. The support, which still shows traces of
gilding, is formed of an eagle with outspread wings standing between two
winged chimaera with lions’ paws, these paws connected with a
straining-rail, or stretcher. The open-work shelf is ornamented with
leaves and a mascaron, and the two upper and lower straining rails are
ornamented with a very clearly defined and handsome decoration. The top
of the table is surrounded by a thread of marquetry.

Folding-tables were also in use; in Margaret of Austria’s inventory,
mention is made of “a little table in the Spanish fashion which opens
and closes.”


  PLATE XIV.—_Bedstead._


Chairs are still heavy and carved more or less richly. Two typical
specimens appear in Plate XII. As shown in these examples, the seats and
backs were often covered with stamped leather, velvet, silk, or some
woollen material and ornamented with tassels. The covers are tacked to
the frame by means of large-headed nails that also form part of the
decoration. A chair and footstool by Vredemann de Vries, of very
characteristic model, are shown in Fig. 23. The chair is three-cornered,
with a triangular seat, and the legs are connected with straining-rails.
It much resembles the _voyeuse_ of which Cardinal Mazarin had several;
and which was again popular in the days of Louis XVI, in France and
elsewhere. It was essentially a chair for a man, who faced the back and
rested his arms on the top rail.

A Flemish chair of the second half of the sixteenth century is
reproduced in Figs. 24 and 25. This is pure Renaissance in its simplest
and certainly its least elegant form. The legs consist of Doric columns
connected by stretchers close to the ground. The back slants, and is of
somewhat confused carved decoration consisting of a mascaron and Classic
architectural and floral motives.

When not built in the panels of the room, the _armoire_ bears a very
close likeness to the large double cabinet with doors, which is, as we
have seen, merely a chest-upon-chest, and which we shall find developing
into the great Dutch _kas_ of the seventeenth century. Plate XV shows
the great double cabinet, or _armoire_, of the Renaissance with carved
panels, pillars and caryatides. This stands on ball feet. It is of the
same period as the bed represented in Plate XIV.

A magnificent specimen of the late sixteenth century, now in the _Musée
des Arts Décoratifs_, Paris, is reproduced in Plate XVIII. This is in
two stories and is frankly architectural. The doors of the _armoire_, or
cabinet, are decorated to look like windows, and the niches and
pilasters lend their aid in making the front of this piece of furniture
look like the façade of a handsome Renaissance residence.

Cabinets or _armoires_ designed by De Vries are reproduced in Plate XIX
and Plate XX. As usual, we have a large choice in central and side
supports, pediments and panels. There is a good variety of mascarons for
the cabinet-maker to select from. It will be noticed that the “_cuirs_,”
so popular with the designers of the period, enter largely into the
decoration of the doors and drawers.

Spanish influence was now making itself felt. Hispano-Flemish carving
appears on many a panel and drawer front towards the end of this
century. Characteristic carving of this style is shown in Fig. 26 and
Fig. 27.

Perhaps of all kinds of furniture, Flanders excelled in making cabinets.
Antwerp was especially renowned for them. The cabinet is, of course, an
object of special luxury, for the display of little articles of value
possessed only by the rich. Whether carved or inlaid, its shelves were
lined with crimson velvet, cloth of gold, green taffeta, or beautifully
tooled leather; and very frequently silvered ribbon twined into a kind
of geometrical lattice-work into the initials or monogram of the owner
of the cabinet was hung behind the glass and supplied with hooks from
which jewels, watches, pocket-mirrors and other pretty trinkets were
suspended. A cabinet collection in the sixteenth century included
watches, jewels, rings, bracelets, necklaces, pearls from the Orient,
gold and silver work, buttons, perfumed gloves, costly musk and amber,
scent-bottles, pomanders on handsome chains, small scissors, pocket
knives, pocket mirrors, coral beads, rosaries of rock-crystal, little
books, _eau de Damas_, _eau de rose_, _eau d’oeillet_, and other
delicate essences, medals, little pictures, rare stones, fans, etc.


  PLATE XV.—_Armoire._


French noblemen had such a fancy for collecting Flemish cabinets that
Henri IV sent French workmen to the Netherlands to learn the art of
making these choice pieces of furniture, and particularly the trick of
carving in ebony. On their return, he established them in the Louvre.
The first was Laurent Stabre; another was Pierre Boulle (uncle of the
great André Charles Boulle), supposed to be of Flemish origin. Jean
Macé, who called himself “_menuisier-ébéniste de Blois_,” was also given
a studio in the Louvre, “on account of his long practice of this art in
the Low Countries, and the skill he has shown in his cabinet-work in
ebony and other woods of various colours that he has presented to the
Regent Queen.”

Another cabinet-maker who lived in the Louvre was Pierre Golle, a native
of the Netherlands, whose name was originally Goler, and who left
Holland at Mazarin’s request to settle in Paris. He made various
artistic pieces for the Dauphin, the great Cardinal and other patrons of

Burgundy was also remarkable for its cabinets, and made a specialty of
wall-cabinets that hung at the sides of a room on invisible supports. A
famous specimen of Burgundian work was bought several years ago at the
Soltykoff sale by the Baron Sellières, for no less than 16,500 francs!
It was a large double cabinet, the two parts of nearly equal dimensions,
both ornately carved with satyrs, fruits, garlands, palms, Tritons and

The chest is as important as ever. It is found in every room in the
house. In it are kept household linen, clothing and many treasures and
gifts. When the top is flat, in which case the article is still called
_huche_, it often serves as a seat. Although the chest is finely carved
in the sixteenth century, it never attains the sumptuousness nor the
delicacy of either _dressoir_ or cabinet; it always remains a robust
piece of furniture. It is decorated with architectural motives,
fantastic arabesques, panels ornamented with bas-reliefs representing
Biblical or mythological scenes, allegorical subjects, pilasters in the
form of terms, and not unfrequently mascarons. Sometimes chests are
covered with stamped leather and sometimes decorated with marquetry.

Flemish chests were in great demand in France. In an inventory, we learn
that Marguerite des Bordes, Bordeaux, had, in 1589, a “_bahut de
Flandres_,” barred with iron bands, two locks and keys; George Beaunon,
a merchant of Bordeaux, had, in 1607, “more than one _coffre de
Flandres_,” garnished with bands of white iron and three little
“_cassettes de boys de Flandres_” were owned by Nicholas Lemerotel of
St. Malo in 1638.


  PLATE XVI.—_Glass Cupboard, or Vitrine, by De Vries._

Porcelain as yet was very rare, though kings and rich nobles had a few
pieces of this ware on their shelves. Philip II had quite a respectable
collection of ceramics, and wealthy Flemings were always fond of foreign
and domestic wares of this nature. Palissy was at work and his
productions were highly prized. The Netherlands had a brisk trade by sea
with Portugal, and through Lisbon considerable quantities of porcelain
were finding their way into the cupboards of the wealthy. Venetian glass
also was highly prized, so that we are not astonished to find De Vries
devoting a good deal of attention to designing _vitrines_, or small
cupboards with glass fronts, for the preservation and safe display of
glass, china and earthenware. In many instances, these were elaborately
carved with all the Renaissance ornamentation. Four handsome glass
cupboards or _vitrines_, designed by De Vries, are shown in Plate XVI
and Plate XVII. In the centre of the broken pediments, we see Bacchus
and Cupid. The supporting sides consist of Classic columns, pilasters or
caryatides; and all the decoration is in harmony with the rest of the
furniture of this period.

On looking over the pictures by the great artists of the Netherlands, we
cannot help noticing their delight in painting glass. The play of light
and shade, and direct and reflected rays in flasks, bottles, vases,
goblets and wine glasses of varied form strongly appealed to the great
masters of _genre_ and still life.

The Flemings of the sixteenth century undoubtedly manufactured much
glass for home consumption and export. England took all they and Germany
and France could supply. Queen Elizabeth tried to attract glass-blowers
to settle in her realm. The first recorded name to accept the invitation
is that of Cornelius de Launoy. In 1567, the Queen sent to the Low
Countries for Jean Quarré, a native of Antwerp, and other workers in
glass, to establish a factory for making the same kind of glass as
existed in France.

The windows not only of churches but of civic and palatial buildings
were beautified with the work of great artists. Even in more modest
dwellings, the windows of the hall, studio, or living-room were
decorated with the coat-of-arms of the owner.

Designs for painted windows formed by no means an unimportant part of
the activities of a great artist; in fact, they held the same rank as
cartoons for tapestry. In 1567, Guicciardini notes as follows:

“But it is also proper to mention some eminent artists in encaustic or
painting on glass, inasmuch as this department has also its pretensions
to importance; and Vasari has observed that the Flemings have brought it
to perfection. For, not to dwell on the beauty and vivacity of the
colours, they invented the mode of burning them into the glass, so as to
be safe from the corrosion of water, wind and even time; which was not
the case when they were only tempered with gum and some other mixture.
And the Flemings also invented the manner of making leaden casements.

“The first eminent painters on glass were Arnold van Hordt of Nymwegen,
and a citizen of Antwerp, a great imitator of the Italian school and the
first inventor of the art of burning colours into crystalline glass.
Theodore Jacobs Felaet, an artist of eminent invention; Theodore Stass
of Campen; John Ack of Antwerp, who executed the windows in St. Gudule’s
Church and the Chapel of the Sacrament at Brussels; Cornelis of


  PLATE XVII.—_Glass Cupboard, or Vitrine, by De Vries._

“There still flourish Cornelis Dale, who, with singular art, burns any
colours, not only into glass, but into crystal, so that they appear like
painting in oil; and his designs are elegant; Jodoc Vereg, a skilful
artist, employed by the Emperor; James Florence, all of Antwerp. John
Stass, son of the above Theodore and the heir of his father’s talents;
John Zele of Utrecht. Nor in architecture and sculpture have excellent
artists been wanting in the Netherlands. Such were Sebastian Oje of
Utrecht, the celebrated architect to Charles V, and afterwards to Philip
his son. He, to his great praise, planned the fortifications of Hesdin,
Charlmont, and Philipville, strong towns on the frontiers. William Keur
of Gouda, a good architect, a superior sculptor. Among others were John
Dale, a sculptor and poet; Lucas van Leyden, a celebrated engraver
(1495–1533); William of Antwerp, a famous architect. There still
flourish James Bruck of St. Omers, a man of noble birth and an excellent
sculptor and architect, who, while the Queen of Hungary governed the
Netherlands, planned Bossu and Marimont and some grand buildings. John
Bologne of Douay, his disciple, now employed by the Duke of Florence.
John Minsheeren of Ghent, an excellent architect and sculptor, whose son
Lucas, is an eminent painter, the inventor of many things and excels in
poetry; Matthew Mandemaker of Antwerp, a famous sculptor, in the service
of the King of the Romans; Cornelis Florence, brother of Francis, an
excellent sculptor and architect, diligent and attentive, who has the
praise of first bringing from Italy the art of accurately rendering the
insides of caves called by the Italians _grotescas_. Henry Paschen of
Antwerp, an excellent architect, who designed the Palace and office of
the Hansa towns in Antwerp, and was afterwards called to London to plan
the Exchange; Lambert Suaf of Liège, a good architect and engraver;
James Iongeling of Antwerp, an excellent sculptor and statuary, who
lately made those wonderful brass statues of the seven planets and
Bacchus which the magistrates of Antwerp presented to the Prince of
Parma; William Paludan, brother of the above Henry, a great and accurate
sculptor, whose son Raphael is also of high repute; John Sart of
Nymegen, an excellent sculptor, as are Simon of Delft and Jodoc Janson
of Amsterdam; George Robins of Yperen, Theodore Volcart Cornhert and
Philip Galle, both of Haarlem, exquisite engravers.”

Guicciardini continues: “The others it would be prolix to enumerate,”
and informs us that most of these artists visit Italy. “Some return
loaded with wealth and honour to their native country,” while “others go
to Great Britain and Germany, but chiefly to Denmark, Sweden, Norway,
Poland and even Muscovy, not to mention those who, allured by honours
and rewards, visit France, Spain and Portugal.”

The younger De Vries (Paul), was born at Antwerp in 1554. He designed
_Plusieurs menuiseries comme Portaulx, Garderobes, Buffets, Chalicts,
Tables, Arches, Selles, Bancs, Escabelles, Rouleaux à pendre, touailles,
Casses à vertes et beaucoup d’autres ouvrages_. The style of furniture
shown in the works of the De Vrieses lasted till Rubens arose.


  PLATE XVIII.—_Flemish Armoire._


Crispin de Passe, or Van der Passe the elder, was born in Arnemuiden
about 1560, and was a pupil of Dirk Coornhert (born in Amsterdam in
1522, died in Gouda in 1590). He left a great number of compositions and
many remarkable portraits painted in Germany, France, and England, as
well as in Holland. A writer, too, of considerable merit, he published
many works which he illustrated with his own engravings. In 1585, he
became a member of the Guild of St. Luke of Antwerp. Being such a fine
engraver, it is not astonishing to find that he excelled in
_niello_-work. His composition in this medium, representing “The Five
Senses,” resembles in its delicacy the lace, embroidery and
incrustations of ivory of the same period. His patterns, sometimes in
relief and sometimes in depression, sometimes in white and sometimes in
black, are very beautiful. Crispin de Passe had three sons: Crispin
(born in Utrecht in 1585); William (1590); and Simon (1591), all of whom
were excellent engravers. His daughter, Madeleine (born 1583), was also
a good engraver.

Among the famous engravers also were the Collaerts. Adrian Collaert,
born in Antwerp in 1560, was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke in 1580,
and died in 1618. He studied in Italy and on his return composed and
engraved many designs of great merit. His son, Hans, born in Antwerp,
was also a designer and engraver of note. He worked until 1622. His son,
William, was a famous engraver.

Adrian Collaert’s designs for goldsmith’s work, silver plate and all
artistic products of that nature had a great vogue, and worthily
represent the decorations of the Flemish Renaissance. Two of his
characteristic designs are reproduced in Plate XXI and Plate XXII.

Wood-carving continued to be one of the glories of Flemish Art.
Sixteenth century pulpits, bishops’ thrones and choir-stalls still exist
in many of the old churches. The names of some of the masters of the
chisel who executed these beautiful works have been preserved, and may
properly be recalled here.

St. Martin’s Church at Ypres contains beautiful stalls carved by Victor
Taillebert. He received four thousand florins in payment for his work.

Colyn van Cameryck made a magnificent marble mantelpiece for the Kampen
Town Hall. The work was done between 1543 and 1545.

Jean van der Scheldein, carpenter and sculptor, made a monumental door
in the Hôtel de Ville, Oudenarde, in the Renaissance style in 1531. This
is ornamented with columns, a pediment, figures and rectangular panels
adorned with arabesques in the best taste and with masterly execution.

Peter van Dulcken carved the beautiful stalls for the _échevins_, and
the balustraded screen of the Nimeguen Town Hall, in the second half of
the sixteenth century. These are the finest that have escaped
destruction except those of the Kampen Town Hall, which are even more


  PLATE XIX.—_Cabinet, or Armoire, by De Vries; Design for Goldsmith’s
    Work, by Jerome Cock._

The Netherlands early enjoyed a reputation for music, and from about
1450 to 1550 the most celebrated “_maîtres de chapelle_” came from the
Low Countries. They were engaged in the churches and in the courts of
kings and establishments of the nobility in France, Germany, Italy,
Hungary, Denmark and Spain. Guicciardini says they had brought music “to
a state of perfection,” and praises the melodious songs of the men and
the skill of the women who played all kinds of instruments. He also pays
tribute to their knowledge of harmony and proficiency in composition and
says that Flemish musicians are at the “Court of every Christian
prince,” and he then gives a list of famous musicians of the Low
Countries. These are “Giovanni del Tintore di Nivelli, Iusquino di Pres,
Obrecht Ockegem, Ricciafort, Adriano Willaert, Giovanni Monton,
Verdelot, Gomberto Lupus Lupi, Cortois Crequillon, Clementi non Papa and
Cornelio Canis.” To these, “who are now dead,” he adds the following
list of living celebrities: Cipriano de Rove, Gian le Coick, Filippo de
Monti, Orlando di Lassus, Mancicourt, Iusquino Baston, Christiano
Hollando, Giaches di Waet, Bonmarche, Severino Cornetto, Piero du Hot,
Gherardo di Tornout, Huberto Waelrant, Giachetto di Berckem vicino
d’Anversa, Andrea Peuermage and Cornelio Verdonk and “many other masters
of music who are celebrated throughout the world.”

This universal love of music is attested by the Dutch and Flemish
masters. In tavern scenes, as well as scenes of domestic and social
life, musical instruments are frequently introduced. To catalogue the
works of Jan Steen, Terborch, Teniers, Metsu, Van Mieris and other
painters of the seventeenth century directly inspired by music, such as
musical parties, harpsichord lessons, duets, lute-players, ladies at the
spinet, etc., would be quite a task.

No home of wealth was complete without musical instruments, and owing to
the exquisite paintings with which the case and top, both inside and
out, were ornamented, the clavecin, harpsichord, or spinet was
frequently the handsomest and costliest piece of furniture in the house.
The case and legs were subject to changes in fashion. Sometimes the
stand is simple with heavy ball feet connected by stretchers, as shown
in Plate XXIII, a _Lady Playing the Spinet_, by J. M. Molenaer, in the
Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. Sometimes the instrument stands on baluster
legs and arches; and sometimes case and stand are of lacquer in the
prevailing taste for the Chinese style. The top was always delicately
painted, as shown in the picture just referred to; and it is interesting
to note that in nearly every case where a lady is playing an instrument,
she rests her foot upon a foot-warmer.

Without being able to see the internal mechanism, it is difficult to
define the precursors of the pianoforte from their outward appearance in
the pictures.

These instruments were so beautifully decorated that the clavecin-makers
of Antwerp ranked as artists and became members of the St. Luke’s Guild
of that city. They were first enrolled as “painters and sculptors,” and
not as clavecin-makers.

According to a pamphlet entitled _Recherches sur les Facteurs de
Clavecins et les Luthiers d’Anvers_, by the Chevalier Léon de Burbure
(Brussels, 1863), at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the
sixteenth centuries, the clavichord was in greater vogue than the
clavecin, and about 1500 the clavecin had been made into the clavichord
shape in Venice and called the spinet. The new form soon travelled to
the Netherlands and superseded the clavichord.


  PLATE XX.—_Cabinet, or Armoire, by De Vries; Design for Goldsmith’s
    Work, by Jerome Cock._

A clavecin-maker named Josse Carest or Joos Kerrest was admitted to the
St. Luke’s Guild as “a sculptor and painter of clavichords” as noted in
_De Liggeren en andere Historische Archieven der Antwerpsche Sint
Lucasgilde_, by Rombouts en van Lerius (Antwerp and The Hague, 1872),
and another Carest had been admitted in 1519 as an apprentice painter of
clavecins. In 1557, Josse Carest headed a petition of clavecin-makers to
be admitted to the St. Luke’s Guild as clavecin-makers and not as
painters and sculptors. They were accepted. Their pupils and all who
were subsequently admitted had to exhibit “master-works,” namely:
“clavecins” that were oblong or with bent sides (square or grand, we
should call them now) or to quote directly “_viercante oft gehoecte
clavisimbale_.” These had to be five feet long at least and made in the
workshops of master-experts (two of whom were yearly elected) and to
have the trade mark or device of the maker “_syn eygen marck teecken,
oft wapene_.” This mark, known as rose, rosetta or rosace, usually made
of gilded lead, was placed in the sound-holes.

The most famous clavecin-makers of Antwerp, and, indeed, of The
Netherlands, were the Ruckers, who worked between 1579 and 1667, or
later. The name is variously written. The most celebrated was Hans
Ruckers, who was admitted a member of the St. Luke’s Guild in 1579 as
“Hans Ruyckers, clavisinbal makerre.” His beautiful instruments were
bought in France and England, as well as in the Low Countries; and it is
thought that Queen Elizabeth owned one. In England they were called
virginals. Many of the Ruckers’ instruments are still in existence,
owned by collectors and museums. The Museum of the Brussels Conservatory
owns an oblong one, dated 1610. This has two keyboards, one above the
other, and consists of 4½ octaves, and white naturals. The Museum of the
Paris Conservatory has one of 5 octaves, black naturals, and bent side,
dated 1590; The Musée du Steen, Antwerp, owns an oblong one dated 1611;
and Messrs. Chappell and Co., of London, have an undated oblong of 4
octaves. This stands on an arcade with six balusters and is decorated
with fine paintings. A similar instrument on Plate XXIII_a_, by this
maker, is in the Steinert collection at Yale University, U.S.A. It is a
double spinet of four octaves. The painting on the lid represents the
favourite Apollo and Marsyas contest. Above, and below the movable
spinet are painted landscapes with children dancing. The little spinet
on the left, which sets into the spinet proper, is tuned one octave
higher than the one on the right. In performing upon both instruments at
once, the smaller instrument is removed and set upon a table. On the
jack rails of both spinets may be read: “_Johannes Ruqvers me fecit_.”

Martinus Vander Biest entered the St. Luke’s Guild of Antwerp in 1558 as
one of the ten clavecin-makers. An oblong clavecin, made by him in
Antwerp is in the Museum at Nuremberg, and is signed and dated Martinus
Vander Biest, 1580.


  PLATE XXI.—_Design for Goldsmith’s Work, by Adrian Collaert._

Hans Ruckers the younger, known as Jean, because he used the initials J.
R. in his rose, was also a master in the St. Luke’s Guild of Antwerp. He
made beautiful instruments from 1617 to 1642. These were of both shapes,
bent side and oblong, were furnished with one or two keyboards and were
sometimes decorated with paintings in Vernis Martin. A beautiful example
with two keyboards, 4¾ octaves, black naturals, owned by the Baroness
James de Rothschild. The case and top are black and gold lacquer in the
Chinese style, and the painting inside the top is said to be by Lancret.
It is dated 1630 and inscribed “Joannes Ruckers me fecit, Antverpiae.”
Another by the same maker, also in a black and gold case, is owned by
the South Kensington Museum. This is bent side, has one keyboard and is
dated 1639. The Museum of the Paris Conservatory also owns a bent side
clavecin, made by Jean Ruckers, of two keyboards and 5 octaves. This is
painted outside by Teniers and Brouwer and inside by Breughel and Paul
Bril. To him has also been attributed a spinet in the Cluny Museum with
bent side, one keyboard, 4½ octaves and blackwood case incrusted with

In 1638, the private secretary of Charles I, Sir F. Windebank, had a
long correspondence with a painter named Balthazar Gerbier, then in
Brussels, regarding the purchase of a virginal in Antwerp for the King
of England. Gerbier described one made by Hans Ruckers for the Infanta.
It had a double keyboard and four stops and was beautifully painted. The
picture inside the cover was Cupid and Psyche by Rubens. This instrument
was bought for £30, but was unsatisfactory on account of insufficient
compass. Gerbier was asked to exchange it, but he wrote back that the
maker had not another on sale.

Andries Ruckers, another son of the elder Hans, was born in 1579. In
1619, the Guild of St. Luke ordered a clavecin from him. The Museum of
the Brussels Conservatory owns one dated 1613, with one keyboard and
four octaves. The Musée Archéologique of Bruges owns a bent side one,
dated 1624, of 5 octaves and 3 stops, and the Musée du Steen, Antwerp
has a bent side one, undated, with 3 stops and two keyboards, the lower
one 4 octaves and the upper 3¾ octaves. In the South Kensington Museum
there is another by Andries Ruckers, said to have been Handel’s. This is
dated 1651, and inscribed _Sic transit Gloria Mundi_ and _Acta Virum
Probant_. On the belly of the instrument, of the bent side shape, a
concert of monkeys is represented. One monkey is conducting.

Andries Ruckers the younger, born in 1617, married a daughter of Dirck
de Vries, also a clavecin-maker. The Château de Perceau, near Cosné,
owned a bent side clavecin by Andries the younger, dated 1655. Its case
was painted in blue camaïeu in the rococo style. This passed to a
private collector.

Christofel Ruckers was the last important member of this family of

A beautifully decorated clavecin occurs in the picture of _The Young
Scholar and His Sister_, by Cocx (Coques) in the Cassel Gallery. The
room is decorated with hangings of blue leather, ornamented with gold,
above which hang pictures in ebony frames. The young man is seated at a
table beneath the window and his sister is at the clavecin opposite. The
latter is exquisitely painted, the top showing the story of Apollo and


  PLATE XXII.—_Design for Goldsmith’s Work, by Adrian Collaert._

In the latter part of the sixteenth and throughout the seventeenth
centuries, the bass viol was much played in England, France and the Low
Countries and was called the _viol da gamba_. This instrument frequently
appears in the works of the Dutch masters, in which not unfrequently
ladies are represented playing it, as, for example, in Jan Verkolje’s
(1650–93) _Musical Party_ in the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, where the lady
is seated upon a low-backed leather chair with her foot upon a
foot-warmer. The instrument is turned from the spectator.

The lute, which so frequently appears in early pictures, was superseded
about 1600 by the theorbo, or double-necked lute with two sets of
strings and two sets of tuning pegs. The theorbo is represented in
Terborch’s _Lute-Player_ in The Cassel Gallery; a lute also appears in
Van Mieris’s _The Painter and his Wife_ in the Hague Gallery, a charming
domestic picture, in which the painter is teasing a puppy and its
mother. The lute lies carelessly on the table.

Brassware contributed very greatly to the brightness and cheerfulness of
an apartment during the Renaissance period as well as during the
centuries before and after. The chandelier with its graceful curves
appears in many a picture; and the best art of the day was devoted to
the hearth-furnishings. Dogs and andirons assumed large proportions and
considerable decorative importance. An interesting Flemish dog of the
sixteenth century is represented in Fig. 28. It is similar to those
metal andirons on the hearth in Plate XXIV. Besides human and animal
figures, this kind of _dinanderie_ assumed many other forms. Other kinds
of _dinanderie_, consisting of candlesticks of human figures in
contemporary costumes are shown in Fig. 29 and Fig. 30.

                               CHAPTER V
                     SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (FLEMISH)

  Renewed Italian Influence—Rubens: his Studio, his House, his Pupils,
      his Influence, his Successors—Seventeenth Century Woodcarvers—
      Developments and Tendencies of Furniture—Crispin Van Den Passe—
      Rembrandt’s Goods and Chattels—Old Belgian Houses—The Pitsembourg—
      Kitchens—Leather-hangings—Tapestry—Marquetry—Chairs—Masters of
      Ornamental Design—The “Auricular Style.”

Just as the seventeenth century was about to dawn, the Decadence that
had affected Italy for nearly half a century began to make itself felt
in the Low Countries. Those responsible for it were, Michael Angelo and
Borromeo, who abandoned the graceful forms of the Renaissance for
disproportionate and exuberant decoration. The Flemish architects,
artists, and decorative designers willingly subjected themselves to the
Italian influence again as they had done a century before.

Rubens undoubtedly had the greatest influence on the art taste of Europe
during the first three-quarters of the seventeenth century. Going to
Italy in 1600, he spent, with short breaks, seven years there. He found
that the Italians had already broken away from the sober lines of the
antique, and with an unrestrained curve were already giving promise of
the exaggerations indulged in later by Borromini, who, in line and form,
broke with all the old traditions. Rubens was affected by the new vogue;
and, on his return, the great Fleming introduced into his own country
the style of architecture and ornamentation still known as the _style
Rubens_. Rubens was too well inspired with the genius of the sublime
Michael Angelo not to know where to use restraint, but in the hands of
his followers and imitators this style soon degenerated. From breadth
and amplitude, it fell into weakness of form and contour, and great
heaviness in the ornamentation.

Albert and Isabella kept a splendid Archducal court at Brussels, and
there every form of art was sure of encouragement and support. The
palace was an imposing mass, picturesquely situated in the highest part
of the city. A French visitor in 1612 dwells on the magnificence of the
various apartments filled with splendid works of art, and thronged with
courtiers and attendants, the richness of the equipages and stables, and
the beauty of the park and gardens. When Rubens visited Brussels at the
Imperial request, he immediately found favour.

When Rubens took up his abode in Antwerp, he bought a house, and altered
and enlarged it from time to time to suit his tastes or needs. He
embellished it in every possible way with his collections of pictures,
busts and archaeological objects. In 1617, he had the banisters of the
chief staircase carved by Jan van Mildert. He had very decided ideas on
architecture, and supplied the workmen with his own plans. He was
originally attracted to the house because it was built somewhat on the
model of the Italian houses he had so greatly admired. In 1622, he
published a book on the Palaces of Genoa, and from the preface we learn
that he was greatly delighted to see the old style known as “barbarous”
or “Gothic” go out of style and disappear from Flanders, “giving place,
to the great honour of the country, to symmetrical buildings designed by
men of better taste, and conforming to the rules of the Greek or Roman


  PLATE XXIII.—_Lady at Spinet, by J. M. Molenaer._


Between the courtyard and his beautiful Italian garden, he built a small
imitation Pantheon, lighted, like its model, by a window in the centre
of the dome. This he filled with busts, antique studies, valuable
pictures brought from Italy, and other rare and curious objects. These
he arranged to his own taste; and the arrangement of his cabinets, etc.,
served as a model for rich and noble collectors.

A picture representing Rubens’s Drawing-room is in the National Gallery,
Stockholm. It has been attributed to Van Dyck, but it is now supposed to
have been painted by Cornelis de Vos about 1622, for the elder of the
two women in the foreground seems to be a portrait of De Vos’s wife,
while the other is Isabella Brandt, Rubens’s first wife.

The room is simple but quite elegant in style, with windows looking out
upon a garden. The walls are entirely hung with greenish leather on
which the designs—chimaeras and children grouped around vases and
pillars—are in gold. The chimney-piece is of black marble supported by
red marble pillars, and the firedogs are brass. On the right is a
sideboard of light polished oak, and opposite a table with a rich
Oriental carpet for a cover. Upon the leather chairs are cushions
embroidered with flowers. Two pictures hang on the walls, and a third is
above the chimney-piece. In the foreground, there are two ladies engaged
in friendly conversation, while three children are playing with a puppy.
The mother of the latter, a white spaniel marked with red, anxiously
watches this second group.

In the sale inventory of Rubens’s house in 1707 there is mention of the
gilded leather that decorated one of the sitting-rooms.


  PLATE XXIIIA.—_Spinet, by Ruckers._


This interior in general style and arrangement resembles a painting by
Barthol. van Bassen, in the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, reproduced on Plate
XXIV. This represents a large hall or dining-room of the beginning of
the seventeenth century. The floor is tessellated or tiled; and facing
the spectator is a monumental chimney-piece supported by columns. Two
superb andirons are placed in the fireplace, but the absence of logs and
the fireback show that the time is spring or summer. The mantelpiece is
surmounted by a niche containing a figure, and above the broken pediment
is a cartouche flanked by reclining figures in the Renaissance style. On
either side of the chimney-piece stands a chair of the new style with
square back and square seat. The square seat and back of velvet or
stamped leather—it is not clear what the covering is—is put on by means
of large brass-headed nails. The heavy legs are connected by stretchers.
These chairs are similar to the one on Plate XXVIII; but in the latter
the stretchers are double. On either side of the chimney-piece is a
door. One of these is open and shows an inner room containing an
upholstered bed. The doors are very decorative with heavy entablatures
supported on columns and decorated with swags of drapery on the panels.
On the right is a colossal buffet or sideboard, the pillars being
caryatides, and behind these is a half-hexagon cupboard. Busts and vases
adorn the top. Below is a fine salver, evidently in the style of
Collaert (see Plates XXI and XXII). A very ornate doorway leads into an
adjoining apartment; it is ornamented with caryatides and decorated with
elaborate carving. Opposite to this is an open portal that seems to be
the entrance from the garden, or courtyard. This door is supported by
Corinthian columns. Three large and narrow windows give abundant light.
Their panes are small. The room is hung with gilt leather and above the
moulding are three landscapes in simple frames. A picture—_The Sacrifice
of Abraham_—stands over the sideboard and a landscape over the door on
the right. A long, low bench is placed under the window, on which a
gallant is lounging. The chair occupied by the lady with her back to us
is a survival of the one shown in Fig. 9, and also generally resembles
those in Plates XXVI and XLII and XLVI; a favourite type of chair with
the artists of the seventeenth century. The group in the foreground are
sitting on stools. The wine-cooler is also worth noting. There are a
number of pets in the room—dogs, cats, a monkey and a long-tailed parrot
over the door. The compartment ceiling—an extraordinary combination of
octagons, hexagons and crosses—should be noticed.

Although Rubens did not know it, Antwerp received a fatal blow to her
prosperity at the very moment he settled there. In the truce with
Holland concluded in 1609, the Archduke Albert neglected to stipulate
for the free navigation of the Scheldt; this enabled Amsterdam to
develop her own commerce at the expense of her rival. The effects soon
appeared. Seven years later, the English ambassador, Rubens’s friend,
describes Antwerp as “_magna civitas, magna solitudo_, for in the whole
time we spent there I could never set my eyes on the whole length of a
street upon forty persons at once: I never saw coach nor saw man on
horseback. In many places, grass grows in the streets, yet the buildings
are all kept in reparation ... _splendida paupertas_, fair and

As if in compensation for the loss of her commercial supremacy, Antwerp
saw the dawn of an art of which Rubens was the originator and most
brilliant representative.

The pupils of Rubens did not confine themselves to painting and
ornamental design. They were often practical carvers also. Only a month
before his death, Rubens wrote a testimonial for Louis Faydherbe,
stating that this pupil had lived with him for three years and had made
great progress in painting and carving, excelling especially in ivory
carving. He therefore exhorts nobles and magistracies to encourage him
to settle among them and embellish their dwellings with his works. Thus
we see how the _style Rubens_ extended.


  PLATE XXIV.—_Interior, by Barthol van Bassen (Seventeenth Century)._


  Fig. 28: FLEMISH ANDIRON (Sixteenth Century); Fig. 29: DINANDERIE,
    double Candlestick; Fig. 30: DINANDERIE, single Candlestick.

The universality of the _style Rubens_ in Western Europe for half a
century is undeniable. This great genius was known and honoured in
Italy: he was a favourite of the King of Spain and his brother, the
Viceroy of the Netherlands; when he was not painting nor designing
something, he took a rest by going to some foreign court on an embassy.
On one of these, Charles I of England knighted him; Philip IV made him
Secretary of the Privy Council. Pupils flocked to him as if his studio
in Antwerp was the Mecca of art. He had scarcely established himself
there when he wrote (1611): “On every side I am overwhelmed with
solicitations: without the least exaggeration I may assure you that I
have already had to refuse more than a hundred pupils.”

Every kind of decoration and design was subject to his brush. The
Flemish tapestry weavers pestered him for cartoons: the famous printer,
Moretus, must have him design title-pages, borders and vignettes for the
“_Imprimerie Plantin_”: chapel ceilings, cars for cavalcades and
triumphal arches all came alike to him; Marie de’ Medici was not
satisfied until he had immortalized her in grandiose canvases on the
walls of her new palace.

One of the Flemish artists who played a particularly important part in
the introduction of the new Italian style into the Low Countries was
Jacques Franquart (born in Brussels in 1577 and died there in 1651), an
architect, who studied in Italy. He became the chief architect of the
Archduke Albert, and engineer of the King of Spain in the Netherlands.
Philip III made him a knight. Among his important works were the Church
of the Jesuits in Brussels (the cornerstone of which was laid by Albert
and Isabella in 1606) and the Church of the Grand Béguinage in Mechlin

The next name of importance is that of Artus Quillyn, or Quellin, born
at St. Trond in 1625. He studied sculpture with Artus Quillyn the elder
in Antwerp, studied in Rome and returned to Antwerp, where he died in
1700. The churches of Antwerp are full of his bold and masterly works.
His masterpiece, the statue of God the Father, was executed in 1680 for
the Cathedral of St. Sauveur in Bruges, where it still stands.

With Quillyn ranks Peter Verbrugghen of Antwerp. It is generally
believed that he carved the fine pulpit at St. Walburge in Bruges, a
work unexcelled among the sculpture of the seventeenth century. A
kneeling figure representing Religion supports the pulpit with one hand
and holds a cross in the other. Her attitude is noble, gracious and
animated, and her expression admirable and exalted. Each corner of the
base is ornamented with the figure of an angel in a niche and decorated
with four medallions representing the four evangelists whose features
are of imposing majesty. The sounding board in the form of a light and
graceful shell, although supported by two cherubim with outstretched
wings, seems suspended in the air. The stairway is flanked by four
figures representing Adoration, Eloquence, Meditation and Study; and the
balustrade, which is beautifully pierced in designs of branches and
figures, is ornamented with figures representing the four elements:
Earth, a rabbit chase; Air, hunting the falcon; Water, fishing with a
line; and Fire, sacrifice of a material love. It would be impossible to
carve oak more elaborately and boldly. This work was restored in 1845 by
two Bruges artists, Van Wedeveldt and P. Buyck.

The Flemish wood-carver had still plenty of work to do in the churches;
but in domestic furniture the lathe was making his services more and
more unnecessary on bars and uprights; and the increasing craze for
marquetry and the invasion of lacquer and japanned wares left him
comparatively little to do.

Much beautiful carved work of the seventeenth century survives. Vilvorde
Church has thirty-six upper and thirty-two lower oak stalls carved
originally in 1663 for the priory of Groenendael; this is a magnificent
specimen of the carver’s art. There is also lovely woodcarving of the
middle of the century in St. Michael’s, Louvain. The Church of St.
Walburge, Furnes, is also rich in carved oak. On the pulpit is a figure
of St. John writing the Apocalypse; the upper part is supported by two
palms, and a rock with an eagle. The choir stalls are particularly fine.
The Ostend parish church has a fine pulpit carved in 1674.

The Church of St. Anne in Bruges is rich in carved work of this period.
The choir stalls of oak were splendidly carved in the Renaissance style
by Jean Schockaert and Fr. Schaepelinck in 1664. The oak organ case was
carved in 1685 by Jacques Vanden Eynde, who was also the organist at
Ypres. Fine bas-reliefs in the nave were executed by Martin Moenaert in
1673 and the ornate confessionals by Jan de Sangher in 1699. There is
also a handsome communion bench made by an unknown carver in 1670, which
is decorated with the busts of the four Evangelists and four Doctors of
the Church with bas-relief panels of the Virgin, Joseph, St. Anne, St.
Joachim, the Pascal Lamb and the Eucharist ornamented with bunches of
grapes and garlands of wheat.

Carving was by no means confined to the churches: those who could afford
it still beautified the furniture of castle and hall with the work of
the chisel. Chests or _bahuts_, cabinets, _armoires_, tables, chairs and
the old “sideboards,” known in England in Jacobean days as “court
cupboards,” and in Flanders as _credences_ or “_buffet à deux corps_,”
were as highly ornamented with carving in the late Renaissance style as
they were with Gothic ornament during the fifteenth century. During the
Louis XIII period, the more important pieces of furniture usually
assumed the forms and lines of Classic architecture. A typical _bahut_
of this period (_see_ Plate LVII), owes its interest chiefly to its
architectural decorations. The fluted columns, though somewhat squat,
which adorn the divisions of the front, produce a pleasing effect; the
mouldings are strongly accented and their ornamentations are bold and in
fine style. One can easily understand that this chest would not be out
of place in any late Renaissance apartment, but would contribute to the
decorative effect of the whole. The two side niches representing the two
virtues contain statuettes—Prudence and Strength. The central panel
tells the story of Judith and Holofernes with a directness and
simplicity worthy of a Botticelli.

The two-storied buffet (_buffet à deux corps_) frequently received
similar treatment, totally at variance with the handsome one reproduced
in Plate XLIII. A splendid example decorated with the arms of Ypres,
Ghent, Bruges and Franc, is preserved in the Ypres Museum. This was the
work of Jan van de Velde, who carved it in 1644, and received 162
florins for his trouble.

The bench (_banc_), often forms part of the woodwork of the wall of a
hall in Flanders in the seventeenth century. It was frequently placed
between the windows and made luxurious with cushions. Movable benches
were often used. In these the backs turned on an axis and were most
convenient, as the occupant could arrange the seat in any position he
pleased. The benches in De Vries’s “_Cubiculum_” (Plate X), should be
compared with the bench against the wall in Plate XXXVIII in studying
the development of the _banc_. The high _banc_, or settle, in this
picture is interesting on account of its simplicity.

The general tendency of furniture was a gradual breaking away from
immovables, a development from monumental solidity into grace and
lightness. The heavy tables of De Vries are cut away, and return in
general form to the original board and trestles. A glance at Fig. 8 will
show that the workman had only to connect the struts of the trestles in
the centre of the table in order to produce a rough model of the richly
carved tables in vogue from the period of Henri II to that of Louis XIV.
The box form of support, therefore, in this style of table gives way to
what we may regard as two trestles connected in the middle by an upright
board. These, as well as the edge of the table top, are embellished by
beautiful carving. The trestles now consist of eagles, lions, chimaeras,
mermaids, satyrs and other human and animal figures; and the central
connexion is pierced, balustraded, columned and treated in a thousand
different ways. In the seventeenth century, lightness was carried a step
further, and the favourite table is simply supported by four turned legs
with heavy bulb feet, the legs have connecting rails close to the floor
and usually have one or more heavy globular swellings. In England during
the Tudor and Jacobean periods, this heavy form was known as the
drawing-table. It occurs in numberless interiors by Dutch and Flemish
masters. The desire for greater lightness, however, made itself
increasingly felt; and early in the seventeenth century we find legs
turned in plain spirals, or with beading. Chair frames naturally
corresponded with table legs.

Though the masters of Decorative Art were constantly increasing in
numbers, it was three-quarters of a century after the appearance of the
furniture designs by De Vries before another important work of the same
nature was published. This was by another Dutchman. In 1642, Crispin van
den Passe published at Amsterdam his “_Boutique Menuiserie dans laquelle
sont comprins les plus notables fondaments non moins arichesse avecq des
nouvelles inventions_.”

Of his life little is known, except that he was the son of the great
engraver of the same name and was born in Utrecht in 1585. His _Boutique
Menuiserie_ contains a series of plates of furniture. It is extremely
rare today, but was doubtless in every cabinet-maker’s shop of the

The furniture, it will be noticed, is “new.” The book was published two
years after the death of Rubens, while the _style Rubens_ was still in
its glory. From a study of these plates, together with the engravings of
Abraham Bosse, we can obtain a clear vision of an interior, either
Flemish or French, during the reign of Louis XIII, for Crispin’s
furniture designs were as well known to French as to Flemish workmen.
Three of his chairs, two of them folding, are reproduced in Figs. 31,
32, and 33; Fig. 34 also shows a small table by him.

We have already caught a glimpse of Rubens’s home in Antwerp; and now we
cannot do better than look at the interior of the other great master in
Amsterdam. When that city passed through a great financial crisis in
1653, Rembrandt suffered in company with his fellow-citizens. He had
been living like a lord in a splendid dwelling sumptuously furnished and
decorated, and surrounded by a multitude of objects of art which he
loved to collect—armour, robes, busts, ceramics, engravings, and famous
pictures by Italian and native artists, as well as his own productions.
To satisfy his creditors, these all came to the hammer in 1656. The
inventory gives us a good idea of his home. In the vestibule, there were
four Spanish chairs covered with Russia leather, four Spanish chairs
with black seats, and one low form of pinewood.

The Antechamber contained an ebony-framed mirror and an ebony stand, a
marble basin, a walnut table with a Tournay cover, and seven Spanish
chairs covered with green velvet. The “Room behind the Antechamber” was
furnished with a gilded frame, a small oak table, four common chairs, a
copper cauldron, and a portmanteau. In the “Hall,” there were six chairs
with blue seats, a large mirror, an oak table, with an embroidered
tablecloth, a bed with blue hangings, two pillows and two covers, a
matted chair, a set of fire-irons, and a “sacerdan” wood press, and a
“sacerdan” small _kas_ with doors. The “Art Cabinet” contained three
East India cups, one East India powder box, one East India “jatte” with
a little Chinaman, one East India workbox, two porcelain “casoars,” two
porcelain figurines, one Japanese casque, plaster casts, copper and
pewter, globes, and seventy natural history specimens. On the floor at
the back were a great quantity of shells, marine plants and other
curiosities, statues, arms, armour, etc. Here also were many portfolios
filled with choice engravings, etchings and drawings, besides one old
chest, four chairs with black leather seats, and one pine table. In the
“Small Studio,” there are musical instruments and armour (119 pieces),
and a great number of casts of hands, arms and heads from nature, and
many various kinds of woven materials. The “Large Studio” has in it
twenty pieces—halberds, swords, and Indian fans, costumes of an Indian
man and woman, cuirasses and trumpets. The “Studio Entry” is decorated
with the skins of a lion and lioness, and other furs.

A bedstead stands in the “Little Room.”

The “Small Kitchen” is furnished with a little table, a larder, some old
chairs, two cushioned chairs, some pots and pans, and a tin waterpot.
Nine white plates and two earthen plates decorate the “Corridor.”
Rembrandt owned a good deal of linen; and most of the rooms contained

No one looking at Rembrandt’s own pictures can fail to appreciate his
fondness for dressing himself and his models in feathers, armour and
fantastic costumes, which, as we have seen, he kept as properties in his

Rembrandt resided in the Jewish quarter in Amsterdam from 1640 to 1656.
His house, Jodenbrêe Straat, No. 4, next door but one to the bridge, is
marked by a simple memorial tablet.


  PLATE XXV.—_Panelled Bedstead._


We can form a very clear idea of the general appearance of a street of
the Renaissance period from many old houses that still stand in Belgium
and Holland. The interiors in some cases we can also reconstruct by the
aid of inventories. Mechlin is particularly rich in buildings of the
sixteenth century. The _Mont de Piété_, once the home of Canon
Busleyden, is a Gothic building of 1507, restored in 1864; on the Quay
au Sel, there are several old timber-houses, the _Salm Inn_, with a
Renaissance façade of 1530–34, and a house in the Franco-Flemish style,
very rich in detail. There is also an interesting timber-house in the
Quay aux Avoines.

Bruges and Ypres contain several houses of the seventeenth century;
Ghent has two private houses on the Quai de la Grue (one of which is
named the _Vliegenden Hert_); and Antwerp, several Guildhouses. Holland
is richer in houses and buildings of this century. In Amsterdam, the
royal palace—the Dam—was built in 1648 as a Town Hall by Jacob van
Kampen; the house of Admiral de Ruyter may be seen on the
Prins-Hendrik-Kade, and the house of Baron Six in the Heerengracht, and
on the Heerengracht and Keizersgracht are many houses of the seventeenth

There are also a number of seventeenth century houses of great interest
to the student of architecture in Alkmaar. The Stadhuis, in Enkhuisen,
dates from 1688; Sneek has a water-tower of 1615, which was restored in
1878; Zwolle has a guard-house of 1614; and the police-office of
Deventer is a Renaissance structure of 1632. Several brick buildings of
the seventeenth century still stand in the Zaadmarkt and Groenmarkt of
Zutphen; there are several houses in Bommel of this period, including
the famous house of Maarten van Rossum, now a district court; and the
weigh-house and meat market of Gouda date from 1668 and 1691.

The doors and interior woodwork of these houses in many cases are
precious records of the skill of the Dutch and Flemish wood-carvers of
the period.

One of the most famous houses in Mechlin in the second half of the
seventeenth century was a commandery called the Pitsembourg; and it was
selected in 1668 as the most suitable residence for the High Constable
of Castile and Leon.

An inventory of the furnishings of this establishment was taken in 1656,
which enables us to go through the house.

The first room that we enter is called _de Trappenye_, and was used as
an office. Here we find a picture representing the _Birth of Christ_ and
two pieces of sculpture—_The Offering_ and _The Three Kings_, standing
on two pedestals that bear the arms of Cratz (Cratz was commander of the
House of Mechlin from 1564 to 1604). In this room are two large cases—
one with twenty and the other with ten drawers, one lettered, and the
other numbered—to preserve papers, documents and charts. It is warmed by
a half-stove, _halve stove_, according to the inventory. For diversion,
there is a backgammon board with white pieces of boxwood, and black of


  PLATE XXVI.—_The Sick Woman, by Jan Steen._


  Figs. 31 and 33: FOLDING CHAIRS, by CRISPIN VAN DE PASSE; Fig. 32:

Passing from this into the _camer beneffens de trappenye_, we find a
bedroom, _de camer boven de trappenye_, the most conspicuous object of
which is a bed. So sumptuous is this, in fact, that no other furniture
is needed to give this room distinction. To begin with, the framework is
ornately carved, and it is hung with rich silken curtains and
sumptuously upholstered. Undoubtedly this bed was of the same type as
the beautiful Renaissance specimen reproduced in Plate XXV, from the
Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. A reference to Plate X will show this is later
in style than the “new” one designed by De Vries. The “linen-fold” panel
has entirely disappeared, and the carved accessories are all pure late
Renaissance. At the time this inventory was taken, however, these
magnificent wardrobe-shaped beds with elaborate carving were already out
of date and supplanted in favour by the lighter form with simple posts
at the corners, the whole being entirely closed with curtains. This bed
appears in Plate XXVI and Plate XXVII with both square and dome-shaped
tops, and in many other pictures by the Dutch masters of the seventeenth

The bed in which upholstery had superseded carving had been growing in
favour, not only in the homes of the middle classes, but also in those
of the rich. It even occurs in the inner room of the wealthy house
represented in Plate XXIV.

This bed, known as the _lit en housse_, is the typical bed of the
seventeenth century, and is the one that appears in Abraham Bosse’s
engravings, whenever a bed is introduced—in the homes of the rich, in
hospitals, and in the rooms of tradesmen and school teachers. In this
style of bed, the framework is of comparatively little importance. The
_ciel_, or canopy, is supported on four posts which are carved or
painted in harmony with the curtains, or covered with the same
materials. Beneath the valance, a rod runs under the canopy for the
support of the curtains, which are drawn up or down by means of cords
and pulleys. When closed, the _lit en housse_ looks like a square box.
The elegance of the bed depended upon its upholstery. The richest beds
were draped with tapestry, silk, damask brocade and velvet, beautifully
trimmed with gold and silver braid or lace, narrow silk fringe, or
fringe of gold or silver threads, or decorative cords and tassels.
Serge, cloth, East Indian goods, linen and cotton materials were also
employed. The curtains were more or less richly lined and the four
corners of the canopy above the posts were decorated with a carved or
turned wooden knob called a _pomme_ (which was sometimes gilded or
painted), a bunch of feathers, or a “bouquet” made of ravelled silk
ornaments or inverted tassels.

Returning now to our examination of the Pitsembourg, we note that the
next room is that of the master brewer, in which there is a very shabby
bed, an old picture representing the _Elevation during Holy Mass_, a
wall map of Germany and a standard with the arms of Lant-Commander,
Werner Spies von Bullesheim, who was at the head of the house of Mechlin
from 1639 to 1641.


  PLATE XXVII.—_Woman, with a Parrot, by Jan Steen._


Passing by the unimportant rooms of the servants, we enter the old room
of the commander, where we note an alcove hung with two little green
curtains with an embroidered border, and in the alcove a bed with
bolster, pillow and two counterpanes, one white, and the other green, a
table covered with a cloth, some little stools (_escarbeaux_), two
chairs covered with green cloth, andirons, shovel and tongs of copper,
and a number of pictures, among which are two little representations of
castles, the Battle of Calloo, a portrait of Lant-Commander Bongaert in
full-dress uniform, one of Lant-Commander van Ruyssenbergh, one of
Commander Cratz, and one of Commander Werner Spies von Bullesheim
kneeling with a chaplain at the feet of the Virgin. Two little rooms and
a bathroom belonging to the chaplain follow, and then we enter a room
called _In den inganck van’t voorhuys_. In the centre stands an old
table covered with a “carpet of gilt leather.” There are some
water-colours on the wall, including two vases filled with flowers, and
two of decorative motives with the inscriptions “_Virtus parit honorem_”
and “_Qui confidit in divitiis corruet_.” There is also a large painting
of the arms of the Archduke Maximilian, Grand Master of the Order (son
of the Emperor Maximilian II).

From the _Inganck van’t voorhuys_, we step into a more luxurious hall
called _het cleyn salet naast het voorhuys_, hung with ten large pieces
of leather with gold patterns on a silver background. The furniture
consists of a table with oak leaves, covered with a Turkish carpet,
chairs with stuffed backs of red ribbed silk, a screen made of four
painted canvases, and eleven pictures, one the _Battle of Prague_ and
the others landscapes, ornamental copper andirons, and a hearth-box.

The next salon, _de sale naar de Trappenye_, is hung with portraits, and
some large pictures, one of which represents Samson proving his

In the dining-room, _in de nieuwe gemaeckte stove_, there are also many
pictures, including portraits, a “winter scene” and a “Flemish
_Kermesse_.” The principal piece of furniture is a superb sideboard of
carved oak, on which the following pieces of silver are displayed: one
_aiguière_ and basin with the arms of Spies; four candelabra with
chiselled sconces, an extinguisher with tray, and an amphora, all with
the arms of Lutzenrode; two large jugs, a deep dish, a mustard-pot and
six salt-cellars, also with the arms of Lutzenrode; a chafing-dish with
the Ruyssenbergh arms, twenty-two spoons, twenty-six forks, twenty-two
knives, and ten porcelain wine-jugs with silver tops.

Next to this hall is the bishop’s room, which is luxuriously furnished.
The walls are hung with eight large “tapestries of leather” with gold
patterns on a silver background. The bed is upholstered with curtains of
mauve silk trimmed with a silk braid of yellow and violet. It is
furnished with two mattresses, a bolster, two pillows, and two
counterpanes—one white, the other green—and over the whole is thrown a
large counterpane of embroidered silk trimmed with a fringe of silk and
gold thread. The window-curtains, the six chairs, and armchair, are
covered with the same silk as the counterpane. There is a large mirror
in an ebony frame and portraits of Maximilian, Syberg, and Bongaert.

The bishop’s room is next to the salon, _groot salet beneden d’aarde_,
which is hung with thirteen pieces of “leather tapestry,” showing gold
patterns on a red background. On the mantelpiece there is a crucifix
carved of boxwood, the foot of which is incrusted with mother-of-pearl,
and there is a magnificent mirror of gold and black wood, the fronton of
which is ornamented with a silk cord with large tassels, the whole
supported by three gilded griffins. This room also contains sixteen
pictures, nine of which are still-life, and are signed Jacques van Esch
of Antwerp (1606–1666).

The commander’s bedroom is very modest, as becomes one who has assumed
the vows of poverty: a little walnut bed with very ordinary curtains,
with a mattress, two bolsters, three pillows (one covered with white
leather, which he takes on his travels), and a counterpane of quilted
silk. He allowed himself the luxury of a fire, because there are
andirons and a hearth-box. A portrait of the _Virgin_ and _The
Temptation of St. Anthony_ are his only pictures, and the one ornament
is a sculptured _Descent from the Cross_. A little desk and a close
chair covered in black leather and inlaid with copper, complete the
furniture of this room, which makes an interesting contrast with the

The enormous number of cooking utensils in the kitchen show that the
most lavish hospitality was offered in this house. Every kind of copper
pot and pan, from the largest saucepan and boiler (_de schonck of
hespenketel_) to the tiniest pans for cakes and pastry (_een clein coper
panneke waarin men dry eieren kan doppen_, and _koek_ and _taart
pannen_), are present in great numbers; and, moreover, there are
portable ovens to bake tarts, ladles, skimmers, sieves, spice-boxes,
spits, skewers, ten grills, large and small, some of them for roasting
oysters—in short every article that a cook would need to prepare a feast
for a _gourmet_.

The _buffets_, _armoires_ and shelves of the kitchen are filled with
valuable metal ware, including eight _aiguières_ and eight dishes,
weighing sixty-five pounds. These are marked with the arms of Spies and
Syberg. Then there are seventeen candlesticks, some of which have round
and others square bases; there are ninety-three large and small dishes
with the arms of Lutzenrode, Spies and Syberg, and a hundred and
twenty-eight plates with the arms of the various commanders. The shelves
also contain a great number of wine jars and measures and pots for
holding grape-juice and a great number of earthenware dishes, crocks,

There is a special pantry, and near this a pastry-room; and a brewery, a
harness-room, tool houses, a house for the gardener, and in the park,
which is a kind of botanical garden, there is a pavilion on a knoll,
where any one desiring to fish could find rods and lines.

The kitchen is the most important room in the majority of the
middle-class houses; in fact, in many a Flemish and Dutch interior it
appears as the general living-room. Plate XXVII and Plate XXXVI afford
Dutch examples.

A fine example of a Flemish kitchen of the seventeenth century is by
Teniers the younger, called _The Good Kitchen_ in the Hague Gallery.
This was painted in 1644.

Another fine kitchen of the period occurs in a Family Group by Cocx
(Coques), in the Cassel Gallery. In the foreground a man is seated at a
table looking at his son’s drawings. Not far away his wife is teaching
her daughter to make lace, and through a large door the kitchen is
visible, where fish, oysters, pastries and birds show preparations for a

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has a series of rooms fitted up in the
old style with original furniture. The kitchen represented in Plate
XXXII is equipped with all the pots and pans dear to the heart of the
Dutch housewife. The hearth, ovens and shelves are furnished with all
the implements and utensils necessary for good housekeeping: cauldrons,
spits, churns, plate-warmers, kettles, bellows, waffle-irons, etc., are
all there. A Frisian clock hangs on the tiled wall, and the cupboards
contain everything necessary for cooking and cleaning.

The library of the Pitsembourg was well stored with religious works. The
chapel, a beautiful edifice built in 1228 and dedicated to St. Elizabeth
of Hungary, contained some fine carvings, two crucifixes, one of silver
and one of copper, organs, carved statues, silver chandeliers;’and
exceptionally rich vestments, altar-cloths and Flemish lace.

It will be noticed that all the principal rooms in this establishment
were hung with leather, or “leather tapestry” in accordance with the
taste of the age.

The leather hangings of the seventeenth century are even more brilliant
than those of the past; and on the bright background of scarlet, blue,
sea-green, gold or silver, a wealth of ornamentation appears—animals,
birds, flowers, fruits, mascarons and other favourite devices of the
time. Leather hangings are always present in wealthy homes of Holland.
An excellent example is shown in the picture of _The Young Scholar and
his Sister_ by Coques (Cocx), now in the Cassel Gallery. The room, which
is richly furnished, is hung with blue and gold leather. This picture
was painted in the seventeenth century.

The Low Countries by this time had become renowned for their fine
leather and exported a vast amount of it. Notwithstanding the rivalry of
the French and Italian workshops, there was a special shop in the Rue
St. Denis in Paris where Flemish and Dutch leathers could be obtained.
Some of the French inventories of this century mention especially
“tapestries of leather” from the Netherlands; for example, Fouquet has
at his Château of Vaux, in 1661, “a rich hanging of tapestry of _cuir
doré_ from Flanders, consisting of eight pieces”; and in 1698, a rich
Parisian owns “a hanging of tapestry of _cuir doré de Hollande_,” with a
red background.

The Rijks Museum in Amsterdam contains a great number of gilt leather
hangings of the seventeenth century; at the Hôtel de Ville of Furnes,
there are some hangings of Spanish leather and the Antiquarian Museum of
Utrecht also contains some embossed gilt leather hangings.

In the seventeenth century, the great centres for the production of
tapestry shifted to Paris and London. This is the period when the famous
looms of the Gobelins and Mortlake were established. The directors and
workers in these famous establishments were Flemings. It was largely
owing to the influence of Le Brun that Paris triumphed over Brussels
with her Gobelins manufactory established in 1662. This was really the
outgrowth of the high-warp looms established by Henry IV in 1597, under
an excellent tapestry-worker named Laurent. These workshops were first
situated in the house of the Jesuits in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and
were transferred to the Louvre in 1603. The King sent to Flanders for
tapestry-workers over whom he placed the Sieur de Fourcy. In 1607 he
sent for more workers, among whom were Marc Comans (or Coomans) and
François de la Planche, who were given charge of the workshops at
Tournelles. These were removed to the Faubourg St. Marceau. The
tapestries had to be made _façon de Flandres_.


  PLATE XXVIII.—_Flemish Chair._


The King’s enterprises were not universally approved. “They cost large
sums to his Majesty,” says a contemporary, and loss and ruin to his
subjects. Witness the Brussels tapestries at St. Marcel, the Flemish
linens at Mantes and the cloths of silk and gold of Milan.

After the King’s death, Comans and De la Planche continued to work in
Paris, and in 1630 were engaged at the manufactory that afterwards
became the Gobelins.

Flemish workmen were also employed at Maincy near Vaux in 1658. When,
owing to the wars, the Gobelins was closed in 1694, some of the workmen
entered the army, twenty-three returned to Flanders and others went to
Beauvais. This great factory was no less indebted than was the Gobelins
to the Flemings. It was established in 1664 by a “_marchand tapissier_,”
named Louis Hynart, a native of Beauvais, who owned a large number of
workshops in Flanders as well as in Paris. As Beauvais was at that time
an important centre for woollen stuffs, Hynart proposed to the
municipality that he should establish workshops of high-warp tapestry
“in the manner of those of Flanders.” Hynart obtained a subsidy and
brought a number of Flemish workmen to Beauvais. He was negligent,
however, and in 1684 the directorship of the Beauvais manufactory was
given to Philippe Béhagle (originally Behagel) of a famed family of
tapestry-weavers of Oudenarde. Under Béhagle the “Royal Manufactory of
Tapestry,” flourished until his death in 1704. Another workman who
contributed greatly to the success of Beauvais was Georges Blommaert,
who was also called to Beauvais in 1684 from Lille, where he had
established a workshop in 1677.

When Georges Blommaert left Lille to go to Beauvais, he was succeeded by
François and André Pannemaker, descendants of the famous Pannemaker
family of tapestry-makers. In 1688, they had a rival in Jean de Melter,
of Brussels, who was particularly fond of reproducing compositions after
Rubens. The Pannemakers devoted their skill chiefly to “_Verdures_.”

The looms at Nancy, established in the seventeenth century, and closed
in 1625, were also worked by men from the Low Countries, among them one
Melchior van der Hameidan. The Brussels looms were still busy in this
century, but the corporation of tapestry-workers was recruited from a
few families, such as the De Vos, De Castros, Raës, Van der Borchts, Van
der Heckes, and Leyniers. They repeated the cartoons of the last
century; but in the middle of the seventeenth Teniers produced many
rustic scenes that, known as _Tenières_, became very popular. Flemish
tapestry-weavers are found in Rome; in Denmark (twenty-six were there
about 1604); in Russia (Martin Steuerbout of Antwerp had a manufactory
in Moscow in 1607); and in England.


  PLATE XXIX.—_Flemish Chair._


The Mortlake manufactory, established by James I near London in 1619,
was practically a Flemish manufactory. In a short while its only rival
was the Gobelins. The King sent specially to Flanders for skilled
workmen and no less than fifty arrived in one month, among whom were
Josse Ampe of Bruges, Simon Heyns, Jacques Hendricx, Josse Inghels, and
Pierre Foquentin of Oudenarde. Rubens and Van Dyck were commissioned to
supply cartoons; but many of the old favourite historical and religious
sets of the past century were reproduced. Paris and Hampton Court Palace
contain a number of these.

Mortlake had closed when William III ordered his victories to be
commemorated in woven pictures. The cartoons for _The Battle of
Bresgate_, _The Descent on Tor bay_ and _The Battle of the Boyne_, were
drawn by Jean Lottin, the painter, and made by Clerck, Vander Borcht,
Cobus and De Vos of Brussels.

Flemish tapestry-weavers settled in Sandwich, Canterbury, Maidstone,
Norwich and Colchester in 1567–8, after the persecutions of the Duke of
Alva; but notwithstanding the good work produced in England, Admiral
Howard ordered the famous set of six pieces to commemorate the
destruction of the Spanish Armada from the painter H. Cornelis de Vroom
of Haarlem and Franz Spierinx of Delft. These fine pieces hung in the
House of Lords, London, until destroyed by the fire of 1824.

Religious, mythological and allegorical subjects continue in favour
during the seventeenth century; and subjects inspired by contemporary
history are also popular. The cartoons by Rubens, however, take
precedence of everything; and his _History of Achilles_, _History of
Constantine_, _Scenes from the Old Testament_, _Triumph of the Church_,
etc., are reproduced in every workshop in Europe. His most famous work,
_The History of Marie de’ Medici_, was finally completed at the Gobelins
manufactory during the reign of Louis Philippe.

In furniture, during the seventeenth century, it may be said that carved
figures gradually gave way to turned supports, and uprights; and the
surfaces depended for decoration on panelling of geometrical designs and
applied ornaments of real or imitation ebony. Another favourite way of
decorating the broad surfaces was to inlay them in various designs with
wood of different colours. The latter taste rapidly advanced during this
century with the constantly increasing importation of the beautifully
coloured woods of the East and West Indies. As the Flemish artists,
moreover, went so often to Italy for inspiration, Flemish marquetry,
doubtless, took its first stimulus from Italian taste. To quote a
learned critic[4]: “The Italians of the Decadence had a passion for
ebony and coloured woods, and theatrical and complicated decorations.
Furniture completely changed its physiognomy; the decorative panels with
all their ornaments, are renounced for plain surfaces on which marquetry
can be displayed to advantage. Forsaken by fashion, walnut drops out of
use; profiles are multiplied; the fine _cuirs_ that were cut in solid
bosses sprawl about in an enervated, weakened fashion; the straight,
firm and springing Classic column now becomes twisted and distorted; and
the stale and banal decoration has neither sinews nor youth. The
sculptor yields his place to the marquetry-worker and the carpenter
(_menuisier_) becomes a cabinet-maker (_ébéniste_).”[5]

Footnote 4:


Footnote 5:

  A literal translation is more to the point: the carpenter becomes a
  worker in exotic woods, ebony, etc.


  PLATE XXX.—_Chairs._


Until the sixteenth century, marquetry seems to have chiefly consisted
of ivory and ebony; but at this period exotic woods began to be
employed. Beautiful marquetry was a mark of luxury; for example, in the
famous pamphlet _L’Isle des Hermaphrodites_, directed against Henri III
and his Court, the author says: “As for the furniture of wood, we should
like to have it all of gold, silver, and marquetry, and the pieces,
especially the canopies of the beds, if possible, of cedar, rose, and
other odoriferous woods unless you would rather have them of ebony and

In this century Italy carried to perfection, the inlay of rare and
polished marbles, lapis-lazuli, agates, pebbles, etc., called
_pietra-dura_, and this style was imitated in other countries.

During the Decadence, the old marquetry of wood gave place to
incrustations of mother-of-pearl, shell, precious stones and coloured
marbles, and the furniture was made even more sumptuous by the additions
of chiselled mounts, key-plates, handles, feet, etc., of silver or gilt
bronze. Painted glass was also a popular kind of inlay. A good example
of this work is in the hospice of Liège—a walnut cabinet with plaques of
painted glass in many colours in imitation of what the Italians call
_mille fiori_.

A new kind of marquetry, however, made its appearance in the seventeenth
century and gained in popularity. This consisted of large designs of
flowers—particularly the tulip—birds and foliage represented in very
gaily-coloured woods of many varieties and dyes, and bits of ivory or
mother-of-pearl are added to the eyes of birds, or petals of flowers, to
give a touch of brilliancy. Cabinets, bedsteads, writing-desks,
china-cupboards, tall clocks, the frames of chairs—in short every piece
of furniture was subject to this style of decoration. This kind of
marquetry was popular in England during the reign of William and Mary,
when everything Dutch was the rage. It is well known that the Dutch were
even fonder of marquetry than the Flemings. A Dutch cabinet, which
depends for its decoration entirely on the contrasted colours and shapes
of its inlaid woods, standing on a low frame with spiral legs and knob
feet connected by a plain stretcher (_see_ Plate XXXI), is in the Rijks
Museum, Amsterdam. This is a good specimen of geometrical inlay.

Motives of marquetry of a formal floral nature are reproduced in Fig.


  PLATE XXXI.—_Marquetry Cabinet._


During the Spanish dominion in the sixteenth century, the chair in which
great personages sit for their portraits has a high straight back with
the side posts usually ending in carved lions’ heads, straight or
scrolled arms and carved or plain straight legs connected by stretchers.
The feet are sometimes carved with the heads or feet of animals. The
back and seat are upholstered with velvet or stamped leather fixed to
the frame with large brass-headed nails. This “Spanish chair” was common
in Spain, Italy, France and England, as well as in the Netherlands. We
find it in the pictures of the great portrait painters of the
Renaissance—Raphael, Titian and Velasquez—as well as the great Dutch and
Flemish masters. Fig. 36 shows a fine solid and simple example of this
style of chair of Flemish workmanship. It is well-proportioned; both
front and back legs and the arms are turned, and the stretchers are
grooved and shaped. When in use, of course, the seat would be
comfortably cushioned. The back, seat and arms are covered with leather.

The most common chair of the seventeenth century, however, is one
without arms. It is rather low and is a simplified form of the above
“Spanish chair.” A fine early example of this model is represented in
Plate XXVIII, now in the Cluny Museum, Paris. It will be noticed that
the heads on the back posts are still carved, and that the legs are
shaped and turned, while the rails are grooved. The Cluny Museum has a
considerable number of Flemish chairs of this style and period. One of
them, stamped with the monogram of Christ and the date 1672, probably
belonged to an ecclesiastic. The ordinary form of this chair appears on
either side of the chimney-piece in Plate XXIV.

The low-backed chair without arms is very common in interior scenes by
Dutch and Flemish masters. Sometimes we see guests seated on them at the
table; and sometimes it will serve as a seat for a lady as she takes a
music-lesson. (_See_ Plate XXXIX.) It is found in various dimensions and
proportions. Sometimes it has one set of rungs and sometimes two;
sometimes the legs are plain, and sometimes elegantly turned. Sometimes
the back posts have lions’ heads and frequently not. (_See_ Plates XXXV
and XXXIX, and Fig 35.)

The design by Crispin de Passe, Fig. 32, shows the style for an armchair
of the middle of the century. Here the centre of the top back bar is
raised with ornamental carving and the lions’ heads are suppressed. A
variety of the same style of chair fashionable during the period of
Louis XIII is represented by the handsome piece of Flemish workmanship
in Plate XXIX, also in the Cluny Museum. The arms and bars and front
legs are turned in elegant spirals effectively relieved. The back posts
do not rise above the top rail, and have no lions’ heads, but finely
carved heads terminate the arms. The back and seat are covered with gilt
leather stamped with a beautiful floral design and fastened to the frame
with the usual large-headed nails. Sometimes instead of lions’ heads, we
find carved heads of other animals and of women. Besides leather and
velvet, this style of chair was frequently covered with embroidered
material and tapestry.

A Dutch chair of this general form, though with sloping and scrolled
arms, is in the Rijks Museum. (_See_ Plate XXXIII.) The legs are turned
in spirals; and the back and seat are upholstered with a rich material
figured with large flower forms—tulips, roses, irises, etc.


  PLATE XXXII.—_Kitchen._


Still another model of this style of armchair with spiral rungs and
supports, scrolled arms, carved top and leather back and seat, appears
on Plate XXXIV. This is also a Dutch chair in the Rijks Museum. It is
interesting to compare it with another armchair on the same plate. This,
of carved oak, turned back posts, front legs of carved heavy scrolls,
diagonal connecting rails also formed of heavy scrolls, and scrolled
front bar, is an interesting example of an armchair of the Dutch work of
the Louis XIV period. The back has a central panel with a scrolled
frame, elegantly carved. It is filled with woven cane instead of
leather, or other upholstery. The seat is cane also. A chair without
arms, which looks as if it might have belonged to the same set, though
it is now preserved in the Cluny Museum, Paris, is shown in Plate XLV.
Another armchair of the same period and general style (_see_ Plate
XXXIII) has a carved panel filled with cane, cane seat, scrolled arms,
turned rails and legs, and carved front bar. Chairs of this fashion were
extremely popular in the Low Countries and in England during the second
half of the seventeenth century. In all probability, they originated in
the Netherlands, and became familiar and favourites with the exiled
Cavaliers between 1640 and 1660; and at the Restoration the style was
imported into England. However this may be, this well-known carved oak
chair, with cane back and seat, is still popularly known as the “Charles
II Chair.” A light Dutch model of this type, with elegantly carved front
bar, turned rails and posts and scrolled front legs, is shown in Plate
XXXIV. It has no arms and the back panel is divided into two narrow
panels of cane, producing a very light and elegant effect. The scrolls
of the feet are much lighter and more graceful than those of the
armchair at its side.

An armchair of the same style and period, also from the Rijks Museum, is
in the centre on Plate XXXV.

The central panel of the back is gracefully treated with open carved and
turned work. The panel proper is framed with heavy scrolls, and the
central bar is pierced and carved with graceful bellflowers running
downwards and upwards. This _chute_ of the bell-flower now becomes a
very favourite ornamentation in decorative art, and Bérain, Marot and
other artists of the period make free use of it. The curved stretchers
with the vase ornament in the centre is very characteristic of Dutch,
English, and French furniture of the second half of the seventeenth
century. It occurs in ordinary tables, dressing-tables, stands for
cabinets, and, in fact, every piece of furniture that stands on four
legs. The arms and legs consist of the usual scroll, and the feet of
carved bulbs.

A chair with the characteristic scrolled stretcher just alluded to
occurs on Plate XXXIII. It is richly carved, and has turned and carved
straight legs, with bulbed feet. The back is a richly carved frame,
filled with cane. The top is crowned with delicate ribbon and foliage
carving, and the shape of the back is a favourite one for the mirrors of
the period. The proportions of the seat, which is stuffed and covered
with velvet fastened with small brass nails is quite modern. This chair,
however, belongs to the end of the seventeenth century. The affinities
between the chairs we have been describing and the designs by Marot,
which were so popular in Holland, may be studied in the next chapter.


  PLATE XXXIII.—_Chairs._


The masters of this school of ornamentation were numerous. Hitherto
Flanders has overshadowed the Northern Provinces of the Netherlands in
art products; but beginning with De Vries, Holland assumes equal
importance. Peter Soutman (Haarlem 1580–1650), was a pupil of Rubens;
William Buytenweg worked at Rotterdam; Adrian Muntink was famous in
Groningen (_circ._ 1610); other goldsmiths and engravers, named Laurens,
Janss Micker, Geraert van Ryssen, Meinert Gelis, Jacobus van der Tverff,
Gerritz Hessel (Amsterdam), Abraham Hecker (Amsterdam), Hendrik de
Keyser (Amsterdam), Jacobus Collan (Rotterdam), and Arnold Houbraken
(Dordrecht), all flourished during the first half of the seventeenth
century. Their motives of garlands, fruits, flowers, human and animal
figures, birds, insects, etc., were used in the decoration of sumptuous,
carved furniture, and for marquetry and mosaics, as well as for the gold
and silver ware of which the nobles and rich merchants were so fond.

Other masters of ornament of the Netherlands of this period, whose works
have survived, are Martin van Buten (_circ._ 1607), Franz Aspruck
(_circ._ 1601), Jacques de Gheyn (_circ._ 1610), J. B. Barbé (_b._
1585), Blondus (1590–1656), Raphael Custode, Michel van Lochon,
Henderick Lodeweycke (_circ._ 1626), André Pauli (_circ._ 1628).

Following the above, when the _style Rubens_ was giving way to the
Decadence, we find Michel Natalis (1609–80), Arthus Quellin (_b._ 1609),
Jacob van Campen (_circ._ 1660), Peter van den Avont (_b._ 1619), James
Collan (_circ._ 1650), Arnold Houbraken (_d._ 1660), L. Hendericks
(_circ._ 1660), Romanus de Hooghe (1638–1718), Gaspard Bouttats,
(1640–1703), J. J. Falkema (_circ._ 1680), Isaac Moucheron (1660–1744),
Antony de Winter (_circ._ 1690), Peter Paul Bouche (_circ._ 1693), J.
Thuys (_circ._ 1690), J. and F. Harrewyn (_circ._ 1694), Heinrich van
Bein (1689–98), and G. Vischer, Erasmus Kamyn, P. Schentz and M.
Heylbrouck, who all worked at the close of the century.

The most extraordinary style of ornamentation employed by the masters of
Decorative Art during the seventeenth century is that known as the
_genre auriculaire_. In this, every part of the human ear is used as a
decorative motive. The outer rim and lobe had been used long before it
was carried to excess. A very early example is shown in the bed dated
1580 on Plate XI where auricular curves are plainly recognizable in the

In the “_Buire_” (Plate XLVI) by Mosyn, however, this style is seen in
its most exaggerated form. This design is by M. Mosyn, an engraver, born
at Amsterdam about 1630. His chandeliers are equally extravagant. Peter
Nolpe, born at the Hague (1601–70), was another designer of this school,
as was also John Lutma of Amsterdam (1609–89). The latter represents the
very decadence of art, with his hideous cartouches, compartments, frames
and _aiguières_, composed of distorted and tortured ears. Another master
of Amsterdam who published many plates in the same extraordinary taste
was Gerbrandt van der Eeckhout. He also worked in the middle of this
century. This style attained its greatest vogue in Germany. There
Friederich Unteutsch, a master carpenter of Frankfort, published (1650)
110 plates of all kinds of furniture, on which the ear is prominent as
an ornament. Daniel Rabel (_d._ 1637), also used the _genre auriculaire_
in France, but there its life was short and feeble.

                               CHAPTER VI
                      SEVENTEENTH CENTURY (DUTCH)

  Famous Dutch Architects—The Royal Palace on the Dam, Het Loo, the
      Mauritshuis and Huis ten Bosch—Interior Carvings—Specimens of
      Rooms and Ceilings in the Rijks Museum—Love of the Dutch for their
      Houses—Miniature Dutch Houses and Models of Old Amsterdam Houses
      in the Rijks Museum—Architecture of the Seventeenth Century—A
      Typical Dutch Home—The _Luifel_, _Voorhuis_ and _Comptoir_—
      Interior Decorations and Furniture—Dutch Mania for Cleaning—
      Descriptions by Travellers of Dutch Houses and Cleaning—Cleaning
      Utensils—House and Furniture of Andreas Hulstman Janz, in
      Dordrecht—Inventory of Gertrude van Mierevelt, wife of the
      painter, in Delft—“Show-rooms” and their Furnishings—Cooking
      Utensils—Bedroom in the House of Mrs. Lidia van der Dussen in
      Dordrecht—The Cradle and “Fire-Basket”—The Baby’s Silver—The
      “Bride’s Basket”—The “Bride’s Crown” and “Throne”—Decorations for
      a Wedding—Description by Sir John Lower of the Farewell
      Entertainment to Charles II at The Hague.

The most important architects of this period were Hendrik de Keyser
(1565–1621), Jacob van Kampen (1598–1657), and Philip Vinckboons

The Royal Palace on the Dam, Amsterdam, was built by Jacob van Kampen
for a Town Hall; it was begun in 1648 and finished in 1655. It is
interesting to note that the structure rests on a foundation of 13,659
piles. The gables are ornamented with allegorical reliefs by Artus
Quellin the Elder (see page 137), representing the glories of Amsterdam.
Artus Quellin and his assistants also adorned the interior with carvings
and sculptures in marble. There are also in the various rooms
elaborately carved chimney-pieces, some of them with painted overmantels
by Jan Lievens, Ferd. Bol, and N. de Helt-Stocade (1656). The ceilings
were painted by J. G. Bronchorst, Cornelis Holsteyn and others. This was
not used as a palace until the time of Louis Napoleon in 1808.

Het Loo, near Apeldoorn, the favourite residence of William I, William
III and the reigning Queen Wilhelmina, received additions during this
period; and the Royal Palace at The Hague was also built in the time of
William III.

The Mauritshuis, on the Vyver (now the home of the famous Hague picture
gallery), was erected in 1633–44, for Count John Maurice of Nassau, the
Dutch West India Company’s Governor of Brazil, who died in 1679. The
architects were Jacob van Kampen and Pieter Post. This house was rebuilt
in 1704–18, after a fire.

These two architects were also responsible for the Huis ten Bosch (House
in the Wood), the royal villa near The Hague, built about 1645 for the
Princess Amalia of Solms, widow of Prince Frederick Henry of Orange
(1625–47). The wings were added by William IV in 1748, and many of the
decorations are of the eighteenth century. The famous apartments are:
the Chinese Room, the Japanese Room, and the Orange Saloon, in which the
Peace Conference met in 1899.


  PLATE XXXIV.—_Chairs._


The Trêves Saloon in the Binnenhof in The Hague was built by William III
in 1697 as a reception-room. It is embellished with a handsome ceiling
and portraits of seven stadtholders. The two chimney-pieces in the hall
of the first chamber represent War by Jan Lievens and Peace by Adr.

An example of Philip Vinckboons’s work is the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam,
built in 1662 in the classic style. This is now occupied by the Royal
Academy of Science.

Exceptionally noteworthy specimens of interior carving of this period
are: Renaissance chimney-piece and a Gothic chimney-piece in the Louis
XIV style in the Antiquarian Museum, Utrecht; a chimney-piece dating
from the end of the seventeenth century, with a group of the
stamp-masters of the cloth-hall, by Karel de Moor, in the Municipal
Museum, Leyden; carved panelling in the council chamber, Woerden (1610);
carvings in the church at Venlo; panelling in the palace of the Princess
Marie on the Korte Voorhout, The Hague; a pulpit of 1685 in Broek in the
Waterland; and a monument in the church of St. Ursula, Delft, to William
of Orange, begun in 1616 by Hendrik de Keyser, and finished by his son

The Rijks Museum possesses many examples of panelling, chimney-pieces,
and separate pieces of furniture; and several entire rooms have been
correctly arranged. Among these is a room with wall-panellings and
chimney-piece from Dordrecht (1626). The ceiling, supposed to be by Th.
van der Schuer (about 1678), represents Morning and Evening, and is from
the bedroom of Queen Mary of England, wife of William III, in the
Binnenhof, The Hague. The gilt leather hangings and other furniture in
this room are of the same date.

Another room contains a beautifully painted cylindrical ceiling of wood
from the apartment of Mary Stuart, wife of William II, Prince of Orange,
also in the Binnenhof. The panelling, chimney-piece, gilt leather
hangings and furniture are also of the seventeenth century.

A notable room is that taken from the house of Constantia Huygens in The
Hague, built by Jacob van Kampen. Blue silk is curiously used to
embellish the panelling. The ceiling, painted by Gérard de Lairesse
(1640–1711) represents Apollo and Aurora. This room is in the Louis XIV
style. A later fashion is, however, shown in the splendid “Chinese
Boudoir” of the latter part of the seventeenth century from the
Stadtholder’s palace at Leeuwarden.

Another room deserving attention is from a small hunting-lodge called
the Hoogerhuis, near Amersfoort, built about 1630 by Jacob van Kampen
and inhabited by him. The room is lighted by eight small windows, over
which paintings were hung. There is an interesting bedstead here,
ornamented with painted garlands, and with three compartments, beneath
the centred one of which is the Spanish motto, “_’El todo es nada_”
(Everything is nought).

The Dutch of the seventeenth century passed practically all their lives
at home. With the exception of merchants, students and men of affairs,
people rarely visited their friends and relatives in neighbouring towns.
As Pieter van Godewijck wrote:—

        _Het reysen is een taeck nyet yder opgelegt,
        En ’t is nyet al te veel en sonder blaêm gezegt,
        Het huys is als een graf, waerin wy altyt wonen,
                  In ’t aerdsche tranendal._

        (Travelling is a task not given to everybody,
        And it’s not said so much and without blame
        That the home is like a grave, wherein we always dwell,
                In the earthly vale of tears.)


  PLATE XXXV.—_Chairs._


The house was therefore “their world, their toy, their god”; they loved
to embellish and decorate it, they loved to take care of it and keep it
clean, they loved to see it painted on panel and canvas; and some of
them even went so far as to have their house reproduced in miniature,
with all its furniture and belongings copied in wood and metal.

It would be a mistake to suppose that the so-called dolls’ houses, which
may be studied in the museums of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and other towns,
were merely the somewhat elaborate toys with which the English-speaking
juvenile race sometimes amuse themselves. As the old inventories show,
dolls’ houses and all their appurtenances were very vivid mirrors of
contemporary life, including furniture and costume. This is particularly
true of Holland, although other countries of Western Europe preserved
evidences of the taste for similar “toys” of earlier date. Henry IV of
France, for instance, when a child, played with toys, among which are
noticeable a suit of clothes in wrought silver.

These dolls’ houses were elaborate and costly; for every detail of the
real model was represented, including the small articles of porcelain,
Delft, earthenware, pewter, brass and silver. Dolls’ _salons_, too, were
often painted by noted masters, and cost thousands of florins. For
example, a beautiful doll’s house of the date 1680, in the Antiquarian
Museum of Utrecht, has its walls covered with paintings by Moucheron.
The houses consisted of from four to eight rooms with furniture of wood,
silver, gold, or filigree silver or gold. Such rooms as the kitchen,
lying-in room and death chamber were often included. The latter was
draped in black with a canvas or silver coffin containing a tiny wax
corpse. Often, too, the house was completed with a pretty miniature
garden embellished with a quantity of coral-work, trees, hedges, seats,
paths and statuettes. We may note that Margaretha Godewijck had a doll’s
house with a garden and arbour, upon which she wrote the following

                           OP MYN CORAAL WERK

      _Hier siet ghy van coraal in ’t cabinet besloten,
      Een baeckermat, een wiegh, een korf, een stoof, een mandt,
      Een kleerben opgepronckt, een bedsté, ledikant
      Gevloghten van coraal en na de kunst gegoten,
      Gemaeckt van suyver glas, en van verscheyden kleuren,
      Aen d’ Aemstelstroom gevormt van blaeuw, van groen en peers,
      Want sulck corale werck verdient oock wel een vers,
      En Pallas sou het self voor wat bysonder keuren._

                           (ON MY CORAL WORK.

 Placed in my cabinet here, you see made of coral
 A baby’s basket, a cradle, a child’s foot-warmer and a warming-basket,
 An ornamental clothes cupboard, a bed and bedstead of twisted and cast
 And of pure glass, of different colours,
 Shaped at Amstel’s stream of blue and green and purple.
 For such coral-work deserves indeed a verse,
 And even Pallas would judge it more than ordinary.)

                         OP MYNE THUYN VAN SYDE

       _Hoe seer dat Crassus pronckt en stoft op al sijn fruyten,
       Gewassen buyten Roôm en aen het Tybers stof,
       Hoe seer Lucullus pryst sijn bloemen, planten, spruyten,
       Sijn ooft, sijn boom-gewas, sijn za’en, sijn braven hof,
       Dit alles kan een wint, een buy en vlaegh verdrijven,
       Soodat de bloem verdort en ’t rijpe fruyt verstickt.
       Maer mynen hof van syd die sal gedurigh blyven.
       Mijn fruyt het greetigh oogh, maer niet de mond verquict.
       Geen spin, geen worm, geen rups en kan mijn boomen deeren,
       Mijn bloemtjes somers sijn en ’s winters even groen,
       Mijn kerssen altyd root, mijn appelen, mijn peeren
       Sijn altyt even gaef, sy konnen ’t ooghe voên._

                         (ON MY GARDEN OF SILK

     How much Cassius may pride himself and boast of all his fruit
     Grown outside Rome and on the Tiber’s border;
     How much Lucullus may praise his flowers, plants and twigs,
     His lawns, his tree-garden, his seeds and a fine orchard—
     All these can be scattered by the wind, a shower, or a gust;
     So that the flower fades and the ripe fruit perishes,
     But my silken garden will remain for ever.
     My fruit satisfies the greedy eye, but not the mouth;
     No spider, worm, nor caterpillar can hurt my trees;
     My flowers are as green in winter as in summer,
     My cherries always red, my apples and my pears
     Always ripe and sound; they feed the eyes for ever.)

The dolls’ houses of the rich were always made of costly woods, and were
frequently inlaid with ivory and tortoiseshell. At the exhibition of
Amsterdam in 1858, among a number of these curiosities, was a notable
one veneered with tortoiseshell and with painted glass doors—a present
from the King of Denmark to Maarten Harpertz Tromp. Another was a
typical Dutch house of walnut-root wood, furnished with silver furniture
and wax dolls; there were also two of Italian make with tortoiseshell,
ebony and brass ornaments, the doors of which were painted with Italian
sea-towns; and one of ebony, the door-panels of which were painted by
Peter Breughel.

In the Rijks Museum are several models in miniature of old Amsterdam
houses. The finest one is of tortoiseshell ornamented with white metal
inlay. According to tradition, Christoffel Brandt, Peter the Great’s
agent in Amsterdam, had this house made by order of the Czar, and it is
said to have cost 20,000 guilders (£2,500), and to have required five
years to produce. Dating from the latter part of the seventeenth or
first part of the eighteenth century, it contains all the furniture that
was to be found at that date in an aristocratic dwelling on the
_Heerengracht_ or _Keizersgracht_. Every object in it was made by the
proper artisan, so that it is correct in every detail.

Another dates from the first half of the eighteenth century.
Architecturally it is very interesting; but the interior furnishings are
much simpler than the above.

A third house, belonging to the family Ploos van Amstel, dates from the
first half of the eighteenth century, and is supposed to be inhabited by
a doctor. It is three storeys high, and has a wide door on the façade
with the initials P.V.A. (Ploos Van Amstel) artistically interlaced. Of
its twelve rooms, the most remarkable are the parlour and the
physician’s study, containing a library, a collection of preparations
and a collection of shells and artistic objects in ivory, every item of
which is reproduced in miniature.

According to Mr. E. W. Berg, who gives a minute description of this
house in _De Oude Tyd_ (1872), it is said that by this doctor is meant
Christoffel Ludeman, the well-known “wonder-doctor.”

It was a fad with the wealthy to possess these curious silver toys,
which passed from generation to generation. Sometimes the collection
consisted of hundreds of pieces. Mrs. van Varick, of New Amsterdam
(1696), had no less than eighty-three silver toys to divide among her

These silver and gold toys were so artistically made that they attracted
the attention of many travellers, who paid large sums for them. Many
beautiful and quaint specimens are therefore to be seen in the European
Museums and private collections on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sets of dolls’ porcelain were also collected in this century and
preserved in show-cases or china-cabinets, with a collection of dolls’
clothes. These cabinets of dolls’ articles were even found in
farmhouses, and sometimes jewellery and small articles of value were
kept in them.

Many of the poorer houses in the seventeenth century were built of wood
or stone, with wooden gables that projected far over the narrow street,
so far indeed that the occupants of the one could shake hands across the
street with those in the opposite house. Many of these houses were
gradually replaced by newer houses of a more regular aspect. As the
century wears on they increase in height and solidity. As a rule, the
house is of three storeys, with a tiled roof. In the lower floor there
is a row of small windows with small panes set in lead and protected by
ornamental iron-work. These windows admit light into the small office
and entrance-hall, and run along the whole width of the house above the
“_luifel_” (verandah), under which in the daytime wares are offered for
sale, and where on fine evenings the burgher sits with his wife and
family. Sometimes the thrifty housewife may be seen sitting under the
verandah knitting, spinning, sewing, or darning, with her feet on a
foot-rest, and the children playing around her. The baby’s cradle is
sometimes brought out as well. On Saturdays the children are bathed and
washed under the “_luifel_,” without the public taking the least notice.
Gentlemen’s houses, however, have no verandahs, but both sides of the
door or gate are flanked by windows with shutters, and this door is on a
level with the entrance. The arrangement of the windows on the second
floor is like that of the first. Chrysostomus Napolitanus says in 1516,
“The dwelling-houses have nearly all the same shape and architecture.
The back walls do not rise very high, but end in a point and step-like.”
These gable steps were sometimes ornamented with stone vases or images,
and the coping was also decorated. In the seventeenth century the houses
were built narrower but higher, as also the windows, while the wire
screens and the verandahs gradually disappeared. The copings and
ornamentations of the cornice were, however, not less richly sculptured;
and, under the top windows, stone figures, Caryatides, lions and
coats-of-arms were often introduced. In the third storey there were one
or two windows, above which the arms of the proprietor were carved.
Instead of the armorial device, sometimes a figure, a pair of compasses,
or a bell was introduced, from which the house took its name; or again
the family name would be carved in gigantic letters. In the course of
time the name of the occupant was used less than the name of the house
in which he lived. We find mention of the house Blijenburgh,
Moesienbroeck, Cruysenborch, Nuysenborch, Blijensteyn, Kleyn Jerusalem,
’t Huys Beaumont, Groot en Kleyn Rosendaeal, etc. Behind the houses were
gardens with summer-houses, surrounded with fences of trellis-work. In
the common houses a stone-paved hallway leads through the house to an
open back yard, where there is a grass plot to bleach the clothes on,
and where a room is built with a fireplace and kitchen. From the
vestibule a stairway leads to the second floor, which communicates with
a smaller stairway and often with a ladder to the floor above.

Let us enter a rich home and see how the rooms are arranged. We pass
through a great oaken door painted green and furnished with a heavy iron
knocker, to enter a high and commodious vestibule, the walls of which
are hung with pictures, deers’ heads or other hunting trophies. On one
side is a broad oak staircase with a lion, griffin, or dragon
beautifully carved at the base, and holding in his paws the same
coat-of-arms that is carved in front of the gable. Facing the entrance
hangs a magnificent oil painting. In less wealthy homes the vestibule is
encased with blue and white tiles, and the floor is also laid in the
same, and a carved oak or stone bench faces the door. As this
“_voorhuis_,” or vestibule, is used by the less fashionable as a living
apartment, there also stands here a table, and on the wall a mirror in
an ebony frame, and many polished brass vessels and Delft dishes and
plates give a homelike character to the spot. A house of this type has a
verandah outside, on and under which the small merchant conducts his
business, although his office or “_comptoir_” is at the back. If this
happens to be a school, the master or mistress teaches his or her class
under the “_luifel_”; or, if an inn, this is the meeting or

The “_comptoir_” is also found in the homes of the rich, and the lady of
the house often sits there with her children, not because it is the most
attractive place, but in order to keep the better rooms neat and clean.
In rich houses many of the rooms are known by individual names,—some
according to the use to which they were put, others on account of the
hangings, the name of the occupant, or an important piece of furniture.
Hence we have the salon, dining-room, show-room, the sleeping-room, the
little cabinet (office), the gold leather room, the damask room, the
matted room, the room of Adam and Eve, Mr. Arends’s room, Miss
Emerentia’s room, Mr. Cornelius van Beveren’s sleeping-room, etc., etc.

In wealthy homes the walls of some rooms were encased in tiles,
decorated with painted figures, flowers, arms, or pictorial scenes or
mottoes; and upon these hung many fine paintings in richly carved ebony
frames. In some houses every available space on the wall in every room
was occupied by a picture; so that from top to bottom the rooms were
filled with masterpieces of art. Some rooms on the ground floor were
hung with splendid tapestries, representing hunting-scenes, Biblical
stories, coats-of-arms, mythological and historical legends and stories,
etc., etc. Other rooms were hung with embroidered materials, with red
velvet, with gold or silver flowered borders, or with gold or stamped
leather of various colours and patterns. Sometimes, also, the walls were
panelled and wainscotted, particularly where beds or cupboards stood. In
poor houses the walls were simply whitewashed or covered with square
tiles of gay colours. The ordinary burghers strewed their floors with
fine sand, and often arranged it so deftly by means of the broom in a
design of flowers or geometrical figures that one would think a figured
carpet was laid upon the floor. In rich homes the floor, as a rule, was
covered with fine Spanish matting; and when guests came, a rug or carpet
was spread over this, but on their departure it was carefully rolled up
and put away. Some of the floors—often those of the garret—were laid in
coloured tiles.

One of the principal ornaments in rich houses was the painted glass. In
some rooms every window was adorned with painted glass, but in less
wealthy homes one window had to suffice. This was generally a round one
painted in gaudy hues and neatly framed. Such glass was a favourite
present. Sometimes the engraver had inscribed upon it Dutch or Latin
proverbs; but more frequently it was embellished with the coat-of-arms
of the master of the house, portraits, landscapes, Biblical and popular
stories, such as Reynard the Fox, The Adventures of the four Heems
Children, or The Drolleries of Tyll Eulenspiegel. The ceilings rested on
heavy oak beams with many cross beams; and even in rich houses ceilings
and beams were artistically painted. In the centre of the ceiling was
hung a brass, or gilded wooden chandelier for wax or tallow candles; and
additional light was derived from sconces fastened to the walls and on
either side of the chimney-piece. Occasionally the candelabra were of
crystal. In some rooms models of ships correctly rigged hung from the
beams; and sometimes stuffed animals, heads, fish, weapons, and wedding
ornaments and favours kept them company.

The chimney-piece always received a good deal of attention. It was very
wide and high. Wood and peat were both burned on the large silver,
brass, iron or steel andirons. The space in the overmantel was often
painted by the best master available, or was occupied by a painting in a
carved frame. On either side of the picture were sconces containing wax
candles that illuminated the painting at night. The broad chimney shelf
was occupied with Japanese and Chinese porcelains and lacquers; and in
the summer time the pot that was suspended from a crane in the chimney
was taken away and replaced by large porcelain vases and beakers. A
handsome chimney cloth was usually hung just below the shelf.

Being exceedingly economical, the Dutch could not easily squander money
for pleasures or recreations, but for the “home” they would spend
lavishly. A handsome piece of furniture or silver, beautiful porcelain,
rare tulips, rich curtains and rugs, valuable paintings, fine glass, and
curios from the Far East would induce the opulent Dutchman to part with
large sums; and his wife spent the greater part of her life in
ornamenting and beautifying the home, taking care of the treasures it
contained, and, above all, in keeping the house and its contents clean
and in order. A rich merchant, Asselijn, said:—

         _Ziet wat een fraei kasteel! wat heit het me gecost!
         Myn gelt is nyet verbrast aan keur van vremde cost.
         Voor paerden en gery en zeldzaeme sieraeden
         En gaf ik nyet een myt; geen bloem-fluweelgewaden
         Versieren ’t stinckend lyf, de logge madenzak.
         Myn huys is myn sieraet, myn huys myn beste pack.
         Daer voor is myn tresoor, daer voor myn koffer open,
         En wat myn huys behoeft, dat haest ick my te koopen._

         (See what a beautiful castle! What a sum it costs!
         My money is not spent in choice of foreign viands.
         For horses and equipages and rare ornaments
         I did not spend a mite; no flowery velvet dresses
         Adorn the wasting body, the clumsy stomach:
         My home is my ornament, my house my best costume,
         Therefore my treasury and my coffer are open,
         And what my house needs I hasten to buy.)

And Godewijck puts these words into the mouth of a daughter of an

        _Myn stoffer is myn swaerd, myn bussem is myn wapen.
        Ick kenne geene rust, ick weete van geen slaepen.
        Ick denck aen geen salet, ick denck niet aen myn keel.
        Geen arbeyt my te swaer, geen zorge my te veel
        Om alles gladdekens en sonder smet te maken.
        Ik wil niet dat de maegd myn pronkstuck aan zal raken;
        Ick selve wrijf en boen, ick flodder en ick schrob,
        Ick aes op ’t kleinste stof, ik beef niet voor den tob
        Gelyck de pronckmadam._

        (My brush is my sword, my besom is my weapon.
        I know no rest, I know no sleep.
        I don’t think of my room, I don’t think of my throat.
        No labour is too heavy, no care I think too much
        To make everything smooth and without blemish.
        I will not let the maid touch my pretty things;
        I, myself, will rub and polish, I will splash and scrub;
        I hunt the speck of dust, I do not fear the tub
        Like a fine lady.)

These are samples of many speeches in the old comedies, where the women
constantly talk about housecleaning and scrubbing.

English travellers of this period unanimously praised the way the Dutch
houses were kept. One wrote: “They are not large, but neat, beautiful
outside and well furnished inside; and the furniture is so clean and in
good order that it appears to be more an exhibition than for daily use.”
The farms also attracted the attention of the stranger. Another
traveller said: “The Dutch farmer keeps his land as neatly as a courtier
trims his beard; and his house is as choice as a lady who comes out of
her dressing-room. A well-dressed lady cannot look neater than the fine
gable and the thatched roof of a Dutch farmhouse.”

In his _Brief Character of the Low Countries_, Owen Feltham describes an
Amsterdam house of the middle of the seventeenth century. “When you are
entered the house,” he writes, “the first thing you encounter is a
Looking-Glasse. No question but a true Embleme of politick hospitality;
for though to reflect yourself in your own figure, ‘tis yet no longer
than while you are there before it. When you are gone once, it flatters
the next commer, without the least remembrance that you were ere there.

“The next are the vessels of the house marshalled about the room like
watchmen. All is neat as you were in a Citizen’s Wife’s Cabinet; for
unless it be themselves, they let none of God’s creatures lose anything
of their native beauty.

“Their houses, especially in their Cities, are the best eye-beauties of
their Country. For cost and sight, they far exceed our English, but they
want their magnificence. Their lining is yet more rich than their
outside; not in hangings, but pictures, which even the poorest are there
furnisht with. Not a cobler but has his toyes for ornament. Were the
knacks of all their homes set together, there would not be such another
Bartholomew-Faire in Europe....

“Their beds are no other than land-cabines, high enough to need a ladder
or stairs. Up once, you are walled in with Wainscot, and that is a good
discretion to avoid the trouble of making your will every night; for
once falling out else would break your neck promptly. But if you die in
it this comfort you shall leave your friends, that you dy’d in clean

“Whatsoever their estates be, their houses must be fair. Therefore from
Amsterdam they have banisht seacoale, lest it soyl their buildings, of
which the statlier sort are sometimes sententious, and in the front
carry some conceit of the Owner. As to give you a taste in these:—

                        ‘_Christus Adjutor Meus;
                      Hoc abdicato Perenne Quero;
                        Hic Medio tuitus Itur._’

“Every door seems studded with Diamonds. The nails and hinges hold a
constant brightnesse, as if rust there was not a quality incident to
Iron. Their houses they keep cleaner than their bodies; their bodies
than their souls. Goe to one, you shall find the Andirons shut up in
network. At a second, the Warming-pan muffled in Italian Cutworke. At a
third the Sconce clad in Cambrick.”

English travellers are not the only ones to bear witness to the extremes
to which cleanliness was carried by the housewives of the Low Countries.
A French writer, De Parival, says:—

“The wives and daughters scour and rub benches, chests, cupboards,
dressers, tables, plate racks, even the stairs until they shine like
mirrors. Some are so clean that they would not enter any of the rooms
without taking off their shoes and putting on their slippers. The women
put all their energy and pleasure in keeping the house and the furniture
clean. The floors are washed nearly every day and scoured with sand, and
are so neat that a stranger is afraid to expectorate on them. If the
city women keep their houses clean, the farmers’ wives are not less
particular. They carry this cleanliness even into the stables. They
scour everything, even the iron chains and mounts until they shine like

The same traveller also says: “The furniture of the principal burghers,
besides gold and silver ware, consists of tapestries, costly paintings
(for which no money is saved, but rather eked out in economical living),
beautifully carved woodwork, such as tables, treasure-chests, etc., and
pewter, brass, earthenware, porcelains, etc.”

Another foreigner says: “Their interior decorations are far more costly
than our own [English], not only in hangings and ornaments, but in
pictures, which are found even in the poorer houses. No farmer or even
common labourer is found who has not some kind of interior ornaments and
so varied that if all were put together it would often fill a booth at
the fair.”

Chrysostomus Napolitanus, who visited Holland in 1516, says: “_Goede
Hemel! welk eene netheid van het gereedschap! welk eene kostelijkheid
van bedden en welk eene blankheid van servetten, tafels en tafellakens!
welk een sieraad aan de stoelen! welke zindelijkheid eindelijk aan
muren, vloer en al het overige! Den bodem der spijs-, noen- en
slaapvertrekken bestrooien zij met een weinig zand, opdat, zoo er bij
geval iets morsigs op mocht vallen, zoo iemand somwijlen er vuile voeten
op mocht zetten, de vloer zelve er niet door besmet zou worden, maar men
het terstond, eer het er zich aan vasthecht, met bezems uit zou kunnen

(“Good Heavens! What a neatness of the utensils! how costly the beds and
bedding, and how white the sheets, serviettes and tablecloths! What an
ornamentation on the chairs, and, lastly, what cleanliness of the
floors, walls and everything! The floors of the eating, sleeping and
sitting rooms are strewn with a little sand, so that if anything should
drop and one should accidentally step upon it, the floor would not be
soiled, and before the matter could stick to it, the dirt might be
removed with a broom.”)

Fifty years later, Guicciardini, after praising the general state of the
civilization and courtesy of the people, and remarking on the beauty of
the public and private buildings, says: “But after all this if one
enters their homes and notices the abundance of all kinds of furniture,
and the order and neatness of everything, it gives one great pleasure,
and one looks upon it as a wonder. And indeed it is, for there is
nothing like it anywhere else in the world.”

The inventories of the day give evidence of a great variety and number
of cleaning utensils. Brooms and brushes of all kinds, tubs, pails,
buckets, scrubbers tied with red leather, dust brushes called hogs,
floor brushes, hearth hair brushes with brass and wooden handles occur
in every house. One inventory of 1685 shows how well supplied a rich
home was with articles for cleaning and scrubbing. These are as follows:
five whiting brushes, one brush to clean the floors, five rubbers, three
small painting brushes, four dust brushes, two floor brushes, two hair
brushes, two hearth brooms, one chamber broom, one rake brush, one
brush, one hay broom without a stick, and two Bermudian brooms with
sticks. Cooking and cleaning implements and utensils were kept in the
kitchen and in the cellar underneath. Pictures by Dutch masters show
that in clement weather a good deal of housework was done in the tiled
court or yard adjoining the kitchen.

As an example of the ordinary burgher’s home, let us take the house on
one of the corners of the Mat Wharf on the Voorstraat in Dordrecht,
dating from the beginning of the seventeenth century, and dwelt in by
Andreas Hulstman Janz, merchant in wood, his wife Elizabeth Balen
Matthews, and his children Jan, Christine and Alette.

The house has a sharp pointed gable and is three storeys high. The
windows are provided with balconies, and a larger verandah runs along
above the blue stone stoop. On each side of the rounded door embellished
with iron-work are small windows supplied with trellises, as are
likewise the four windows above the verandah that light the little
office or “_comptoir_.” As we tap the iron knocker, a man or maid
servant opens the door, and we notice that the little windows dimly
divined through the creeper-shaded trellis are set in lead and supply
but little light. The front hall runs on the left-hand side directly
through the house, opening into a little yard that communicates with
some smaller apartments and the kitchen.

On the right hand side is a small apartment, called the “little
_comptoir_,” the favourite room of the mother and her daughters when the
housework is done, for they can see through the trellis and “watch the

In the hallway, a narrow staircase leads to the second floor, “the best
part,” where the “show” and “guestrooms” are situated, while on the
third floor are the bedrooms, and in the garret, the drying-room,
mangle-room, brass and tin rooms. Here also the peat and firewood are
kept. Passing up the stairway, we enter the living-room, which looks
upon the front hall, and from which, when the door is open, a view of
the street is obtained. This arrangement is familiar in many Dutch
pictures, notably in that of _The Sick Lady_ (Plate XXXVII).

The living-room is rather sombre. The white walls are partly covered
with pictures, and the floor is strewn with fine sand in a pattern
resembling a carpet. Three large pieces of furniture are conspicuous,
two oak cupboards standing on heavy ball feet, their broad flat tops
ornamented with handsome beakers and vases of porcelain; the third piece
is a large _sacredaan kas_ hung with green curtains. In this the library
is contained, consisting of a few books of travel, atlases, poetry by
Cats, Vondel, Godewijck, Antonides, a number of religious works,
commentaries on the catechism, hymn-books, the medical works of Battus
and Beverwijck, and a few translated novels (for in this day there was
but little Dutch fiction). In the centre of the room there stands a
large and heavy oak table, with low chairs of the same, and covered with
leather seats arranged symmetrically around it. In one corner of the
room we note a reading-desk on which rests an enormous Bible bound in
leather, with great brass mounts. The chimneypiece is enormous; if it is
winter, a tremendous peat and wood fire is perpetually burning; if
summer, the fireplace is ornamented with large, handsome faïence, or
porcelain vases. This is the room in which the family gathers for
breakfast, dinner and supper, and passes the winter evenings pleasantly

From this room we enter the kitchen. We hardly know what to notice
first—the marble tiles shining like glass, the brass and pewter gleaming
like gold and silver from the racks and dressers, the well-filled china
closet, the rose-red painted table, with the yellow painted
rush-bottomed chairs, or the general effect of charm, cheerfulness,
colour and neatness. We are told that the lady of the house calls this
her “holy” (as she calls the show-room the “tabernacle”), and allows no
cooking to be done here. There is a small back kitchen built for this
purpose called “_snuiver_” (cooking shed), where all the food is

Before leaving this room we must describe the dresser, in which all the
articles for breakfast service are kept and, in poor houses, left-over
food. The used napkins are folded and placed here, and there are drawers
for table linen and other small utensils. It contains a candle-drawer,
and upon one of its shelves stands the heavy brass candlestick. The
peculiar extinguisher is called familiarly “the cat’s head,” on account
of its resemblance to the head of a cat. This is narrower at the bottom
than the top, and has a handle on each side. This stands next to the
peat-box, often the lower part of a pot cupboard opened and shut with a
slide Underneath the chimney is placed the fire-pot, for stoves are not
known. These innovations, imported from Germany, were heartily despised
and called contemptuously “stink-pots” and “muff-boxes.”

Omitting the cellar and store-rooms, we pass upstairs to the bedroom of
the master and mistress on the second floor. Pictures, chiefly family
portraits, adorn the walls. The floor is of wood, highly polished, and
so slippery that great care is required in walking across it.

The furniture consists of chairs with tall backs and low seats, a carved
table with a tapestry or rug cover, a large oak cabinet and a cupboard
on four legs, the treasure-chest and the wash-buffet, with wash-mops and
toilet appliances. A heavy green damask curtain hangs before the bed,
which is so high above the floor that it must be entered with the aid of
a small stepladder that stands in one corner of the room next to the
brass warming-pan. Sometimes a cradle, called “coach,” for the baby
stands at the foot and sometimes under the bed.

These beds have often been ridiculed. The bedstead, however, soon
supplanted the panelled bed, although it has never banished it

The inventory of Gertrude van Mierevelt (1639), wife of the painter Van
Mierevelt of Delft who died in 1638, gives an excellent idea of a
comfortable Dutch home of the early seventeenth century. First should be
mentioned six beds with handsome draperies, tapestries, rich furniture
covers, and other woollen articles (_wollegoet_), that prove how much
the artist and his wife liked rich textiles. The _tinnewerk_, consisting
of plates, dishes, salt-cellars, etc., shows that the table-service was
of pewter, although twenty-eight articles in porcelain and faïence,
consisting of plates, bowls and dishes, valued at about twenty-six
florins, are also enumerated. The house also contained a great many
copper articles and utensils, from tongs and shovels to those fine
_repoussée_ dishes so highly prized to-day by collectors; and there was
a considerable amount of ironware, including two lanterns. There were
some statues in plaster, including a “Suzanne,” ninety-four paintings,
chiefly religious, and family portraits, although one representing
“Pomona and Flora” is mentioned. The artist also had some violins, a
little book of engravings, some wooden panels, and a library of
thirty-seven volumes. Many of these were illustrated, and dealt with
religious and historical subjects; and as they were all in Dutch it
would seem that the artist could read no other language. Especially
noticeable is the fine collection of linen, the pride of the mistress.
She had no less than twenty-five pairs of sheets, a hundred and eighteen
serviettes and fifteen tablecloths, one of which fetched as much as
fifteen florins at the sale in 1639, and another of damask (_damast
taefellaecken_), twenty florins.

The most important room of the home of a burgher of moderate means was
the hall, or general living-room. This, as so many pictures show, had a
great fireplace, at which meals were often cooked. The furniture
consisted of tables, chairs, cabinets, and, very frequently, a bed. The
chimney-piece is massive, high and often elaborately carved, and above
it a landscape, fruit piece, Kermesse, flower-piece or battle-scene by a
favourite painter, is hung to form part of the decoration. This
chimney-piece is, moreover, filled with porcelain dishes, cups, plates,
teapots and curios. Below it hangs an ornamental chimney cloth
embroidered with gaily-coloured flowers, red or green silk, white
muslin, or figured calico. The hearth is framed in blue and white tiles,
furnished with an iron fireback and supplied with brass and irons, racks
for the fire-irons, pot-hooks, spits, a crane on which a large brass
kettle hangs, and small hooks from which the bellows, hearth brooms,
shovel, tongs, etc., hang conveniently for use. A brass or copper
warming-pan is not far away. The walls are adorned with pictures, a
large looking-glass in an ebony frame, a wall-board with hooks for small
cans and jugs and a plate rack or two in which some handsome plates and
dishes are formally arranged. A great linen press, or _kas_, filled with
tablecloths and napkins, the head of which is decorated with large
Japanese beakers and smaller cups and vases, stands on one side of the
room, and a glass case filled with teapots, cups and saucers, dishes,
etc., and an East India cabinet on the other. A gaudily-painted
Hindeloopen clock ticks on the wall. A large table stands in the centre
of the room, covered with a heavy Turkish rug or “carpet,” and several
little tables are conveniently disposed. The Russia leather, Turkey work
and matted chairs are symmetrically arranged around the walls beneath
the many pictures of landscape, interiors or still-life. The windows are
curtained, the hangings of red or green striped silk or flowered calico
matching those of the bedstead, which can be completely closed like a
large box. On the four corners of the cornice of this bed are bunches of
feathers or a painted wooden ornament. The casement windows have tiny
diamond-shaped or round panes set in lead, and on the outside creepers
and roses are carefully trained, forming a beautiful framework. Upon the
sills stand flower-pots in which a bright tulip or other favourite
flower is blooming.

The first apartment entered from the front door of a merchant’s house
was the “_voorhuis_,” or front room, where visitors were formally
received. This was more or less handsomely furnished in accordance with
the means of the owner. It was usually a sort of hall, sometimes of
considerable dimensions.

A “_voorhuis_,” as it appears in an inventory of 1686, contains a very
handsome marble table with a carved wooden frame, a table covered with a
handsome cloth, and a very fine tall clock. The seats consisted of seven
Russia leather chairs and one matted chair furnished with a cushion. The
room was lighted with three glass windows with leaden frames, handsomely
curtained, and eleven pictures decorated the walls. The value of this
furniture was £125 in present money.

In many houses the second floor was only used for “show rooms,” and the
family slept in either the lower or the top floor. Bernagie writes: “If
you go through the town, you will find many houses where the husband is
afraid so much as even to smell at his second floor rooms. They always
remain downstairs. Have they ever so many courtly rooms, they will eat,
for their wives’ sake, in the small back kitchen.”

This was the case in most of the burghers’ houses. These show-rooms were
used only on some special occasion; otherwise they were never entered
except for cleaning. This took place weekly and oftener, with special
cleaning in the spring and autumn. Rooms in constant use were daily
stripped and cleaned, and the housewife barely allowed herself time to
eat. Some enthusiastic housekeepers—although wealthy—would not allow the
servants to clean their best rooms, but wielded “the scrubbing-brush,
rubbing-towel and floor-cloth.” There are examples of houses where from
thirty to forty pails of water were used every day, and where the
servants did nothing but rub and scrub and scour from morning till
night. Many of the houses were exceedingly damp in consequence, and the
inmates constantly ill. Notwithstanding the ridicule the Dutch housewife
suffered in books and on the stage, her mania for cleaning was so great
that she cared not at all if the house was termed “hell” and the
cleaners “she-devils.”

In some families home was made still more uncomfortable on account of
the little amount of cooking done. Certain dishes were prepared once a
week and then “warmed up,” so that the stove would not be soiled. In
North Holland a month would sometimes elapse between the making of fires
for cooking in the fireplace. All the cooking was done by means of a
little boiling water in the fire-pot.

The show-room, or “holy of holies,” as the Dutch woman was pleased to
call it, was furnished according to the means or class of the owner.
Among the higher classes a party was often given in it. In such homes
the floor was covered with expensive Turkish rugs, and the walls hung
with tapestries, silk damask or gold leather. These were further adorned
with Venetian mirrors and paintings worth their weight in gold. The
chairs were of rare exotic or foreign woods supplied with embroidered
cushions, or seats of Utrecht velvet, and the other furniture consisted
of beautifully painted or inlaid or mosaic tables, beautifully carved
cupboards, and rare cabinets inlaid with silver, ivory or tortoiseshell,
and filled with the finest egg-shell porcelain. Porcelains and curios
adorned the high carved chimney.

In older aristocratic homes the “show-room” was less lavishly furnished,
but none the less the pride of the mistress. The floor was covered with
mats, the walls with painted linen, or handsome paintings; but in rare
porcelain it was the equal of any alderman’s or mayor’s wife.

As time wore on, the walnut cabinet supplanted the carved or oak
cupboard, the _vitrine_ took the place of the china-cabinet and the
console and glass appeared between the windows, and finally we arrive at
the period when the small bookcase with glass or mirror doors appears
and chairs covered with figured rep.

The kitchen usually contained a bedstead with feather bed, pillows and
curtains, a looking-glass in a black frame, a cupboard, chairs, a table,
andirons, innumerable brooms and brushes, flint and steel for striking a
light, shovels, tongs, gridirons, dripping-pans, whetting-boards for
knives, tubs, butter firkins (earthenware, pewter, brass and tin),
knives, forks, spoons, stills, churns, hanging boards, can-boards, pots,
pails, skimmers, funnels, salt-boxes, candle-boxes, frying-pans,
beakers, candlesticks, dripping-pans, skewers, stewing-pans with covers,
copper kettles, chafing-dishes, hour-glasses, lamps, hammers, tankards,
tin pans to roast apples, pot-hangers, dishes to boil fish on, mortars
and pestles, waffle-irons, bellows, kettles, a birdcage, saucepans,
platters, cans, pepper mills, tin ware to bake sugar cakes, marzipan
pans, racks to hang clothes on, wicker baskets, hampers, tubs, glass
knockers to beat clothes, smoothing irons, tin watering pots to wet
clothes, rainwater casks, etc., etc.

In order to gain an idea of a lady’s bedroom of the period, let us visit
that of the wealthy Mrs. Lidia van der Dussen, the daughter of Jacob van
Beveren, alderman of Dordrecht and bailiff and dike-count of the Country
of Strijen. The house is one of those with a high peaked gable; it has
oblong round-headed windows with small panes set in lead, and a façade
decorated with carvings and arms, while the name of the house is
inscribed in marble at the top. Green and red damask curtains at the
windows give the exterior an air of cheerfulness and comfort. We enter.
To the right of the large vestibule, the floor of which is laid in
marble tiles of blue and white, a wide marble staircase leads to a wide
marble hallway. The floor of this is covered with the finest Spanish
matting, and on each side of the hall are doors opening into various
rooms. These heavy doors are of oak, and are elaborately carved or
painted with cherubs, shepherds and shepherdesses, etc. Opening one of
these doors at the rear—the quietest part of the house—we find ourselves
in a large room, the stone floor of which is covered with rich rugs,
while tiles ornamented with bright pictorial designs, or mottoes, cover
the walls. The dark and heavy serge curtains that hang at the windows
prevent us from distinguishing the furniture of the room very clearly;
but we gradually make out the articles one by one. We note the splendid
array of vases and beakers that adorn the wide mantelpiece, and also the
top of the china cabinet of _sacredaan_ wood, and the massive and richly
carved, or deeply panelled, linen wardrobe, or _kas_. A handsome walnut
bedstead stands in one corner of the room. The four twisted pillars
support a canopy, from which fall heavy serge curtains, that conceal a
wealth of fine linen and Flemish lace. The four corners of the canopy
are surmounted by the favourite ornament of the period, the “_pomme_”
consisting of a bunch of plumes,—in this instance of green, red and
black. The walls, although encased in tiles, are hung with pictures in
ebony frames, in addition to which there is a large Venetian mirror set
in a rich crystal frame. A drop-leaf table stands in the centre of the
room, surrounded by several chairs with high backs and low seats. The
woodwork of these chairs, shining like glass from the devoted polishing
it receives, is, like the china-cabinet already mentioned, of
_sacredaan_. We also note in this room a beautifully made wicker cot, or
basket, for the baby.

In early days this article of furniture was of large dimensions, and the
nurse sat beside it with a large screen at the side to keep away
draughts. Some of these cots were shaped like cradles without the
rockers, and were supplied with a shelf or wing on the side as a
protection from the heat of the peat fire. At a later period of this
century, the cradle rested on two rounded rockers, and had a rounded
hood or canopy. It was made of plum-tree wood, or of wicker lined with
yellow satin and trimmed with costly lace. Royalty was rocked in cradles
of gold or silver; that of Charles V, however, shown in the Brussels
Museum, is of wood, carved in the Gothic style and painted. A primitive
form of Dutch cradle was suspended from iron rings on two posts of wood,
and a later kind, recommended by ‘s Gravesande, had a spring on one side
and a weight on the other, so that when once put in motion it would
continue rocking for a long time.

Near the cradle stood the “fire” or “napkin basket,” also made of wicker
and covered with serge, or with richer material if the home was one of
wealth. In the inventory of Vrouwe Reepmaker (1670), for example, “white
and satin basket covers” occur. The “fire” or “napkin basket” contained
everything pertaining to the baby’s outfit; and mention is made in the
inventories of “a neat,” “a simple,” or “a costly fire basket,”
according to the circumstances of the owner. The “fire basket” with its
outfit was given as a present to the young mother by the husband’s
mother or one of the aunts. In a celebrated farce of the period, Old
Brechtje says: “_Van mijn peetje een wonderlicke schoone corf ecregen,
die voor al myn kyeren eef edient. Ze eef hem van lapwerck en fraeykens
van croonsaey en passementen emaeckt._” (“I got from my aunt a
wonderfully beautiful basket, which has served for all my children. She
made it of patchwork, and covered it nicely with serge and embroidery.”)

On a table, an open buffet, or _dressoir_, or a glass cabinet, all the
baby’s silver was arrayed, such as the herb-box, the pap-pot, the
cinnamon bowl with cover and spoon, and the large clothes tray—all
inherited gifts from godfathers and godmothers of many generations. Each
piece is variously inscribed, sometimes dating as far back as the
sixteenth century, or earlier. This large silver tray holds the costly
clothing that will be used at the christening, such as the cambric and
lace robes and the red velvet robe lined with red silk, the satin tufted
blanket and other articles of baby dress. Nor must the large pincushion
be forgotten, on which the baby’s name will be printed with pins.

The bride’s basket was just as important as the baby’s basket. This was
also made of wicker, and, according to the means of the parents, lined
with rich or simple material. It was adorned with flowers, and
contained, not the bride’s dresses, but the wedding-shawl and ornaments
belonging to it, the jewels and gloves that the bride was to wear at the
wedding, and also the gifts of the bridegroom.

The “bride’s crown” and “bride’s throne” received a great deal of
attention from the loving hands that were busy with the preparations for
the festivities. The house was turned into a perfect bower on the
occasion of a wedding. Garlands of palms, flowers and evergreens were
interwoven, and hung upon the walls with the green boughs that were
variously twined and twisted. Gold and silver favours, love-knots,
marriage-bells and other devices and letters forming mottoes and
riddles, were displayed among the greenery and flowers, and the name or
initials of the bride and groom were to be seen on every side.
Magnificent Japanese vases filled with flowers, particularly the
brilliant tulip, were placed in every available space. Handsome mirrors
were removed from other rooms and hung among the garlands and flowers to
add more light and beauty to the rooms. Not unfrequently the outside of
the house received its share of decoration, when the street doors were
covered with greenery and garlands were hung from all the windows.

The Dutch made lavish use of flowers and greenery on festive occasions.

When Charles II was called home from Holland in 1660 to ascend the empty
throne, he received a magnificent farewell entertainment by the
States-General. The festivities lasted over several days, and are
described in considerable detail by Sir John Lower, who was present. In
his book we get an occasional glimpse of the furniture of the day,
particularly its disposition on gala occasions. The great sideboards, or
cupboards, are mentioned with admiration. The great feasts were given in
the Mauritshuis, The Hague, which was the scene of lavish hospitality.
Describing one of these entertainments, Lower tells us: “From the centre
of the lover or open roof descended a Royal Crown, very gallantly made,
in the midst of four lusters or crystal candlesticks, which with many
other candlesticks, arms of silver and a great number of torches,
enlightened all corners much better than the Sun could have done at
midday. They gave particularly a marvellous lustre to the two bottoms of
the chimney which is on the left side, where two partitions of painted
wood shut up as many cupboards of crystal glasses, and a great store of
vessels and of silver plate and vermillion gilt. The Hall was furnished
with ordinary Tapestry, which is of crimson damask, and had no other
adornments but that here and there there were some fair pictures, and
that the ends of the chimnies and the void places above the cross-bar
windows were adorned with garlands, leaves and figures of trees loaden
with oranges and mingled with all sorts of flowers, which formed not
only a very regular compartment, but wonderfully refreshed also the
chamber and charmed no less the smell by their perfume than they pleased
the sight through the diversity of their rich enamel.”

                              CHAPTER VII
                      THE IMPORTANCE OF PORCELAIN

  Rise of Dutch Taste in Decorative Art—Influence of Foreign Trade in
      the Dutch Home—Accounts of Porcelain by Mediaeval Travellers:
      Edrisi, Ibn Batuta and Shah Rukh; Quotation from Pigapheta—A great
      European Collection—Monopoly of Trade by the Portuguese—Quotation
      from Pyrard de Laval—Portuguese Carracks—Voyages to Goa and Japan—
      Porcelain and Cabinets—Mendoza’s Description of Earthenware—Dutch
      and English Merchants—Presents to Queen Elizabeth—Dutch
      Expeditions and Establishment of the Dutch East India Company—
      Embassy to the Emperor of China in 1655—Descriptions of the
      Manufacture of Porcelain—Manufacture and Potters of Delft—
      Quotation from d’Entrecolles on Porcelain and Oriental Trade—
      Prices—Tea; Tea-drinking—A Dutch Poet on the Tea-table—Chrestina
      de Ridder’s Porcelain—Prices of Porcelain in 1653.

Until the middle of the seventeenth century, Flanders may be said to
have overshadowed Holland in the field of Decorative Art, although, as
we have seen, the two most important designers of domestic furniture—De
Vries and Crispin van de Passe—were Dutch. The reason of Flemish
preponderance was that the sovereigns and regents resided at Mechlin,
Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp, and to those courts the ablest men in the
arts and crafts naturally flocked. With the decay of Antwerp, we enter
the period of the Flemish Decadence, and Amsterdam rises to wealth and
power at her rival’s expense. After the death of Rubens, Dutch art is
supreme in the Low Countries; and Dutch taste undoubtedly influenced
France and England.

The Dutch home of the seventeenth century was profoundly affected by
foreign trade. The day of heavy carved furniture was over lightness and
brightness are now the prevailing notes. Broad surfaces are veneered and
inlaid with exotic woods; and the lathe is freely used in the
ornamentation of the supports of seats, cupboards, cabinets, etc. Above
all, we notice a predominance of native and Oriental ceramic ware.

The Dutch were as fond of earthenware as of tulips; and no study of a
Dutch interior could be adequate if it neglected to take into account
the part played by Delft and porcelain.

The three novelties that impressed the Dutch home of the seventeenth
century were tea, porcelain and lacquer. The importance of tea, with its
table and equipage as a domestic altar, can hardly be overestimated; but
its consideration may be deferred for the moment. Porcelain affected the
arrangement of furniture and the decoration of rooms. The cabinet
assumed new forms and proportions, as porcelain decorated its exterior.

Although Chinese porcelains had appeared in the cabinets of amateurs of
the sixteenth century, the comparative rarity of this ware confined its
enjoyment to the very wealthy. The magnificent ebony cabinets,
_armoires_, or _kasten_, with drawers and interior shelves in which
women delighted to set in beautiful order miniatures and jewels, enamels
and ivories, shells and rock-crystals, medals and coral, now had also to
find room for carved ivory and ebony, gods and monsters, jade,
porcelain, sandal-wood and lacquer boxes, and all the rarities that were
to be found in the stores of the Eastern traders.

Porcelain was early held in high esteem, and a vase was regarded as a
fit present from one potentate to another. It was very rare in Western
Europe until the Portuguese opened the Eastern gates. Mediaeval
travellers had frequently referred to its preciousness. Edrisi (1154)
says of Susah: “Here are made an unequalled kind of porcelain, the
Ghazar of China.” There was always a certain mystery attached to its
composition and qualities till the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Ibn Batuta, who travelled in Bengal and China about 1350, gives a more
or less fabulous account of its manufacture. He says: “Porcelain in
China is of about the same value as earthenware with us, or even less.
It is exported to India and elsewhere, passing from country to country
till it reaches us in Morocco. It is certainly the finest of all pottery
ware.” In 1420 the Embassy sent by Shah Rukh to the Chinese Court
mentions a buffet on which were arranged flagons, cups and goblets of
silver and porcelain. The scribe also bears witness to the fact that “in
the arts of stone-polishing, cabinet-making, pottery and brick-making,
there is nobody with us who can compare with the Chinese.”

Early in the sixteenth century, before 1520, A. Pigapheta made a voyage
to the East. He describes a visit to the house of the Queen of Mindanao:
“I sat down by the side of her; she was weaving a palm mat to sleep
upon. Throughout her house was seen porcelain vases suspended to the
walls and four metal timbals.” He tells us that in Borneo, at Bruni:
“For one cathil (a weight equal to two of our pounds) of quicksilver
they gave us six porcelain dishes; for a cathil of metal they gave one
small porcelain vase, and a large vase for three knives.... The
merchandise which is most esteemed here is bronze, quicksilver,
cinnabar, glass, woollen stuffs, linens; but above all they esteem iron
and spectacles.

“Since I saw such use made of porcelain I got some information
respecting it, and I learned that it is made with a kind of very white
earth, which is left underground for fully fifty years to refine it, so
that they are in the habit of saying that a father buries it for his
son. It is said that if poison is put into a vessel of fine porcelain it
breaks immediately.”

It is generally supposed that the table service, even among the rich,
was very limited during the sixteenth century. A careful search of the
inventories, however, shows that a complete service of faïence was to be
found on the tables of the opulent in the first half of the sixteenth
century. In 1532, we find that the widow of a minister of Francis I had
two complete services of beautiful faïence: one entirely white, and the
other “historied” with all kinds of coloured portraits. These two
services were composed each of four dozen large and three dozen small
plates, four _aiguières_, three round and one oval basin, three salts
(_sallières_), eight pots, twelve _tazzi_, and three dozen spoons, some
of ivory and some of wood and mother-of-pearl, “which we used in summer
and autumn in serving collations of confitures, junkets, custards,
syllabubs, fruits and cider to the great ladies who came to visit my
daughters and myself; and in addition I have also many other vessels of
the best pottery of Italy, Germany, Flanders, England and Spain.”

Besides the above, this lady possessed forty-two vases, pots, _tazzi_
and plaques of porcelain “of the earliest days when Europeans went to
China, which are of a beautiful white, and decorated with all kinds of
little paintings.” The owner, who had evidently read Pigapheta, adds
that the makers did not profit in their own lifetime by the manufacture
of this “_ravissante_” porcelain, because it had to be buried in the
earth for a century in order to come to perfection. Another reason why
it should be prized is that it is “so healthy that if it is soiled with
poison by evil doers who want to injure anybody, it will immediately
fall to pieces rather than suffer the vile draughts with which people
would ravage our entrails.”

At this date, the Oriental wares had not yet supplanted those that came
through Turkey, Asia Minor and Egypt by way of Venice and other Italian
ports. Among the lady’s possessions we find twenty-eight vases, pots,
cups and little earthenware bowls of Turkish work, decorated on the
necks and handles with little tufts resembling horses’ tails.

She also had four hundred beautiful glasses of all colours, and other
Venetian crystal vessels, “adorned with the gayest fancies that the
glass-blowers were capable of inventing, with which we delighted the
eyes of royalty and the great ministers of state at the great
entertainments we gave.”

After Portuguese navigators had found the route to the East around the
Cape of Good Hope, they were able to outstrip Venice as a sea-carrier
for Eastern merchandise. The Levant trade, with its costly loading and
unloading from caravan to ship, could not hope to compete with an
all-sea route, and therefore the Portuguese soon acquired a practical
monopoly of the traffic between Western Europe and Eastern Asia.[6]
Lisbon became the great mart whence lacquer, porcelain and other wares
were distributed throughout Europe. Dutch ships swarmed in the Tagus,
and transferred Oriental merchandise to Amsterdam and other European

Footnote 6:

  We know that much porcelain was brought into Europe through Venice
  from the Levant long after the Portuguese were dominant in the Eastern
  seas. As late as 1623, in Minshen’s Spanish dialogues, _China metiall_
  is defined as “the fine dishes of earth painted, such as are brought
  from Venice.”

The Vicomte de Santarem assures us that from 1497 to 1521 from Lisbon
alone the Portuguese despatched thirty-three fleets, composed of 220
ships; and a fleet was despatched every year till the next century. The
fleet of 1604 even consisted of five ships. Two carvels also sailed the
same year.

We learn what these great ships were like from Pyrard de Laval (1601),
who wrote:

“Three or four Portuguese ships at most go out every year; these are the
carracks, called by them _naos de voyage_, which are sent out with the
intention that they shall return if they can....

“The carracks are all built at Lisbon ... they are ordinarily of 1,500
to 2,000 tons burden. Sometimes more, so that they are the largest
vessels in the world so far as I have been able to learn; they cannot
float in less than ten fathoms of water.

“These great carracks have four decks, on each of which a man, however
tall, can walk without touching his head against the deck above: indeed,
he comes not within two feet of it.

“The ships leaving Goa are laden not only with silver, but with divers
goods of Europe, such as wines, woollen fabrics, and among others red
scarlet; all sorts of glass and crystal wares, clocks which are highly
prized by the Chinese, much cotton cloth, precious stones cut and set in
rings, chains, carkanets, tokens, ear-pendants and bracelets; for the
Chinese like vastly to get gems and jewels of all sorts for their wives.
The ships leave Goa towards October, and touch at Cochin for precious
stones and spices, such as pepper and cinnamon, leaving there the
merchandise of Europe or of the northern parts of India. Thence they
sail for Malaca; for they cannot make this voyage without touching at
Malaca in order to get the Governor’s passport, and also to purchase the
merchandise of the islands of Sunda in exchange for cotton cloths and
other goods of India and Europe.

“Vessels making the voyage from Goa to Japan and back may reckon on
taking three whole years; nor can they reckon on less by reason of the
winds called by them _Monssons_ and by us _Muesons_, which prevail for
six months and more. From Malaca they go to Macao, and thence to Japan.
At all these places they must await the _Muesons_; in the meantime while
waiting they carry on their trade. At Macao they leave the greater part
of their goods, and all their silver, relading with other goods of
China, such as silks and Spanish white ... it is dear, and much in
request in Japan, where all the women whiten the whole body with it,
even down to the legs. This white comes from the island of Borneo,
whence it is carried to China. Then they carry to Japan all those China
goods and some others from Europe and India, which they sell exceeding
well; they bring back only silver, which they get cheap, and return to
Macao to resell all their silver, exchanging it for other merchandise.
They make a long sojourn in all those places, and then return to Malaca,
where they must call; there they make another exchange of goods for
those of Malaca and the islands of Sunda. Thence they return to Goa, or
whatever other place the master of the ship belongs to.”

In Goa, “They have no glasses, except what are brought from these parts
or from Persia, and that is but little, and, moreover, not much
esteemed, as they get the porcelaines of China at small cost.

“The Maldives take their food so nicely that they spill nothing, not
even a drop of water, though they wash the mouth before and after dinner
in basins served on purpose. The vessel used is of earthenware, like
that of Fayance, fashioned in the native style, and imported from
Cambaye; or else it is of China porcelain, which is very common and used
by almost all. But they use not any plate of earthenware, or of
porcelain, saving one kind of round box, polished and lacquered, with a
cover of the same; it is manufactured in the island....

“His (the King’s) plate is neither gold nor silver, for that is
forbidden by their law, but of porcelain or of other China fabric.

“It is impossible to tell all the great riches and all the rare and
beautiful things which the ships bring back; among others they bring
much gold in ingots. Some gold also they have in leaf and some in dust;
also great store of gilded woodwork, such as all sorts of vessels and
furniture lacquered, varnished and gilded with a thousand pretty
designs; then all kinds of silk stuffs, good store of unwrought silk,
great quantities of musk and civet, plenty of the metal called
_calin_,[7] which is much esteemed over all the Indies, and even in
Persia and elsewhere.... Of this metal they make all their utensils and
ornaments as we do have of silver and tin; they even use it for rings
and bracelets for girls and children. They import also from thence much
porcelain ware, which is used throughout India as well by the Portuguese
as by the Indians. Besides all this, many boxes, plates and baskets made
of little reeds covered with lacquer and varnished in all colours,
gilded and patterned. Among other things I should mention a great number
of cabinets of all patterns in the fashion of those of Germany. This is
an article the most perfect and of the finest workmanship to be seen
anywhere; for they are all of choice woods and inlaid with ivory,
mother-of-pearl and precious stones; in place of iron they are mounted
with gold. The Portuguese call them _Escritorios de la Chine_.”

Footnote 7:

  Malayan tin.

J. G. Mendoza was another traveller who gave Europe the results of his
observations of Portuguese activities in the Far East, and helped to
stimulate a popular taste for porcelain. His book was translated into
English in 1588, by R. Parke. Among other interesting information he
tells us:

“There be also shops full of earthen vessels of divers making, redde,
greene, yellow, and gilt; it is so good cheepe that for foure rials of
plate they give fiftie pieces: very strong earth, the which they doo
breake all to pieces and grinde it and put it into sesternes with water,
made of lime and stone; and after that they have well tumbled and tossed
it in the water, of the creame that is upon it they make the finest sort
of them, and the lower they go, spending that substance that is the
courser: they make them of what colour they please, the which will never
be lost: then they put them into their killes and burne them. This has
beene seene and is of a truth, as appeareth in a booke set forth in the
Italian tongue by Duardo Banbosa,[8] that they do make them of
periwinkle shelles of the sea: the which they do grinde and put them
under the ground to refine them, whereas they lie 100 years. But if that
were true, they should not make so great a number of them as is made in
that kingdome, and is brought into Portugall, and carried into the Peru,
and Nova Espania, and into other parts of the world.... And the Chinos
do agree for this to be true. The finest sort of this is never carried
out of the countrie, for that it is spent in the service of the king,
and his governours, and is so fine and deere, that it seemeth to be of
fine and perfite cristal: that which is made in the province of Saxie is
the best and finest....

Footnote 8:


“The fine earthen dishes that are in this countrie cannot be declared
without many wordes. But that which is brought from thence into Spaine
is verie course; although, unto them that hath not seene the finer sort,
it seemeth excellent good; but they have such with them, that a cubbard
thereof amongest us would be esteemed as though it were of golde. The
finest cannot be brought forth of the kingdome upon paine of death;
neyther can any have the use thereof, but onely the _loytias_, which be
there gentlemen.”

The glowing accounts of the riches of Ind and Far Cathay brought home by
the early voyagers naturally fired the imagination and cupidity of
Dutch, English and French merchants and adventurers, who said to one
another: “We too will go to the hills of the Chankley Bore”; and every
potentate in Europe connived at their subjects’ efforts to trespass on
the King of Portugal’s Tom Tiddler’s Ground.

Independent efforts had been made by the English to get a share of the
riches of the East long before the Dutch and English East India
companies were formed. In 1560, the Portuguese ambassador exhibited
articles for restraining the traffic of English merchants in the Indies.
In 1566, “Dr. Lewes takes bonds of George Fenner not to spoil any of the
Queen’s subjects, nor to traffic into India, or any other places
privileged by the King of Spain.” About the same date, the merchants
petitioned “for reopening the trade with Portugal suspended in
consequence of the irregular trade of some Englishmen to the Indies.”

Instances of poaching and piracy in Portuguese preserves might be
multiplied, but three will suffice. In 1598, Cecil receives a report
from a Lisbon agent that, “On August 1st, three carracks arrived from
India and one was burnt there full laden. They bring news that two
English ships in India have taken two Portugal ships, rich with
treasure, that were on their voyage from Goa to Chine.” And again, on
October 16, 1601, Sir John Gilbert writes to Cecil: “My ship ... has
brought home silks, having taken a Brazil vessel with porcelain and
other wares.”

Elizabeth’s luxurious ministers had choice collections of porcelain
richly mounted in precious metal, from which they sometimes offered her
presents. For instance, among her New Year’s gifts in 1588, we find:
“One porrynger of white porselyn, garnished with golde, the cover of
golde, with a lyon on the toppe thereof; all given by the Lord
Threasorour, 38 oz. Item, one cup of green pursselyne, the foot, shanke
and cover silver guilte chased like droppes. Given by Mr. Robert Cecill,
15 oz. Item, one cup of pursseline, th’ one side paynted red, the foote
and cover sylver guilte. Given by Mr. Lychfelde, 14 oz.”

It is natural that from the fact that the Portuguese had the monopoly of
the East Indian trade, the finest examples of Oriental workmanship
should be found in Portugal and Spain, Lisbon being the _entrepôt_ of
European distribution. The Spanish dominions in the Low Countries were
well supplied with these wares by the Dutch mariners.

During the sixteenth century, the Dutch were already famed as
sea-carriers (_rouliers des mers_). With Lisbon as a base of supplies,
they soon destroyed the monopoly of the trade in Oriental wares which
Venice had so long enjoyed. When Philip II annexed Portugal in 1580,
however, he naturally sought to take revenge on his rebellious subjects
of the Low Countries by closing against them the ports of the Iberian

Finding that their profits from the trade with the East Indies were thus
practically extinguished, their only course was to go to those distant
lands themselves. How to get there was the question; and this was a
secret which the Portuguese navigators had carefully guarded. The Dutch
knew that they were reached by some southern route which could only be
traversed by force of arms, but thought that the lands where one might
“swim in golden lard” might be reached by a north-east passage. Dutch
ships vainly attempted this in 1594 and 1596, being barred by the ice.
In the meantime, Corneliz Houtman had managed to buy some Portuguese
charts, and thus to learn the real route around the Cape. He induced ten
merchants of Amsterdam to form a “Foreign Company” (_van verre_) and
send out a sort of exploring expedition. This first attempt was made on
no lavish scale. The ships could not hope to fight the mighty Portuguese
armed carracks. The four ships of this first voyage were the _Maurice_,
400 tons; the _Amsterdam_, 200 tons; the _Dove_, 30 tons; and the
_Holland_, 400 tons.

They left Texel early in April, 1595, and arrived home in August, 1597.
Their glowing reports encouraged the despatch of a second flotilla of
eight ships in 1598, four of which went to the Moluccas and the rest no
farther than Bantam, returning with rich cargoes of spices and other
merchandise. Several other companies were started in consequence, but in
1602 they were all consolidated with a capital of 6,440,000 florins, and
the Dutch East India Company was established.

The Dutch navigators and travellers who sailed the Vanderdecken course
to the Spice Islands, naturally, on their return, gave their
fellow-countrymen a full account of the wealth and curiosities of art
they had witnessed in India, Polynesia, China and Japan. Two or three of
these, not being foreign to our subject, may be quoted here. The
Netherland East India Company sent an embassy to the Emperor of China in
1655, and the reporter was evidently most interested in supplying his
fellow-countrymen with the secrets of the manufacture of porcelain,
which the Dutch were trying to imitate with their delft ware. He says:

“Upon the 25th of April we came to a village famous for shipping called
Ucienjen, where lay great store of vessels of several sorts and sizes,
which were come thither from all parts of China, to lade with China
earthenware, whereof great store is sold in this village.... Quite
through the middle of this rich village rims a broad street, full of
shops on both sides, where all manner of commodities are sold; but the
chiefest trade is in Purceline, or China dishes, which is to be had
there in great abundance....

“The earth whereof this porcelain is made, is digged in great quantity
out of the mountains situated near the chief city Hoei-cheu, in the
province of Nanking, from whence it is brought in four-square clods to
the above-mentioned village, which have the Emperor’s arms stamped upon
them to prevent all manner of deceit. The earth is not fat, like clay,
or chalk, but like to our fine sand, which they mingle with water, and
so make it into four-square clods. They likewise beat and powder the
broken China dishes, and make new ones of them; (but such as are made of
broken ware never take so fine colour and gloss as those which are made
of fresh mould.) The earthen clods which are thus brought from the
mountains are afterwards framed into what fashions they please, after
the same manner as our potters in Europe form their earthenware. Upon
the great pots which are made of this earth, they have an art to
themselves to paint all manner of creatures, flowers and trees, which
they do very curiously only with _Indico_. This art of painting upon the
pots is kept so private and secret that they will not teach it to any
but to their children and near relations, wherein the Chineses are so
dexterous that you cannot show them anything, but they will imitate it
upon their pots and dishes, which being framed and made of this earth,
are first dryed in the Sun before they are baked in the oven; and when
they are thoroughly dryed, they are put into an oven and stopt very
close, where they bake for fifteen days together with a good fire under:
the time being out, they are continued in the oven fifteen days more
without any fire; however the oven all that while is kept close stopt,
and not opened till it be quite cold; for if they should take their
earthenware red-hot out of the oven, it would endanger the breaking and
losing their gloss. After the expiration of thirty days, the furnace is
opened in the presence of an officer appointed by the Emperor to take an
account of this earthenware, and to receive the Emperor’s duty which is
of such sort the fifth piece, according to the laws of the kingdom; the
rest they afterwards sell to the inhabitants of this village, Ucienjen,
where (as they say) is the staple of this _Purceline_ trade, which is
sent from this village, not only through all China, but also through the
whole world.”

From Samedo’s _History of China_, we learn:

“They have altogether relinquished to Europe to be served in plate,
there being scarce found among them a vessel of silver of a considerable
bigness, no not in the Emperor’s palace, being content to eat in
porcelain, which is the only vessel in the world for neat and delightful
cleanliness.... Kiamsi is famous for the Porcellane dishes (indeed the
only work in the world of this kind) which are made only in one of its
towns: so that all that is used in the kingdom, and dispersed through
the whole world, are brought from this place: although the earth whereof
they are made cometh from another place: but there only is the water,
wherewith precisely they are to be wrought to come to their perfection,
for if they be wrought with other water the work will not have so much
glosse and lustre. In this worke there are not those mysteries that are
reported of it here, neither in the matter, the form nor the manner of
working; they are made absolutely of earth, but of a neat and excellent
quality. They are made in the same time, and the same manner, as our
earthen vessels; only they make them with more diligence and
accuratenesse. The blew, wherewith they paint the porcellane, is anill,
whereof they have abundance, some do paint them with vermilion, and (for
the king) with yellow.”

The same traveller also notes: “The workmanship of Europe which they
most admired were our clocks, but now they make of them such as are set
upon tables, very good ones.”

A Jesuit father, writing from China in 1688, sheds further light on the
wares that were made there and prized in Europe. He says in part:

“As for porcelain, it is such an ordinary moveable, that it is the
ornament of every house; the tables, the sideboards, nay, the kitchen is
cumber’d with it, for they eat and drink out of it, it is their ordinary
vessel. There is likewise made huge flower-pots of it. The very
architects cover roofs and make use of it sometimes to incrustate marble

“Amongst those that are most in request, there are of three different
colours; some are yellow, yet though the earth be very fine, they appear
more coarse than the others; and the reason is, because that colour does
not admit of so fine polishing; it is used in the Emperor’s palace.
Yellow is his own proper colour, which is not allowed to any person to
bear; so that one may safely say, that as for the business of porcelain,
the Emperor is the worst served.

“The second sort is of a grey colour, with abundance of small irregular
lines in it, that cross one another, as if the vessel was all over
striped, or wrought with inlaid or mosaic work. I cannot imagine how
they form these figures, for I have much ado to believe that they are
able to draw them with a pencil. However it is, these sort of vases
partake of a particular beauty; and sure I am, the curious amongst us
would much value them.

“Last of all, the third sort of porcelain is white, with divers figures
of flowers, trees and birds, which they paint in blue, such as come
hither into Europe. This is the commonest of all, and everybody uses

The minute descriptions of the manufacture and varieties of porcelain
furnished by Dutch and other travellers must not be charged up to an
artistic appreciation exclusively. The Dutch were very much in earnest
in their efforts to manufacture a home product which might compete with
the foreign. As we have seen, Dutch pottery had already attained a high
reputation, and was much sought after in foreign markets; and now, with
the influx of porcelain, the Guilds strained every nerve to meet the

The manufacture of delft began at the end of the sixteenth century with
Hermann Pietersz, a native of Haarlem. In the first days of its
existence, the style of decoration was rather complicated, for the
subjects representing _kermesses_, combats, etc., were designed _en
camaïeu_. In order to sell a piece of pottery, the potter had to belong
to the Guild of St. Luke. The Delft Guild of St. Luke was established in
1611 and included all the skilled workmen in the arts and crafts: (1)
painters; (2) stainers of glass, engravers and glass-makers; (3)
potters; (4) embroiderers and weavers of tapestry; (5) sculptors and
carvers; (6) sheath or scabbard-makers; (7) art-printers and
booksellers; and (8) engravers and dealers in paintings.

In the second half of the seventeenth century, particularly under the
influence of Abraham de Kooge (1632) and Albrecht de Keizer (1642), the
Delft potters began to imitate the Oriental products in both modelling
and decoration. De Kooge was famous for his landscapes and portraits
with names and dates—all in blue; but de Keizer, who was the precursor
of the celebrated Cornelis de Keizer and the two Pynackers, also
produced coloured ware in imitation of the Chinese and Japanese. Other
followers were: Pieter Oesterham, who devoted himself chiefly to
landscapes and national portraits; Frederick van Frytom, who was
particularly fond of blue _camaïeu_: Gerrit Pietersz, who delighted in
elephants and Chinese subjects; and Augustijn Reygensbergh, who made
fine imitations of Chinese and Japanese ware in red, blue and gold.
Lowys Fictoor (1689) and Lambertus Eenhoorn (1691) were famous for their
black delft, with wonderful glaze and ornamented in the Chinese style
with pagodas and trees in yellow and green; Lucas van Dale, for his
olive-brown decorated with yellow; Leonard van Amsterdam, for figures,
small landscapes and shipping scenes painted in colours on the backs of
brushes as well as small dishes; and Verhagen sought the prints of
Goltzius. Among other celebrated potters of this period are the names of
two other Eenhoorns, five Kams, four Van der Hoevens, and two Dextras.
The many factories of Delft were known under fanciful names, such as The
Rose, The Star, The Peacock, The Claw, The Three Bells, etc., etc. Delft
ware declined about the end of the seventeenth century.

The European potters did not gain a clear and sane understanding of the
composition and manufacture of porcelain till the last years of the
reign of Louis XIV, when d’Entrecolles, a Jesuit father, sent home a
full report of the mystery. A few extracts from his letter will be
extremely illuminating on certain points relating to European trade and
Chinese guile:

“As for the colours of the porcelain, they are of all kinds. In Europe,
scarcely any are to be seen but those that have a strong blue on a white
ground. I believe, however, that our merchants have brought others in.
There are some with grounds like our _miroirs ardents_; some again are
entirely red, and amongst these some are dotted with little points like
our _mignatures_. When these are perfect, which is very hard to attain,
they are infinitely esteemed and extremely dear.

“Finally there are porcelains in which the landscapes painted on them
are made up of almost every colour and relieved by gold. They are very
beautiful, if we judge by their cost: otherwise the ordinary porcelain
of this kind is not comparable to that painted with azure alone....
Black porcelain has also its own price and beauty.... The gold that is
applied to it, gives it a novel charm....

“Here also is made another species that I had never yet seen: it is all
pierced and cut-work: in the centre is a cup to contain liquor. The cup
is in the same piece and forms a part of the cut-work. I have seen other
porcelains in which Chinese and Tartar ladies were painted to the life.
The draperies, the complexion and features of the faces were all well
rendered. From a distance you would take this work for enamel.

“The Chinese complain of a lost secret: they once had the art of
painting on the insides of porcelains fishes and animals that only
became visible when the vessels were filled with some liquid. They try
from time to time to recover the art of this magic painting, but in
vain.... However that may be, we may say that at the present day the
beautiful blue has been revived on porcelain after having disappeared
from it....

“The Chinese chiefly succeed in grotesques and the representations of
animals. They make ducks and turtles that float upon the water. I have
seen a cat painted to the life. In its head had been put a little lamp
the flame of which shone through the eyes, and I was assured that rats
were terrified at it. They also make here many statues of _Kouan in_, a
Chinese goddess, with an infant in her arms.

“European merchants often order from the Chinese workers porcelain
plaques to form the top of a table, or back of a chair, or frame of a
picture. These works are impossible: the greatest length and width of a
plate is about one foot. If they are made larger than that, no matter
how thick, they bend.... The history of _King te ching_ speaks of divers
works ordered by Emperors that workmen tried vainly to execute.... The
Mandarins of this province presented a petition to the Emperor begging
him to have the attempts cease.... However, the Mandarins who know how
ingenious Europeans are in invention, have sometimes asked me to have
new and curious designs sent from Europe in order to have something
singular made for presentation to the Emperor. On the other hand, the
Christians strongly urged me not to procure such models, for the
Mandarins are not so readily satisfied as our merchants are when the
workmen tell them that a work is impracticable; and frequently the
bastinado is liberally bestowed before the Mandarin abandons a design
from which he has promised himself great advantages.

“We should not be astonished that porcelain is so dear in Europe: we
shall be still less so when we learn that besides the great profits
taken by the European merchants and by their Chinese agents, it is
rarely that a baking is entirely successful; sometimes indeed it is a
total failure. Thus for one workman who grows rich, there are a hundred
ruined; but this does not deter them from tempting Fortune.... Moreover,
the porcelain that is sent to Europe is almost always made on new and
often strange models in which success is difficult. However slight the
blemishes may be it is rejected by the Europeans, who will not take any
but perfect pieces; so that it remains in the hands of the workmen, who
are not able to sell it to the Chinese because it is not to their taste.
The consequence is that the pieces that are taken bear the additional
charge of those that are rejected.

“According to the history of _King te ching_, the profits were formerly
much greater than they are now. It is hard to believe this, for there
must then have been a great sale of porcelain in Europe. I have said
that the difficulty in executing certain models sent from Europe is one
of the causes of the excessive price of porcelain, for it must not be
imagined that the workmen can work on all the models that reach them
from foreign countries. There are some impracticable ones in China, just
as there are some made that astonish foreigners who would not think them

The price of china-ware fluctuated considerably during the seventeenth
century. Sometimes a critic complained, as above, that values had
greatly appreciated because of the demand, and then again others wailed
that the enormous importations had driven prices down till the game was
not worth the candle. In Mendelslo’s _Voyages_ (1639), we read:

“The Chinese bring to the island of Java porcelain which they sell there
very cheaply: for when boats arrive from China they buy six porcelain
dishes for a thousand _caxas_ (a string of two hundred _caxas_ are
called _sata_ and are worth about nine _deniers_ of French money, and
five _satas_ tied together make a _sapocon_).”

Again, from _Recueil des Voyages_ (Constant) we learn:

“The (Chinese) ships also bring (to Java) fine and coarse porcelain.
When the Dutch first arrived, they bought five or six dishes of both
kinds for 1,000 _caxas_, but afterwards they got no more than two or
three, rarely more.

“For return freight, they take, besides pepper, all the lacca brought
from the city of Tolonbaon, where there is great abundance. They also
load with the anil[9] that comes from Anier in pots; sandal wood, musk
and tortoiseshell, with which in China they make beautifully wrought
_coffres_; elephant tusks, with which they make beautiful seats that are
esteemed as much as if they were of silver, and that are used by
Mandarins and Viceroys.”

Footnote 9:

  A species of indigo.

The importations were indeed enormous, as the bills of lading of the
Dutch vessels prove. For example, among the cargoes of eleven Dutch
ships that arrived in Holland from the East Indies in July, 1664, were
44,943 pieces of very rare Japanese porcelain and 101 Japan cabinets.
The eleven ships that left Batavia on December 24 of the same year,
brought home 16,580 pieces of porcelain of divers kinds.

The Dutch brought to Europe such vast quantities of porcelain in the
first quarter of the seventeenth century as practically to monopolize
the trade and undersell the English. Thus, Methwold, writing from
Masulipatam to the East India Company in 1619, says: “The great profit
first obtained on porcelain has filled all men’s hands with plenty (by
the Dutch), which makes theirs (the East India Company’s) not sought

Turning now, for a moment, to tea, we find that it made its way into
public favour somewhat slowly—far more so than porcelain. It was known
to the Dutch before 1600, but was not in general use till half a century

J. H. van Linschoten, describing the manners and customs of the Island
Japan (1598), says:

“After their meat, they use a certain drinke, which is a pot with hote
water, which they drinke as hote as ever they may indure, whether it be
Winter or Summer ... and the gentlemen make it themselves; and when they
will entertaine any of their friends, they give him some of that warme
water to drinke: for the pots wherein they seeth it, and wherein the
herb is kept, with the earthen cups which they drinke it in, they
esteeme as much of them as we doe of diamonds, rubies, and other
precious stones, and they are not esteemed for their newnes, but for
their oldnes, and for that they were made by a good workman: and to know
and keepe such by themselves, they take great and special care, as also
of such as are the valuers of them, and are skilful in them.... So if
their pots and cups be of an old and excellent workman’s making, they
are worth four or five thousand ducats or more the peece. The King of
Bungo did give for such a pot, having three feet, fourteen thousand
ducats, and a Japan, being a Christian in the town of Sacay, gave for
such a pot fourteen hundred ducats, and yet it had three pieces upon

As late as 1639, Mendelslo thought it worth while describing again. He
says in his _Voyages_:

“The Japanese bray the tea as fine as powder, and taking a little on the
point of a knife put it in a porcelain or earthenware cup filled with
boiling water.... They have no more luxurious articles of furniture than
belong to this service: teapots have been seen that cost twenty-eight
thousand crowns.”

The use of tea became common among the well-to-do and fashionable
classes from 1660 to 1680. Every house had a special tea-room fitted up,
and even the burghers had their tea-offices, or drank tea in the front
room or _voorhuis_; for the social tea always took place in the front
part of the house. The tea-room was furnished like a reception-room, the
important pieces of furniture being the tea-buffet and the tea-table. “A
corner tea-buffet of costly wood” is mentioned in the inventory of
Develstein, while other inventories mention “properly inlaid Chinese
lacquered tea-tables mounted with silver and mother-of-pearl,” also
fir-wood and oak tables and tables with drop leaves. On the tea-table
the porcelain was displayed. This was bordered with gold or silver, or
was a blue Chinese or a coloured Japanese set with the “waffle-mark,” or
the six marks of the “Long Eliza,” “the cuckoo out of the house” and
“the cuckoo into the house,” and all kinds of red and gold, ribbed or
plain porcelain. A complete tea-set included large and small teapots,
large and small cups with and without covers, sugar basins, pastry
dishes with a small golden fork, and saffron pots. These little pots and
dishes were of different shapes; and we should note that there were a
double set of teapots—one in which the tea was drawn and the other into
which it was poured, to be poured out into the cups in turn. Sometimes
these pots were curiously shaped with open or basket sides, the spout
formed like the head of a bird or animal, while others carried
inscriptions or coats-of-arms, and the top of the lid bore some
grotesque fowl, bird or ornament. Square teapots profusely decorated
with gold paint were very costly. The teacups were also gaily decorated.
An exhibition in Delft in 1863 showed thirty famous designs of cups and

If we were to enter a fashionable tea-room of the seventeenth century,
we should find ourselves in the front of the house in a room furnished
according to the rank and means of the proprietor. Rich or poor, it is
always exquisitely clean. As carpets and rugs are not common, the floor
is covered with bright mats, and the walls are either whitewashed, or
encased in blue and white tiles. Upon them hang pictures, more or less
valuable. The round table and the chairs are of _sacredaan_ wood, and
the latter are furnished with cushions of Utrecht velvet. The
chimney-piece is ornamented with Chinese knickknacks that will interest
the visitor for several hours, and on either side of it are two oak
cupboards inlaid with ebony. Facing the chimney stands the china-cabinet
with its fragile treasures, the _vrouw’s_ idol, the object of her
tenderest care.

The guests usually arrived between two and three in the afternoon, and
were received and extended many formalities peculiar to the occasion.
Unless it rained, no cloak or wrap was worn, so the guests were received
in the tea-room at once and immediately seated themselves, resting their
feet—winter or summer—on a foot-warmer. The hostess takes a sample of
tea from her many tea-caddies, each filled with a different kind of tea,
and puts them into a different pot, each pot having a little silver
strainer in the spout. When the tea is drawn, she fills the smallest cup
with a sample from each pot and hands these tiny cups to her friends, so
that they may discover what kind they prefer. One prefers this, and one
prefers another; but, as a rule, the choice is left to the hostess. Now
the tea-making begins in earnest. According to the number of guests, the
hostess takes a single or double teapot, and from a larger caddy the tea
that has been chosen. While this is being drawn, she takes some saffron,
and infuses this in a small _red_ pot, and serves the tea and saffron in
a covered cup, so that none of the sweetness nor aroma shall be wasted.
In spring the saffron is discarded in favour of young peach leaves. The
tea is sweetened to taste, but milk is never served until 1680, when it
is used in imitation of the French; for the idea of milk in tea
originated with the Marchioness de la Sablière. The conversation at
these gatherings turned on tea and general gossip.

The tea-table was of great importance in social life. Even poets sang
its praises in Holland, as they did in England. A picturesque stanza
from a Dutch poet is worth quoting:

     “_In ’t midden van de zaal daar stond een gueridon,
     Op ’t zelve een keteltje, zo blank gelijk een zon.
     ’t Trekpotje was bekleed met zuiver zilverlaken,
     Opdat geen vogt het goud van ’t lofwerk zou mismaaken
     Waar meed het was beleid; de schoteltjes in ’t rond
     Van onder net beplakt met zagte stukjes bont,
     Uit vrees dat ’t porcelein het lakwerk mogte schaaren,
     Van ’t lief japansche-blad, ’t geen ruste op drie pylaaren
     Van sakredaan, kaneel en pik-zwart ebbenhout.
     Het schenken van de thee werd juffrouw Rois vertrouwt,
     Die evenwigtig thee met water wist te mengen._”

     (In the middle of the hall there stood a table
     Upon which was a small kettle, bright as the sun.
     The teapot was covered with pure silver cloth
     So that no liquid would deface the gold from the ornamentation
     With which it was covered; the small saucers around it
     Pasted underneath with soft furry cloth, so that
     The porcelains might not scratch the lacquer
     From the pretty Japanese tray, which rested on a tripod
     Of sacredaan, cinnamon and jet-black ebony.
     The pouring of the tea was trusted to Miss Rois,
     Who knew how to mix tea and water properly.)

Thus we see that the tea-table was firmly established as a social
institution in Holland by the middle of the seventeenth century, and
porcelain was an important factor in interior decoration long before
Dutch William drove the Stuarts out of England. A Dutch inventory of the
time of the Glorious Revolution (1689) is worth citation for the sake of
illustrating the prevailing taste and the price of porcelain of the day:

      OF THIS YEAR 1689

                        _In the Porcelain Room._


 Two porcelain “beguine” pots                                        150

 One porcelain chamber-pot with cover                                  6

 One porcelain box, without cover                                      6

 Three porcelain preserve pots                                       120

 Four large porcelain bowls                                           30

 One high pyramidal shaped water jug                                  12

 Two porcelain fruit dishes                                           15

 A jug with a silver lid                                              10

 A porcelain box with lid                                             12

 One porcelain cover                                                  10

 One porcelain pot with handles                                        4

 Two porcelain crackle bowls                                          10

 Four porcelain boxes                                                 10

 A little stewing pot                                                 10

 Two porcelain teapots                                                 6

 One porcelain sexagonal pot                                          20

 Two porcelain printed oil pots                                       10

 One porcelain stewing pan coloured, without cover                    18

 One porcelain apple pot                                              30

 Two porcelain crackle jars (one broken)                              15

 Two long porcelain boxes                                              5

 Two porcelain “beguine” pots                                         30

 Four porcelain boxes with covers                                     15

 Four butter dishes                                                    6

 Twenty-four porcelain teacups with covers                            48

 An East India box with a bamboo                                      10

 Thirteen (with inside decoration)                                    13

 Two porcelain bottles with French flowers                            60

 Five porcelain butter dishes on the back yellow and green            10

 Thirteen coloured tea-saucers (one broken)                            8

 Two porcelain cups with knobs on the covers                           6

 Three large East India teapots                                       24

 Four little East India teapots                                        6

 Four old porcelain stewing pots                                      40

 Five old long shaped bottles, one of which is in pieces              30

 Four porcelain boxes that can be shut (with covers)                  20

 Eleven little porcelain pieces                                        5

 Two little candlesticks with extinguishers                           16

 Two round shaped oblong bottles, one of which is in pieces           15

 Three porcelain small plaques                                         8

 Six porcelain dinner plates                                          12

 Eight porcelain printed red dishes                                   12

 Two pots with Chinese acrobats                                       18

 Two pots with French scrolls                                         24

 Two old porcelain bottles with a cover                               15

 Four porcelain pots with overlapping covers                          48

 Five porcelain swans                                                  5

 Eighteen porcelain cups, red, with one blue                          12

 Forty porcelain yellow cups                                          12

 Four porcelain slop basins                                           12

 Fifty porcelain coffee saucers                                       30

 Three porcelain sexagonal pin-trays                                   8

 Five porcelain pieces, red and blue                                   3

 Two old inscription bowls                                            16

 Two porcelain bowls with birds on branches                           20

 One porcelain rosemary bowl                                           8

 Three porcelain coloured starch basins                                6

 One porcelain “beguine” pot with a delft cover                       16

 One porcelain sexagonal pot                                          10

 One porcelain chain pot                                              10

 One porcelain pot with a bottle                                       8

 One porcelain bottle with Chinese                                    30

 One porcelain “beguine” pot, with handles                            30

 One porcelain four-square “beguine” pot                               6

 Three Persian basins                                                  8

 Seven porcelain butter dishes                                        21

 One porcelain, broken, open-work tray                                 2

 Three porcelain mustard pots, with a perforated cover                 8

 Eight candlesticks

 Two porcelain butter dishes                                          21

 One porcelain slop basin, one starch basin, and one crackle           5

 Six porcelain printed cups                                            8

 Three porcelain printed saucers                                       4

 Twenty-one porcelain printed coffee cups                             10

 Ten coloured East India tea-saucers, cups with ducks painted         20
   on them

 Two Japanese beakers                                                 50

 One East India beaker with Chinese letters                           30

 One East India beaker with pieces                                    12

 One pot with a _jardinière_                                          20

 One Chinese pot                                                      30

                    _China Closet near the Windows._

 Five East India half-size wash basins                                70

 Five East India basins                                               40

 Five East India basins                                               50

 Five East India basins                                               46

 Three old porcelain dishes                                           30

 Three double butter dishes                                           20

 Three East India round dishes, in three parts, with flower           30

 One East India round dish, in three parts, with flower pot and       12

 One engraved tumbler                                                 20

 Seven porcelain crackle bowls                                        24

 Two old porcelain pots                                               15

 One porcelain beaker with a crack.                                   10

 Twenty-four brown bottles                                            15

 Four porcelain boxes with covers                                     12

 One porcelain basin and mustard pot without cover                     3

 Two porcelain salt cellars, with two mustard pots                    12

 Twelve teacups and saucers                                           48

 Four porcelain perforated cups                                       15

 Six porcelain perforated cups                                        18

 Six porcelain perforated cups

 Two East India slop basins with storks                               10

 Eight little old porcelain saucers                                   16

 Six porcelain saucers with dragons                                   12

 Six old porcelain saucers with frogs                                 18

 Nine old porcelain saucers with handles                              36

 Two slop bowls                                                        6

 Six old porcelain cups                                                6

 Two porcelain crackle bottles                                        30

 Three porcelain breakers                                             30

 Three old porcelain dishes in three parts                            10

 Five old porcelain mustard holders                                   18

 Seven old porcelain mustard holders                                  10

 Five great deep saucers                                              20

 Two porcelain blue bowls                                             12

 Two porcelain blue small bottles                                      3

 One porcelain new dish                                                4

 Two porcelain butter dishes                                           8

 Six porcelain butter dishes                                          15

 Three porcelain butter dishes                                         6

 Six porcelain deep saucers                                           12

 One hundred teacups and saucers.                                    200

 One East India mat with three Chinese figures                         4

                      _Upstairs in the Front Room._
 Three pestles with flowers                                           40

 Two printed cups                                                      2

                      _Upstairs in the Rear Room._
 Two “beguine” pots with landscapes                                   70

 One East India “beguine” pot with Chinese                            16

 Two printed small bottes                                             40

 Two small bottles with Chinese                                       25

 Six teacups and saucers                                              15

 One bottle with a small bird on a tree                               10

 Three butter dishes                                                  20

 Six little old small bottles                                          8

 Six little old boxes with covers                                      8

 Two teacups                                                           6

 Six dragon cups                                                       6

 Three flat saucers                                                    4

 Four coloured ribbed dishes or saucers                                6

 Six teacups and tea-saucers                                          15

 Six dishes with a box cover                                           8

 Two small baskets and two shelves                                     6

 The porcelain on the shelves                                         12

                           _In the Vestibule._
 The porcelain in the shop, comprising thirteen pieces                24

                        _In the Porcelain Room._
 Firstly, an olive wood carved cabinet                               250

 One gilt and engraved jewel casket                                   50

 One olive wood table with stands                                     25

“Now follows a collection of large mirrors, which we consider of less
importance. Of more interest is the following:


 148 sheets and one half of gold leather, being white and gold,   170·15
       valued at 23 stuivers the sheet

 The pine-apple with colours (decoration), 44 sheets, valued at    52·16

  61 sheets, the unicorn green and gold                               70

  80 sheets of gold leather                                           40

  42 ditto                                                            42

   1 lot of remnants, leather                                         30

   1 lot of patterns and friezes                                     100

   8 screens                                                         130

   2 curtains and balance and the gold leather that hangs in           9
       the kitchen in the rear

“Hereafter follows again some porcelain and other articles, as—


 8 painted figures                                                    40

 2 broken roll wagons (round shaped bottles)                          24

 1 porcelain stewing pan                                              12

 2 half-size wash basins                                              24

 2 ditto                                                              16

 2 porcelain bowls                                                     4

 6 porcelain cups with a broken wash jug and a broken roll             4

 1 delft stewing pot                                                   4

 6 gold leather chairs                                                20

 1 clavecin                                                            4

 1 bundle of old gold leather                                         20

 1 large cup engraved with a battle scene and a large cup with       30”
     a vine

The value of porcelain may be gathered from the pieces mentioned in the
inventory of Joh. Gemeelenbrouck, “meester silversmith,” in 1653:

                                                       GUILDER. STUIVER.
 In the shop                                                 48
 Four whole lamps
 Sixteen half lamps                                          56
 Sixteen round dishes in three parts                         40
 Four double butter dishes                                    6
 Forty-five cornered butter dishes                           33       15
 One round shaped oblong bottle                               6
 Five “beguine” pots                                         30
 Nine “beguine” pots (small)                                 22       10
 Three drinking cups                                          4       10
 Four drinking cups (small)                                   2        8
 Three beakers                                                3       15
 Three bottles                                                4
 Three large bottles                                         18
 Five mustard pots                                            3       15
 Four wine cans                                              16
 Four chamber-pots                                           10
 Twenty-four parrot basins                                   24
 Forty-four cups and saucers                                 15        4
 Two cups and saucers                                         2
 Four oil pots                                                2        8
 Ten snuff boxes                                             10       10
 Seventy-five mustard pots                                   29
 Twenty-five deep saucers                                    16
 Three boxes with lids                                        3
 Four deep saucers                                            2        8
 Five red pots                                                0       15

                              CHAPTER VIII
                             THE DUTCH HOME

  Love of Porcelain—The Amsterdam Mart—Prices of China in 1615—Oriental
      Wares before 1520—Luxury of the Dutch Colonists—Rich Burghers in
      New Amsterdam—Inventories of Margarita van Varick and Jacob de
      Lange—Dutch Merchants in the East—Foreign Views of Dutch Luxury—
      Dutch Interiors after the Great and Little Masters—
      House-furnishing by a young married couple—The Linen Chest—Clothes
      Chests and Cupboards—The Great _Kas_—The Cabinet—The Toilet—
      Table-Covers—Foot-warmers—Looking-glasses—Bedsteads—Tables and
      Chairs—Woods—Kitchen Utensils—Silverware—Household Pets.

In the preceding chapter, we have seen the constantly increasing
importance of porcelain in the Dutch home. In England there was quite as
great a demand for this ware among the wealthy classes; but the London
East India Company could not supply the demand, and the reason is not
far to seek. The Dutch were more energetic, or, at least, more
successful in ousting and supplanting the Portuguese, and the Stores of
the Indies in Amsterdam became recognized as the headquarters of
distribution of Oriental ceramics. In all probability, the English
company was not able to import wares of such superior quality as were
the Dutch. The Dutch made themselves masters in the Eastern Seas, and
British trade had a hard uphill fight there for a century and a half.
The Dutch carried things with a very high hand, and the laws of neither
God nor man were respected on the course of Vanderdecken from Cape Verde
to Japan. The massacre of a few inoffensive English traders at Amboyna
aroused quite a coolness in England towards Holland, and caused a good
deal of embarrassment to the Government early in the reign of Charles I,
which was too busy with home affairs to insist on reparation. However,
the Dutch were only carrying on the traditions of “the spacious times of
great Elizabeth,” when the methods of the great navigators were frankly
piratical. England became well acquainted with Eastern wares when
Hawkins, Drake, or Cumberland sailed into Plymouth with the rich freight
of Portuguese carracks which they had waylaid around the Azores.

The Dutch love of porcelain was very real: it appears in many a diary,
letter and anecdote. In every home, the humble rectory and the house of
the rich burgher-master alike, the same desire to own porcelain is
found. When one Pastor Arnold Moonen was asked how much he would charge
for his translation of Cicero’s _Epistolæ ad familiares_, he answered:
“_Mijnheer! Ik mij in geenen staet bevindende om iet voor mijnen arbeit
te kunnen eischen, als diergelijken handel ongewoon, zal enelijk van
UEd. verzoeke te voldoen, de raet van die vrouwe volgen, die de Heer mij
tot een hulpe gegeven heeft. Deze eischt van mij een nooteboomen kabinet
met een stelsel in porselein, als zijn toebehooren, om daarop te setten,
zoo als de vrinden kunnen goetvinden._” (“Sir! not being in a position
to charge anything for my labour, as this is not an habitual thing, I
should take heed of my wife, whom the Lord hath given me for a helpmate.
She wishes to possess a nutwood cabinet with a set of porcelain to go
with it, and to place ornaments on the top, if the consistory will grant
this!”) Such a set of porcelain as the good lady required to decorate
the top and fill the shelves within, cost at that time as much as 300
double ducats (equal to about £136); but the ladies of that period had
desires for fine furniture, dress and fashion that their husbands were
often unable to gratify.

The best china-ware was obtainable in Amsterdam only, and English
travellers used to buy porcelain there, as they now go to Brussels or
Mechlin for lace or Cashmere for shawls. As late as the reign of Charles
II, Holland maintained her pre-eminence in this trade. In Henry Sidney’s
_Diary_, November 18, 1679 (on the eve of his departure for Holland) we
read: “My sister Sunderland spoke to me for a China cup.” Later he
notes: “I went to see the magazine, the East India Stores.”

We have already seen the prices of various kinds of porcelain in Holland
in 1653 and 1689. It may be interesting to compare these with English
prices earlier in the century. From the bill of lading of the _Java_
(1615) we gather that the prime cost of porcelain was: “Saucer dishes,
nearly 2_d._ a piece; flat sallet dishes, about 3½_d._; sallet cups,
3½_d._; posset dishes, 4_d._; small (quarter) basins, 1_s._ 9_d._;
larger (half) basins, 2_s._ 6_d._; largest (whole) basins, 5_s._”

This was evidently china-ware of the cheapest kind, and the prices show
that porcelain was now on the market in such quantities as to drive out
the old pewter plates and dishes from the homes of the middle classes as
well as the aristocracy. During the first quarter of the seventeenth
century, however, the Oriental wares to be found in opulent houses were
by no means confined to china-ware. The art furniture brought from the
East was varied and choice.

The inventory of a Dutch or English noble of wealth of that period shows
the same taste for Eastern fabrics, lacquer and porcelain, and evidences
the elegance that made Madame de Rambouillet famous in France. As an
example, let us take the Earl of Northampton, who was famous and
infamous in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean days. He died in 1619.
Among his possessions we find the following goods of Oriental

“A cupbord containynge seven parcels of purslane cups trimmed with
silver and guilte valued at £12; a field bedstead of China worke, black
and silver, branched with silver, with the Arms of the Earle of
Northampton upon the headpiece, the toppe and valance of purple velvett
striped downe with silver laces and knots of silver, the frindge blewe
silk and silver with 8 cuppes and plumes spangled suteable, the five
curtains of purple taffata with buttons and lace of silver, the
counterpoint of purple damaske suteable laced; one China cushen
imbrodred with birdes, beastes and flowers, the ground of white Grogeron
lined with yellow taffeta, 10_s._; thirteen yeardes and a quarter of
purple gold velvett, China with flower-de-luces and diamond work, £8
13_s._ 4_d._; a China striped quilt of beastes and antiques, the ground
whice calico frindged about with a straw coloured frindge, £5; another
China quilte stayned and spotted in colours £4; another China quilt
stitched in checquer work with yellow silke, the ground white, £4; and a
China carpett of several colours, the ground white and weaved in with
antiques of several colours lined with watchett taffata, £4.

“A China guilte cabonett upon a frame, £1 10_s._; a large square China
worke table and frame of black vernishe and gold, £6; one faire crimson
velvet chaire richlie imbosted with copper and spread eagles and blewe
and white flowers China worke, the frame painted with gold and my Lord’s
crest upon the same; one small table of China worke in golde and colours
with flies and wormes upon a pillar suitable, £1; a little gilded couch
carved and cutt, 15_s._; an ebony cabinett inlaid with mother-of-pearle,
13_s._; a very large bedstead with wreathed pillars ballastars for head,
side and feete, all coloured blacke and gold, £7; a foldinge Indian
screne, £3 4_s._”

The bonds between England and Holland were very close in Puritan days,
and the household belongings of the two countries, both in hall and
cottage, were practically identical. In Holland, the Puritans found a
refuge and congenial surroundings before sailing for the New World. The
homes of the prosperous burghers of New Amsterdam, now New York,
faithfully mirrored the comfort and taste of those of Amsterdam and The
Hague; and here we may pause a moment to examine a couple of inventories
of early dwellers in what is still the most important city in the
Western Hemisphere.

Mrs. Margarita van Varick died in 1696, and her bequests to her children
are eloquent testimony of the estimation in which she held her various
household goods. In her will she leaves: “In a great chest bound up in a
napkin for Johanna van Varick, a silver spice-box, a silver egg-dish, a
silver thimble, a silver wrought East India box, 18 pieces of silver
children’s toys, 11 pieces Arabian and Christian silver money, one gold
ring with seven diamonds, two gold drops for the ear, one gold Arabian
ducat, one Dutch Testament with gold clasps, one gold chain with a
locket with seven diamonds, one pearl necklace, one small silver knife
and fork, one small bundle beaten leaf gold, two gold pins headed with
pearls, one gold bodkin, and one looking-glass with gilt frame.

“In another napkin for Marinus van Varick, three silver wrought East
India cups, one ditto dish, three pieces of silver money, one medal, 20
pieces of silver children’s toys, one silver knife, one gold ring with a
table diamond, two gold rings, one gold ducat, one gold medal, and one
small gold box as big as a pea.

“In another napkin for Rudolphus van Varick, three silver wrought East
India boxes, one small ditto dish, one silver tumbler marked R. V., 17
pieces silver playthings or toys, 8 pieces of silver money, one silver
knife, one fork silver studded handle, one gold ring with three small
diamonds, one gold ring, one ducat, two gold buttons, one gilded medal,
and a gold piece the shape of a diamond.

“In another napkin for Cornelia van Varick, a silver wrought East India
trunk, a ditto box, a saltcellar, 28 silver playthings or toys, 20
silver pieces of money, a small mother-of-pearl box, a gold comb, a
Bible with gold clasps, a small bundle of leaf gold, a pair of diamond
pendants, two gold chains, two gold rings with a diamond in each, two
small gold rings, one pair crystal pendants edged with gold, one Arabian
ducat, and two gold pins.

“Also for Johanna, the biggest and finest Turkey-work carpet, a set of
white flowered muslin curtains, a chintz flowered carpet, an East India
cabinet with ebony foot wrought, the picture of Mrs. van Varick, the
picture of Johanna, three china pots, one feather bed, one bolster, two
cushions, one quilt, one white calico blanket.

“Also for Marinus, a Turkey-work carpet, a gold bell and chain, a blue
satin flowered carpet, a calico ditto, a silver-headed cane, a Moorish
tobacco-pipe, a calico nightgown, a hair brush, a red box, two East
India cabinets with brass handles, a feather bed, bolster, quilt, two
cushions and green blanket, a picture of J. Abramson, and a ‘large
picture of images, sheep and ships that hung above the chimney.’

“Also for Rudolphus, a small ebony trunk with silver handles, a picture
with a gilt frame, a cane with a silver head, a flowered carpet stitched
with gold, a calico carpet, and a large picture of himself.

“Also for Cornelia, the second finest Turkey-work carpet, two pictures
with glasses before them, a calico nightgown, a hair brush, a chintz
flowered carpet, a small black cabinet with silver hinges, the picture
of Cornelia Hester deceased, the picture of a flower pot, a china cup
bound with silver, a large looking-glass with ebony frame, two white
china cups with covers, a feather bed covered with checkered linen, a
bolster, three wadding cushions, two feather ditto, one quilt and a
homespun blanket.

“Also for Johanna and Cornelia, two glaasen cases with 39 pieces of
small china-ware, 11 Indian babyes, and 6 small and 6 larger china

“Also for Marinus and Rudolphus, 23 pieces of china-ware.

“Also to be divided equally among them, 37 Dutch books 4º; and 46 ditto
8^{vo}; and 4 ditto folio; a chest with children’s babyes playthings and
toys; and 13 ebony chairs.”

Mrs. van Varick’s home in New Amsterdam did not suffer in comparison
with the rich Dutch houses in Holland. Her clothes, jewels and bequests
to her children prove that her life was one of ease, luxury and fashion.
Her house was not only furnished with every comfort known to the period,
but was filled with curios, treasures from the Far East, rich furniture,
and a fine collection of china and paintings. Her furniture included
fine and richly upholstered bedsteads, tables, chairs, cabinets, glass
cupboards for china, great _Kasten_, a handsome “painted wooden rack to
set china-ware in,” six looking-glasses, and ten Indian looking-glasses,
“two East India cane baskets with covers, one fine East India
dressing-basket, one round ditto, two wooden gilt East India trays,
lackered, and one round thing ditto.” Five brass hanging candlesticks
and handle candlesticks, a double brass ditto, snuffers and
extinguisher, a pair of brass standing candlesticks, and a standing
candlestick with two brass candlesticks to it, prove that the house did
not suffer for want of illumination. It was also bright with rich
curtains and cushions. Among these were six satin cushions with gold
flowers, a suit of serge bed-curtains and valance with silk fringe, six
scarlet serge bed-curtains with valance and silk fringe, a green serge
chimney cloth with fringe, two chimney cloths of flowered crimson gauge
and six window curtains of the same, a painted chimney cloth, a calico
curtain, a fine chintz carpet, many handsome Turkey-work carpets and
white flowered muslin curtains. She had fourteen East India pictures,
some with gilt and some with black frames, and twelve prints also in
black and gilt frames, two maps with black frames, and about twenty well
chosen paintings. Some of the subjects of these clearly show that they
were in the style of Jan Steen, Dou, etc. In addition to landscapes,
battles and fruit-pieces, the inventory notes “two pictures of ships
with black ebony frames,” “one picture of the Apostle,” “one large
flower pot,” “one with a rummer,” “one birdcage and purse, etc.,” “a
large horse battle,” and “a large picture of roots.”

The china exhibited in the cabinets and on the mantelpieces and
cupboards made a fine display; for in addition to the Oriental curios
and other pieces willed to her daughters the house contained: three
large china dishes, ten china dishes, four ditto (cracked), three
teapots, two china basins, one ditto (cracked), one smaller ditto, two
ditto (cracked), three fine china cups, one china jug, four china
saucers, six ditto smaller tea dishes, one ditto (cracked), six painted
tea ditto, four tea ditto, eight teacups, four ditto painted brown, six
smaller ditto, three ditto painted red and blue, two white East India
flower pots, one ditto (cracked), three ditto smaller, two ditto
(round), one lion, one china image, and a china ink-box and two
sand-boxes. Among her articles for the table she also owned three wooden
painted dishes and a wooden tray with feet; also “a thing to put spoons
in.” A parcel of toys and a collar for a dog are among the miscellaneous

Turning now to another Dutch house in New Amsterdam—that of the
barber-surgeon, Mr. Jacob de Lange, whose inventory was taken in 1685—we
find the rooms consisting of a foreroom, side chamber, chamber, kitchen,
shop and cellar. Mr. de Lange has a remarkable collection of porcelain
and pictures, a great deal of fine furniture, rich clothing, jewels and
East India cabinets, beautiful hangings, etc., etc.

Mr. de Lange’s furniture consists of twelve chairs upholstered with red
plush, six with green plush, eleven matted chairs, seven chairs with
wooden backs and a church chair. He has two “cann boards,” two small
“cloak boards,” a hat press, a clothes press, a square table, a round
table, a small round table, and an oak drawing-table, a small square
cabinet with brass hoops, one waxed East India small trunk, one square
black small sealing waxed trunk, one silver thread wrought small trunk,
and an ivory small trunk tipped with silver. He also owned an East India
rush case containing nineteen wine and beer glasses, and an East India
waxed cabinet with brass bands and hinges, containing gloves, ribbons,
laces, fourteen fans and seven purses in the first partition; laces,
buckles and ribbons in the second; cloth in the third; caps in the
fourth; fans, bands, scarfs, garters and girdles in the fifth; silk,
fringe and calico in the sixth; silk and materials for purses in the
seventh, and spectacles in the eighth.

The side chamber was furnished with eleven pictures, consisting of five
East India pictures with red frames, four landscapes, one evening and a
“small zea.” A looking-glass with a gilt frame also hung upon the wall.
There was an enormous amount of porcelain here. The chimney was adorned
with seven half-basins, two belly flagons, three white men, one sugar
pot, two small pots, six small porringers and a small goblet. On and in
the _kas_ were two great basins, one goblet, two pots, two flasks, four
drinking glasses, five _drillings_, six double butter dishes,
thirty-three butter dishes, two white teapots, seven small red teapots,
a hundred and twenty-seven teapots, one can with a silver joint, one
ditto with a joint, two flaskets, one barber’s basin, five small basins,
sixty-seven saucers, four salt-cellars, three small mustard pots, five
oil pots, one small pot, three small men, two small men, one basin, two
small cups, one small oil can, one ditto spice pot, five saucers, four
small men, one small dog, two small swans, one small duck, two tobacco
boxes, one sand-box, four small cans, one small spoon, six small flasks,
two small oil cans, one small chalice, and two fruit dishes. This room
contained an East India cupboard, ninety books, and a pair of blue
curtains and valance.

The “foreroom” contained a black nutwood chest with two black feet under
it, worth £2 10_s._, and some pieces of linen, £24 12_s._; a
looking-glass with a black frame, £1 5_s._; two curtains before the
glass windows; the family coat of arms in a black frame, £5 4_s._; and
the following paintings: “A great picture being a banquet with a black
list,” “one ditto something smaller,” “one ditto a bunch of grapes with
a pomegranate,” “one with apricocks,” “a small countrey,” “a Break of
Day,” “a small Winter,” “a Cobler” and “a portrait of my lord Speelman.”

The pictures in the chamber include “a great picture banquet, worth £3
5_s._; one ditto, £2 10_s._; one small ditto, £1 15_s._; one Abraham and
Hagar, £1 5_s._; four small countreys, £4; two small ditto, £1 12_s._;
one flower pot, one small ditto, one country people frolick, one
sea-strand, one portraiture, and a plucked cock torn, two small
countreys, one flower pot small, without a list, one small print broken,
and thirteen East India prints pasted upon paper.”

This room was well furnished. There were sixteen linen curtains before
the glass windows, a large and valuable _kas_ covered or veneered with
French nutwood, standing on two ball feet, worth £13; a great
looking-glass with a black frame, a white valance before the chimney,
“six cloths which they put on the shelves of the _kas_, one ditto with
lace, two small calico valances before the glass windows, one red
chimney cloth (probably placed over the white valance), two red striped
silk curtains and two valances of the same, two green silk curtains and
two embroidered valances, three grey striped silk chair cushions, four
pieces of tapestry to be thrown over chests, one bedstead with white
calico hangings and luxuriously supplied with cushions, and eight East
India spreads, besides other spreads of flowered calico, red calico, and
white calico in squares. There were five small East India boxes and a
great deal of linen, also one white box marked E. W.”


  PLATE XXXVI.—_The Oyster Feast, by Jan Steen. The Hague._

  Figs. 35–36: CHAIRS (Seventeenth Century); Fig. 37: MARQUETRY DESIGNS
    (Seventeenth Century).

Wherever the Dutch went, they lived not only in comfort, but in all the
elegance and even splendour that their means would allow. In the New or
the Old World, the merchant princes surrounded themselves with sumptuous
furniture of mahogany, ebony, marquetry, ivory, lacquer, teak and
sandal-wood, as well as porcelain, embroideries, rugs, screens and all
kinds of stamped metal and _bric-à-brac_.

In 1685, the Count de Forbin says that the General of the East India
Company at Batavia has a court quite royal in numbers and brilliance.
“On my arrival (at the palace), the usual guard,” he writes, “which is
very numerous, stood at arms, and, between two ranks of men, I was
introduced into a gallery adorned with the most beautiful Japanese

Evelyn and other travellers are enthusiastic in their admiration of the
riches and luxury they witnessed in Holland, although, as we have seen,
England was not unfamiliar with Oriental art products. The Stuarts were
art connoisseurs of the first rank, and James II, to whom Macaulay
denies mental and aesthetic appreciation, was an intelligent collector.
The most brilliant figure in the Court of Louis XIV, the Marquis de
Dangeau, notes in his _Diary_ (January 8, 1689), on the arrival of the
fugitive Stuart: “The King of England found the apartments (of the
Dauphin) admirable, and talked like a connoisseur of all the pictures,
porcelains, crystals and other things that he saw there.”

One of the travellers who describes the Eastern goods seen in the shops
and houses of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, Charles Patin, writes in

“I had a sight of all their curiosities and those of all sorts, and
among other divers paintings that we know, and others which are unknown
to us; as also Indian and Chinese pieces of an inestimable value. In
these last a curious eye may discover all the secret particulars of the
history, the manner of living, customs and religion of those countries,
and there are represented certain martyrs, who sacrifice their blood to
the transport of their zeal, if it may be allowed to make so bad an
application of that sacred name, which belongs only to the heroes of the
true religion.”

Wills and inventories are invaluable aids to the student of Dutch
furniture; but even more illuminating are the interiors painted by the
Great and Little Masters—Jan Steen, Metsu, Cocques, Teniers, Rembrandt,
Terburg, Don Weenix, Hoogstraten, Koedyck and a host of others. These
are valuable as showing not only individual pieces of furniture, but
also the general arrangement of rooms.

Plate XXVI, representing _The Sick Woman_, by Jan Steen, in the Rijks
Museum, shows a very simple room with bare floor and bare walls. At the
back of the room is an upholstered bed with long straight curtains, and
tester ornamented with fringe and surmounted with “_pommes_.” On the
wall hang a lute and a Frisian clock. The back of the chair is carved
with lions’ heads above the arms. The table is covered with a handsome


  PLATE XXXVII.—_The Sick Lady, by Hoogstraten._


A similar bed stands in the right hand corner of the room, represented
in Plate XXXVII, also the picture of a _Sick Lady_, by S. van
Hoogstraten. The arrangement of this room is extremely interesting, as a
short flight of seven steps leads into a narrow passage and room above.
A round window hung with a curtain lights the passage-way above, which
contains a number of fine paintings and a low-backed chair with spirally
turned legs, the back and seat covered with velvet put on with
large-headed nails. A door leads into the room beyond, but all that we
can see of this is a marble mantelpiece with a handsome painting above
it, and heavy andirons. A large square armchair with spirally turned
legs stands on the left of the bed. The invalid is seated on a common
stiff chair of no decorative interest.

The obvious upper room was always a favourite feature of the houses in
the Low Countries. An interior balcony is shown in Plate XXXVIII. This
interior, painted by J. Koedyck about 1650, now in Brussels, is very
interesting. The ceiling is unusually high, and consists of heavy beams;
the windows are flush with the outside wall with deep interior recesses,
and beneath them is a long wooden bench rudely carved. The old woman
seated in a plain, two-backed, rush-bottomed chair seems to be dusting
the legs of a spinet. Another two-backed chair stands in front of the
bed, which from the positions of its pillows looks as if it might
consist of an upper and lower berth, as was and still is often the case
in the simpler homes in the Netherlands. Straight curtains hang from the
cornice, a warming-pan is seen on the right, while above the cornice of
the bed a child looks out of the shutters in the upper gallery. The
chimney-piece is without the usual funnel-shaped top, and is also
lacking in flat architectural ornamentation or a large painting. A
candlestick and a few plates are the sole ornaments. It is carved with
caryatids, however, and furnished with a chimney-cloth. Near the only
caryatid visible stands what seems to be a metal “blower”; but there is
probably no fire in the hearth, for the cat has found what she considers
the most comfortable spot in the room on the foot-warmer. The most
interesting piece of furniture in the room is the high-backed settle in
the space between the fireplace and the window. This is panelled, and a
little decoration occurs below the arms. Of course, the seat lifts up,
and the box is used as a receptacle for articles.

Plate XXVII, one of Jan Steen’s famous interiors, from the Rijks Museum,
has several interesting features: the architectural door and the high
chimney-piece with stove being the most curious. The bed is dome-shaped
and upholstered. A good type of chair stands in the foreground, and a
table, on which is a cloth with deep fringe. A beautifully painted
birdcage hangs from the ceiling.


  PLATE XXXVIII.—_Interior, by J. Koedyck, Brussels._

Plate XXXVI, known as the _Oyster Feast_, by Jan Steen, in The Hague,
shows an interesting room, which serves as hall, dining-room and
kitchen. A large curtain is looped over the balustrade, which runs
midway across the hall. This gallery leads from one of the upper
sleeping apartments to another. One large window, with four panes,
supplies the light. To the left of it is a bed, and next to it a
mantelpiece with marble columns. Near this a parrot is sitting in a
ring. Next comes the fireplace, where the oysters are being cooked.
Waffle-irons lean up against the handsome chair in the foreground.
Beneath the window a jovial man sits in a low-backed chair, near the
group playing tric-trac on the long table, over which hangs a landscape
in a handsome frame. Another table with a rich carpet is placed on the
extreme right, at which two persons are enjoying their oysters. A clock
hangs on the wall, and also a lute and birdcages. A large birdcage,
similar to the one in Plate XXVII, hangs before the window. A dog, a
kitten and playful children add a merry touch to the scene.

Plate XXXIX represents _The Music Lesson_, by Terburg, in the National
Gallery, London. Here we have an ordinary sitting or living-room of a
well-to-do household. The bed in the background resembles those in Plate
XXVI and Plate XXXVII. On the wall hangs a picture in a rich frame. The
fair musician sits on a low-backed chair with her foot on a foot-warmer.
The table is covered with a very handsome carpet. Upon it stands a
handsome candlestick.

Plate XLI, _The Breakfast_, by G. Metsu (1630–67) (Dresden Gallery),
shows us the interior of an inn, with comparatively little furniture.
The chair on which the woman is sitting is a good example of the period.
The table, on which a “_buire_” stands, is of the most primitive kind.
The birdcage hanging from the ceiling is similar to the one represented
in Plate XXVII.

Plate XLII, by Jan Steen, representing a jovial company, is chiefly
interesting for our purpose on account of the chair in which the host
sits, the tablecloth and the larder at the back of the room, on which
stand a mortar and pestle, a vase with flowers, a pot and two plates. In
the right-hand corner stands a bed, and from this hangs the legend on a
piece of paper: “As the old ones sing, so will the young ones pipe.”

Plate XL, by J. B. Weenix (1621–60), shows a simple interior from the
Brussels Museum—a lady at her toilet. The chair on which she sits is
very interesting, with its low back, carved top rail and spirally turned
stretchers. The “table carpet” is a superb Oriental rug, and the mirror
with its massive frame is a magnificent example of carving and gilding.
The candlestick is also massive. The windows, flush with the walls, are
set with small panes, and are furnished with a curtain.

A very interesting interior of the seventeenth century occurs in a
picture by G. Metsu in The Hague Gallery. In a room with a very fine
chimney-piece supported by marble pillars, and above which is a fine
picture and a beautiful chandelier, a lady is standing improvising upon
a lute. Another lady seated at a table is taking down the music, while a
man looks over her shoulder. The lady is seated upon a low-back leather
chair studded with heavy nails. Her foot rests upon a foot-warmer. The
table has heavy ball-feet connected with stretchers, and the heavy cloth
or carpet is pushed back carelessly. A tray or “standish,” holding the
ink bottles, etc., is carelessly placed upon the folds of the cover. The
lady holds a quill pen in her hand.


  PLATE XXXIX.—_The Music Lesson, by Terborch._


No subject was more congenial to the Dutch painters than scenes of home
life and familiar interiors. Not only were Jan Steen, Teniers, Dou,
Metsu and others of like rank attracted to the home, but an army of
mediocre masters devoted their talents to this subject. If the works of
the “Little Masters” found their way into royal and princely
collections, the works of more obscure painters decorated the homes of
the citizens, country people and colonists. The stranger who visited the
Dutch cities was amazed at the many interiors and landscapes that were
exhibited in the booths, at the fairs, and under the verandahs in front
of the houses of the masters. These were often bought for a small sum by
travellers, who sold them in their own country at considerable profit.

When a bride went to her new home, she often found that it had been
furnished from top to bottom; but this was not always the case. As a
rule, wealthy burghers did not do this. The young wife, accompanied by
one or two of her near relatives and followed by a couple of servants
and a truckman, went about from shop to shop to select what she needed.
This was called “_ten huisraet vaeren_” (going furnishing), and De Vrij
devotes a chapter to this pleasant occupation under the title of “_De
vrou vaert ten huysraet_” (the wife goes out to furnish). In his time
the old simplicity had vanished in favour of a general luxury hardly
equalled to-day. De Vrij, therefore, allows his wealthy lady to purchase
“down beds, fine plush and wadded coverlids, costly hangings, large
Venetian mirrors, Indian crackle porcelain, lounging chairs, Turkish
carpets, Amsterdam gold leather, costly paintings, a silver service, a
_sacredaan_ cupboard, an ebony table, a curio cabinet, a napkin _kas_, a
large quantity of napkins, tablecloths and other fine household linen,
and a thousand other articles.”

One has only to glance at the contemporary inventories to realize the
wealth and luxury of the period. It is only in a few instances, such as
the old Castle of Develstein, when occupied by Cornelius van Beveren,
that the old simplicity rules; for the old grey town on the Merwede
(Dordrecht), although the richest and oldest, was not the most luxurious
in Holland. It conserved its own customs, while Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
Delft and other cities vied with The Hague.

One or two large chests always stood in the bedroom. In these linen and
clothing were kept. As a rule, the chest was of _sacredaan_, with brass
or silver mounts, and neatly lined inside with cloth.

Linen was also kept in the great _kasten_. These were ornately carved or
panelled, made of different woods, and often inlaid with
mother-of-pearl. Some of them cost as much as 1,000 fl. Rare porcelain
was always placed on the top of the _kas_.

The great linen chest or coffer, and the great cupboard in which
household linen and articles of clothing were kept, were among the most
important articles of furniture in a Dutch household. The chest was tall
and wide, and made, as a rule, of _lignum vitæ_, or _sacredaan_, or
other East India wood, frequently covered outside with leather and lined
inside with linen or some other textile. It was often mounted with brass
or silver, sometimes richly wrought.

The cupboard, or _kas_, was very broad and very tall, and was made of
oak, ebony, or walnut, and stood on four heavy balls, which were often
repeated on the four corners of the top, and are described by Van Nispen
as “guardians of the porcelain ornaments,” which adorned the top.


  PLATE XL.—_Interior, by J. B. Weenix, Brussels._

As many as ten or twelve each of chests and _kasten_ have been noticed
in old inventories in one dwelling, and they are described according to
the wood of which they are made, or the name of the room in which they
stood. Accordingly, we read of coffers and cupboards of oak,
_sacredaan_, cherry, and plum-tree wood, blue and red grained East India
wood, iron coffers, Prussia leather and lacquered coffers, the office
coffer, the office cupboard, the kitchen cupboard, the cupboard of the
green painted room, of the gold leather room, of the tapestry room,
etc., etc. Let us examine some of the cupboards in the home of Sara de
Roovere, second wife of Adriaan van Blyenborgh, Keeper of the Count’s
Mint, and known as a Latin poet. This home is in Dordrecht.

In the “gold leather room” stand several cupboards, some of which are of
rare wood and richly carved. These cupboards contain a rich store of
snow-white linen, damask tablecloths, napkins, bed-clothing, towels,
shirts, bibs, neckerchiefs, frills, handkerchiefs, etc., “saved from
grandmother’s time with economy, or inherited from great-aunt and kept
as precious treasures,” all for her own use, or as wedding gifts to her
children, Jacob, Adriaan, Charlotte, or Adriana. Like many another Dutch
lady, every penny won at play, every present, and everything that could
be saved from the household money, this thrifty housewife devoted to
increase the treasure. A great part of the day she spent with her
daughters in the front room (_voorhuis_), or with the maids in the
kitchen, at the spinning-wheel, the sewing-cushions, the work-table, or
the ironing-board. She considered it an honour to have a rich
_Linnenkast_, and she was proud of being called a “house jewel careful
of the third part” and deserving of the name, as she possessed
“mountains of her own make and foreign produced stuff.” Her inventory
shows that she possessed no less than twenty-four dozen chemises, forty
dozen tablecloths and napkins, and coffers full of uncut linen.

Some burghers’ wives had their linen made up by the seamstress.

In another cupboard, called the “scalloped,” owing to the many St.
James’ shells carved upon it, Joffer van Blyenborgh kept one of the most
costly articles of her attire—the breast or forepiece. These
breast-pieces, or stomachers, were worn on the corsage, to which they
were fastened by means of pretty silk cords. They were made of silk,
satin, or velvet, and often profusely decorated with pearls or jewels,
and sometimes cost as much as £10,000.

Vrouwe van Blyenborgh had coffers filled with petticoats of scarlet
cloth and also of wool cloth, coarse grey, black and white linen under
petticoats, jackets, hoop skirts, mantles and rain cloaks. Her cupboards
and coffers also included: rich robes of sarcenet and serge of fire
colour, rose colour and ground colour, covered with ribbons, bows,
galloons; bodices embroidered and trimmed with lace and fringe;
petticoats garnished with fringe of fire colour; grey cloth dresses
lined with blue serge; and Japanese night robes of dead leaf colour,
embellished with aurora hued flowers and lined with wadding. Neatly
folded among these rich articles were white satin robes lined with
amaranth taffeta, black velvet robes with cloth of silver, and
petticoats embroidered with golden flowers and lined with _taffeta
d’Avignon_. She also had some cloth of gold valued at £16 a yard.


  PLATE XLI.—_Breakfast, by G. Metsu, Dresden._

Dress and furniture became so extravagant during this period that the
stage ridiculed the lavish expenditure, and the other censor of public
morals—the pulpit—denounced the needless splendour as degrading before
God and men. The Dordrecht preacher, Joh. Becius, exclaimed: “Are the
pride and splendour of to-day more extreme than with the people of
Israel? Certainly not; but rather worse; for women go about, not only
with bare necks, but half-bared bosoms partly covered with a thin net or
cambric cloth—and in the robes and dresses they are more splendid than
the proud peacock, more changeable than the chameleon or the
weather-cock on the church steeple. They almost dance along the streets
dressed up as dolls for a _kermesse_; and these creatures, so gaily
attired, vie with each other to enter the Lord’s House where is preached
Christ born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes.”

Among the other vanities carefully preserved in the drawers and on the
shelves were the fans, masks, lace and jewels; _châtelaines_, ribbons,
hats, bonnets and caps; silk, cloth and serge stockings richly
embroidered; fancy shoes and slippers with high heels, and leather and
silk gloves sweetly perfumed. Vrouwe van Blyenborgh had a number of
thin, beautiful, scented, leather gloves; a large stock of “shoework” of
silk, satin, gold and silver leather, and yellow, green and scarlet
stockings. We must not forget to mention the round silver mirrors
suspended from gold hooks at the belt, and the delicately painted
miniatures worn as lockets or breast-pins.

The great _kas_ was as conspicuous in the houses of the Dutch colonists
as it was at home. Every inventory of the prosperous burgher of New
Amsterdam mentions it, and it is highly appraised. To take a few
instances: “One great case covered with French nutwood and two black
knots (balls) under it, £13” (1685); “a cupboard or case of French
nutwood, £20” (1686); a white oak cupboard, £2 5_s._ (1688); a large
cupboard, £6 (1690); cupboard for clothes, a press and porcelain, £5;
and a “Holland cubbart furnished with earthenware and porcelain,” £15
(1692); a great black walnut cupboard, £10 (1702); a Dutch painted
cupboard, £1 (1702); a black walnut cupboard, £9 (1703); and a case of
nutwood, £10 (1712). The _kas_ was often a valued bequest: Mrs. van
Varick had one “great Dutch _kas_ that could not be removed from
Flatbush”; and, therefore, was sold for £25.


  PLATE XLII.—_Interior, by Jan Steen. The Hague._

In the rooms of the Castle of Develstein were standing mirrors and
mirrors in ebony, metal and crystal frames, on the walls; and in the
“_salon_” was a mirror of Venetian glass. In this room was seen the
“kingwood hall buffet,” where, on festive or ceremonial occasions, the
family silver and crystal were exhibited, such as silver plates, dishes,
spoons, knives, beakers, decanters and mugs, silver-mounted horns and
night cups—all engraved with the family arms, or with conventional
rhymes or mottoes. In the “salon” or “show salon” was placed the
“root-wood (root of the walnut tree) table,” formed like steps (a
survival of the _dressoir_), on which the rarest and finest porcelains
were shown. Here also was the richly carved walnut _kas_ containing a
rare display of fine china, while on the wall walnut racks, beautifully
carved and ornamented with gold, the handsomest plaques were arranged.
There was also a pewter table in this room, on which stood many pewter
dishes, cups, tankards, etc., engraved with the family arms; but most of
the pewter was kept in the pewter cupboards (_tinkasten_), in the pewter
room, or in rows upon the dresser in the kitchen, ready for immediate
use. Silver table-ware was not in general use, for pewter took its place
as an everyday article. Among the glassware shown in this room were
cordial, wine and beer glasses, chalices and loving-cups of white and
green glass, engraved with arms, ornaments, proverbs, and shell-like
Venetian glasses, supposed to be proof against poison.

Two interesting examples of _kasten_ are given on Plates XLIII and XLIV.

Plate XLIII represents a large Dutch _kas_, or _buffet à deux corps_,
from the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. This magnificent specimen is of solid
ebony inlaid with ivory. Its grooved columns, panels and niches break up
the plain surface with much variety. It stands on eight bulb feet. It is
similar in shape to the English “court cupboard” of the same century.

Plate XLIV represents a large _armoire_, or kas, from the Cluny Museum,
Paris. This was made in Holland. The front is ornamented with three
pilasters with carved capitals, between which are the two doors or wings
decorated with carved panels. The cornice is ornamented with three
lions’ heads. Beneath the columns are drawers with simple knobs. This
piece of furniture stands on flattened bulb feet.

In the latter part of the seventeenth century, the cabinet was found in
every home of moderate wealth. In an inventory of 1679, “a root-wood
cabinet, with Japanese small dishes and ‘colossol’ (very large) pots
under its high feet” is mentioned. These cabinets stood on high legs,
sometimes with only one drawer underneath. They were frequently made of
rough pinewood painted red; but often they were very handsome (_see_
Plate XXXI). In the bedroom of Lady Reepmaker in the Castle of
Develstein there was a “cabinet-maker’s small cupboard to put dresses
in, one one-drawer cabinet on a high base, one hair-dressing table, one
ditto chair, one ditto mirror with ebony frame, one gold leather
comb-holder, and the ‘_nachtbouquet_’” (night bouquet), a piece of
furniture used by the upper classes after 1672, in which everything
relating to the toilet of the period was found, such as: a silver framed
mirror, powder boxes, silver trays, pin-books, patch-boxes, hair and
clothes brushes, and other small toilet articles, as well as silver
candlesticks, snuffers and snuffer-trays.

When a wealthy lady sat in front of her “dressing-cloth,” as her
dressing-table was familiarly called, she had before her an array of
bottles and boxes containing perfumes, powders, paints and beauty
patches, as well as a treasure-house of pearls, diamonds, rings and
bracelets set with glittering stones, ear-rings, necklaces, chains of
pearls, gold and silver pins, spangles, half-moons, so that she looked
like “a sun surrounded by suns,” or a “diamond surrounded by rubies.”


  PLATE XLIII.—_Kas of Ebony and Ivory._


Her innumerable toilet-boxes of tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl, her
silver and gold scent-boxes, her boxes of filigree, her ivory, ebony and
porcelain boxes and trays for her patches and cosmetics, her rich jewel
cases of gold, silver, tortoiseshell or ivory, lined with velvet, her
brushes and her shoe-horns, and her beautiful work-boxes supplied with
thimbles, bodkins, knitting-needles, hooks, scissors, and everything
that could be used for sewing and fancy needlework are displayed on her
toilet-table and in her cabinets.

The table-cover or “carpet” was a most important decorative feature of
the Dutch room. It was generally a handsome Oriental rug. This was
thrown over the dining-table, the ordinary table in the hall or kitchen
(_see_ Plate XXVII and Plate XXXVI), in the bedroom (_see_ Plate XXVI
and Plate XXXVII), and used also for the toilet-table (_see_ Plate XL).
Often it was ornamented with handsome fringe (_see_ Plate XXVI and Plate
XXVII). When an impromptu meal was served, it was the custom to cover
the handsome cloth with a white cloth, of which the Dutch housewife
always had a large supply (_see_ Plate XXXVI and Plate XLII). Four
exceptionally handsome table “carpets” appear in Plate XL, Plate XXXIX,
Plate XXVI and Plate XXXVII.

In nearly every Dutch interior one notes the presence of the foot-warmer
or foot-stove—a little wooden box with a perforated top and sometimes
perforated sides of wood or brass. In this, glowing embers were placed.
One of these is seen in Plate XXVI and another in Plate XXXVII, while in
Plate XXXVIII a cat is seen comfortably keeping itself warm. On Plate
XXXIX the lady playing the double-necked lute has her foot on one of
these universally used articles.

These foot-warmers that served as footstools, and were carried to
church, are described in Roemer Visscher’s _Sinnenpoppen_ (Animated
Dolls). He calls them “_mignon des dames_,” and says: “_Een stoef met
vier daer in, is een bemint juweel by onse Hollandsche vrouwen, bysonder
als de sneeuwvlocken vlieghen ende hagel ende rijp het lof van de boomen

(“A stove with fire in it is a beloved jewel of our Dutch wives,
especially when the snowflakes are flying and the hail rattles.”)

The author of the Dutch _Mercurius_ calls it “a small wooden piece of
carpentry with four holes in the top.”

The “Looking-Glasse” that attracted Owen Feltham’s attention was a
luxury. The _spiegel-maker_ (mirror-maker) was only to be found in the
large cities. He was not allowed to make the frames, nor to gild them;
for this was the work of the Carpenters’ and Gilders’ Guild. The signs,
however, read—“_spyeghelwinckel_,” “_de nyeuwe spyeghelwinckel_,”
“_spyeghel-magazijn_,” “_allerley spyeghels groot en clijn_,” and “_de
Venetiaense spyeghelwinckel_.” (The “mirror shop,” “the new mirror
shop,” “mirror magazine,” “all kinds of mirrors, large and small,” and
“Venetian mirrors.”)


  PLATE XLIV.—_Dutch Kas._


The glass mirror was a novelty, for, until the seventeenth century,
polished metal was used; but at this period a method of silvering glass
with a mixture of quicksilver and pewter was invented in the celebrated
factory of Murano. The Venetians monopolized the trade until the end of
the century, when Abraham Thevart made mirrors (84 × 50 inches) in
Paris. Both Venetian and French mirrors adorned the reception rooms of
the rich _stadhouders_ and mayors of Holland, and hung above the
toilet-tables of ladies (_see_ Plate XL). The archives of the Castle of
Develstein mention: a “very large mirror from France,” “Venetian
mirrors,” “a small coarse mirror in a black frame,” “a fine Venetian
mirror in the Salon, with flowered crystal border”; “an Amsterdam mirror
of medium size,” and “one French mirror, large and beautiful.”

Mirrors were not only valued for their thick glass and fine silvering,
but on account of their choice frames. Inventories speak of scroll
frames, open-work frames, frames with lions or griffins supporting a
coat-of-arms, etc. Ladies also carried German and English mirrors
suspended from their waists, for the purpose of arranging their
coiffure, ruff, or patches.

The mirror, like other expensive luxuries, was often prohibited by the
clergy of the Protestant Church; and many a rich burgher was reprimanded
for spending so much money on mirrors, porcelain and furniture, and
giving so little to the Church.

The most beautiful mirrors were probably found in The Hague, where the
reception rooms and bedrooms were usually decorated in the “style Louis
XIV.” Some of these were of Venetian glass with beautiful crystal
borders and crystal lustres at the side. Frequently these were placed
above the richly carved mantelpiece.

The bedsteads, often richly carved, were of oak, walnut or _sacredaan_,
and were always hung with curtains. A deep valance often decorated the
base. The centre of the canopy was ornamented with the family
coat-of-arms, and each corner with a bouquet of many coloured plumes.
Sometimes the bedstead was on a platform, and the rich hangings were
supported by caryatides and the festoons of the canopy by carved cupids.
The bedsteads were high, and a ladder or steps was required to climb
into them. Little steps or foot benches stood in front of the bedstead
and were sometimes used for seats or tables, somewhat like the old
_escarbeau_ of Mediaeval days.

One species of bedstead was known as the “coach,” or “rolling coach.”
This was intended for children, and the name “coach” was extended to
include the children’s sleeping-place. Mention is made in a treasurer’s
account of Dordrecht (1586) of “three bedsteads with a coach
underneath,” which shows that the coach is the trundle or truckle bed.

Tables and chairs were found in every room. About 1640, the “drop-leaf”
or “hang-ear” tables came into use. They were usually made of solid
walnut- or _sacredaan_ wood.

The chairs had high curved, or leather, backs and low seats of leather,
on top of which were placed loose cushions or pillows, which were often
piled up so high on the seat that a child standing on tiptoe could not
see over the pillow on the seat of the chair. Chairs were also covered
with rich damask, serge and other woollen goods. In the old inventories
mention is made of “Prussia leather table chairs,” ebony carved chairs,
red cloth covered _sacredaan_ wood chairs with pillows of different
shapes, and of high-backed carved walnut table chairs.


  PLATE XLV.—_Flemish Chair._


Typical chairs are shown in Plates XXXIII and XXXIV from the Rijks
Museum. In the first there is a caned armchair on the left, an
upholstered armchair on the right, with turned legs and rails; and in
the middle a chair in the Marot style, with a mirror-shaped back, cane
panel, straight legs and crossed straining-rails. The example on the
extreme left of Plate XXXIV is an armchair of carved oak, with scrolled
arms and cane seat and back. It is similar to the one without arms from
Cluny in Plate XLV. A cane chair without arms appears in the centre, and
on the right an armchair with turned legs, carved top rail, and leather
back and seat. The Flemish chair on Plate XLV is constantly seen in the
rooms of the seventeenth century.

The chair on the left of Plate XXX in the Cluny Museum, called “Spanish
of the Seventeenth Century,” is a curious transitional piece. The high
back and seat are covered with Spanish leather put on with large-headed
nails. The pattern of the leather represents peacocks, flowers and human
figures. The ornamentation of the top rail consists of a leaf and
scrolls ending in sharp spikes at the corners, very much in the early
Regency style. On the rail below the seat is carved a heart-shaped
ornament. The front legs are cabriole, connected with stretchers and
ending in hoof feet. The back legs, also connected by stretchers, are

Other furniture included spinets and harpsichords, Friesland clocks,
table watches and pocket watches, which, when not in use, were placed in
little cases, as were the mirrors the ladies wore at their waists. Sand-
or hour-glasses were to be found especially in the kitchens, and the
table-bell, which had now supplanted the whistle as a call for the

The woods used for furniture were oak, walnut, cedar, olive, nutwood,
ebony (black, green and yellow); kingwood, from Brazil, a hard wood with
black veins on a chocolate ground; beef-wood, from New Holland, of a
pale red used for borders; _palissandre_, or violet wood, from Guiana,
for inlays on fine furniture; and, above all, _sacredaan_, or Java
mahogany, a very hard wood, sweet smelling and of a bright yellow or
pale orange colour. This was a favourite wood for chests, as the odour
served to protect furs and woollen stuffs from the attacks of moths,

The Dutch kitchen towards the end of the century was fully equipped with
all kinds of brushes, brooms, pots, pans and every utensil that was
necessary to effect the cleanliness and produce the good cheer so
necessary to every prosperous burgher. In 1680, a kitchen of a man of
moderate means in New Amsterdam contained the following:

                                                             £ _s._ _d._

 Fourteen pewter dishes, little and great                    3    5    0

 Three ditto basons, one salt seller, one pye plate          0    9    0

 Four chamber potts, one warming pan of brasse               0   15    0

 Two pewter flagons, a little one and a greate one           0    5   7½

 Two smoothing-irons, three pewter quart potts               0    7    6

 Three pewter pint potts, 1½ pint pot and two muck potts     0    6    9

 Four old pewter saucers and ½ doz. plates                   0    6    0

 Six dozen wooden trenchers, three tin cover lids            0    8    0

 Two frying pans, five spitts, two dripin pans, iron and tin 1    2    6

 One puding pan of tin, one greate brasse kettle, three iron 1   16    0
   potts, one brasse skillett

 Two copper saucepans, one little iron kettle                0    6    0

 Two pair iron pott hookes, a jack with a w^t of 56 lbs.     1   14    0

 Two pair andirons, one brasse ladle, one iron beefe forke   1    0    6

 Two pair of tongs, one fire shovell, a long bar of iron     0    4    6

 One iron chaine in the chimney and three pot hangers        0   15    6

 One bellows, a board to whet knives upon                    0    1    0

 Two copper pots, two brass candlesticks, six tin            0   10    0


  PLATE XLVI.—_“Buire,” by Mosyn, Auricular Style._

Silverware was an important item in the possessions of the merchant
class as well as the nobility. In 1682, we find the following items in
the inventory of a prosperous butcher:

                                                             £ _s._ _d._

 Twenty-two silver spoons, one silver forke, three silver   48    0    0
   gobletts, one ditto tankard, one ditto mustard pot,
   one ditto cup with two eares, five silver small
   cuppes, one ditto, one goblet, two ditto salt sellars,
   one ditto cup, two ditto saucers, one ditto cup, one
   ditto spice box, a Cornelia tree cup with silver, two
   ditto dishes, weight in all ten pounds

 A silver girdle with hanging keys, one ditto with three     1    4    0
   chaines with hookes, one gold bodkin, two silver
   bodkins, “silver for my booke with a chaine,” silver
   to a belt for a sworde

 One silver hat band                                         0   13    6

 One silver tumbler                                          1    0    0

 One silver bell                                             0   18    0

 One silver watch                                            1    0    0

 Two pair silver buckles                                     0    8    0

 Fourteen gold rings                                        10    7    6

 One pair silver buttons, and one silver knife               0   12    0

No view of a Dutch interior of the seventeenth century would be complete
if it neglected to take into consideration the family pets. These are
very much in evidence in the pictures, by Dutch masters. These consist
of monkeys, parrots, peacocks, pheasants, cats and dogs.

The monkey is quite a privileged character. Sometimes he is perched on
the top of a spinet and sometimes on a _kas_ or a chimney-piece.

The masters of vessels that sailed the Eastern Seas, both English and
Dutch, were commissioned by nobles and potentates to bring home rare
animals. In 1609, for instance, the East India Company issued letters
for reserving “all strange fowls and beasts to be found there,” for the
Council. In 1623, we find a note that to the governor of the Company a
“Caccatoa” was sent from Batavia. The cockatoo is a familiar resident in
Dutch homes. He and other kinds of parrots, domiciled in wicker and wire
cages, are very much in evidence in the _genre_ pictures of the age. The
golden and silver pheasants were also privileged members of the
household, and were allowed the freedom of the hall. Sometimes we see
them perched on cornices, and sometimes strutting on the tiled floor.
The monkey, which played so important a part in the “_singerie_”
decoration of the late _Louis Quatorze_, _Régence_ and _Louis Quinze_
periods, was imported in considerable numbers. A gossipy journal—_Le
Courrier du temps_, conducted by Fouquet de Croissy who undertook to
tell the secret happenings in the court of every prince in Europe—
records the following item of news from Amsterdam, under date of
September 1, 1649:

“This week several ships have arrived here from the Indies. Among the
other riches with which the good agent was charged, he has brought a
dozen of the rarest and most beautiful monkeys that have ever been seen
in these parts. Cardinal Mazarin has sent for them to put them in his
wardrobe and anti-chambers to divert those who pay court to him and to
judge the affection they have for his service by the civility and good
treatment of the animals, the favourites of his Eminence, receive from

                               CHAPTER IX

  The Dutch Craftsmen in the Employ of Louis XIV—Huguenot Emigration—
      Marot—The Sopha—Upholstery—The Bed—Chairs—Sconces—Tables—Rooms—
      English and Dutch Alliances—Hampton Court—Queen Mary—
      Looking-glasses—Chandeliers—Chimney-pieces—The _style refugié_—
      John Hervey’s Purchases—Oriental Furniture manufactured after
      European Patterns—Complaints of Home Manufacturers—Trade with the
      Indies—“Prince Butler’s Tale”—Enormous Importations—Imported
      Textiles—Foreign Textiles for Upholstery.

The last designer of furniture of any importance that has hitherto
demanded attention is Crispin van de Passe. The next one is also a
Dutchman. It is noticeable that the arts and crafts of France and
England were always deeply affected by the activities of the Low
Countries. France, even during the reign of Louis XIV, owed much to
Dutch culture and energy. Boulle, who was of Dutch extraction (_see_
page 115), gave his name to a special kind of furniture which he
developed and elaborated.

Another name famous in Decorative Art was that of Cander Jean Oppenordt,
born in Guelderland in 1639. He emigrated to Paris to seek his fortune,
and became “_ébéniste du Roi_,” was naturalized in 1679, and allowed a
lodging in the Louvre in 1684. To him was given the charge of furnishing
the Palace of Versailles, and in 1688 he made some beautiful marquetry
furniture for the Duke of Burgundy. His son, Gilles Marie Oppenord
(1672–1742), was architect to the Duke of Orleans.

France owed much to Italy, Belgium and Holland during the first half of
the seventeenth century, but what she borrowed she repaid with interest.
In 1685, the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes induced fifty thousand
families of the best French blood, intellect, art, culture and
craftsmanship to seek voluntary exile. The Huguenots took refuge from
the _Dragonnades_ in England, Holland and Germany; and those countries
benefited by the short-sighted policy of a bigoted king. So many
goldsmiths, carvers, architects, designers and artists were among the
emigrants that their subsequent work in the art world came to be known
as the _style refugié_.

Undoubtedly the most commanding figure in this band was Daniel Marot. He
was a member of a family of eminent French artists. He was a pupil of
Lepautre, who for many years worked at the Gobelins manufactory and
dominated the first period of the Louis XIV style. This style was
particularly majestic, pompous and heavy, the general forms consisting
of a mixture of the straight line and curve, and broad surfaces adapted
for decoration. The heavy straining-rail and pilaster as a support are
also characteristic. The ornaments consist of Roman and heroic trophies
of antiquity, helmets, cuirasses, casques, plumes, swords, shields,
laurel-wreaths and clubs, winged Victories, the elliptical cartouche,
river gods leaning on urns, large cornucopias, heavy garlands, or swags,
of fruit and leaves, the broad acanthus leaf, the mascaron, the swelling
scroll, and the combination of scroll and shell. Lepautre was also fond
of introducing the alcove into a room.


  FIG. 39.—_Screen in the style refugié._

A typical screen of this period is shown in Fig. 39. The massiveness and
boldness of curve of the lines of the frame are characteristic of the
artists of the Louis XIV period who formed the _style refugié_; and the
grace and fancy of the design in the tapestry filling are worthy of more
than passing consideration. The _Chinoiserie_ influence is already
apparent in the small hanging canopy.

At this date the _sopha_ was greatly in vogue. This was really nothing
more than the old settle with carved framework, and richly upholstered.
It rarely accommodated more than two persons, and, as a rule, only one
is shown sitting upon it. The legs and straining-rail followed the
general lines and decoration of those of the stands for cabinets,
toilet-tables, etc. The arms were sometimes solid or stuffed, and
sometimes open-work covered with velvet or other textiles. Sometimes the
_sopha_ is furnished with a bolster at both ends. Typical forms are
shown in Figs. 40, 41 and 42.

Although Marot was well acquainted with porcelain and Eastern wares in
France, he found the prevailing taste much more extravagant when he took
refuge in Holland. There he became the supreme exponent of the _style
refugié_. William of Orange appointed him his chief architect and
minister of works, and Marot accompanied him to England at the Glorious
Revolution a couple of years later. In Holland, he designed much
interior work for palaces and noblemen’s seats, including staircases,
panelling, chimney-pieces, cornices, china-shelves and brackets, and all
kinds of domestic furniture. He was also extremely prolific in designs
for sumptuous upholstery in velvet, worsted and other textiles for
chairs, screens, hangings, curtains, bed-heads, etc. Marot died in 1718;
and his published works of Decorative Art include many hundred designs
representative of that period immediately preceding the Regency, known
in England as “William and Mary” and “Queen Anne.”

Upholstery was an exceedingly important part of interior decoration at
that period, and there were right and wrong ways to hang curtains and
decorate the framework of beds with valances, fringes, lambrequins, etc.
Figs. 44 and 45 show two of Marot’s arrangements of lambrequins.

The massive bed with its four posts of carved oak, which had so long
been in fashion, had now been supplanted by one in which upholstery was
the chief decorative feature. This bed consisted of a light frame
supporting a canopy, the four corners of which were surmounted by a
bunch of plumes, or ornaments, or knobs, in imitation of ostrich
feathers, called “_pommes_.” The furnishings of the bed, including
head-board, canopy, counterpane, curtains and valances, were of the same
material—velvet, brocade, silk, satin, chintz, or white dimity worked in
coloured crewels or worsted. Three beds of this period are to be seen at
Hampton Court Palace—William’s, Mary’s and Queen Anne’s. Both William’s
and Mary’s are now in the Private Diningroom. The former, which is about
fifteen feet high, is covered entirely with crimson damask, and Mary’s,
which is much smaller, with crimson velvet. The small bed used by George
II when he lived in this Palace, and which stands between William’s and
Mary’s, may also belong to this period. Queen Anne’s bed is more
elaborate. This stands in her State Bed-chamber; and it is not unlikely
that Queen Anne’s bed originally belonged to Mary; for she owned a
number of very handsome beds draped with materials of the latest
fashion. The elaborate designs upon the rich Genoa velvet that adorns
this piece of furniture are quite in the Marot style.


  PLATE XLVII.—_Carved Oak Bahut._


  Fig. 38: Ornament in the Auricular Style.

The bed of this period was particularly suited to Marot’s taste, and he
made many designs, in which the festoon is conspicuous.

The bed shown in the frontispiece of this book is a typical example of
Marot. The heavy cornice is adorned with a cartouche in the centre and
four “_pommes_” of ostrich feathers in vases at the corners. The
headboard is also characteristic of Marot, and consists of an urn with
swags of leaves and husks, with mermaids as caryatides or supporters at
the sides. At the base of the bed is a mascaron. The silk draperies are
arranged in formal swags tied with bows of silk and cords and tassels,
and the valance around the bottom of the bed is similar to the cornice
decoration. Running around the cornice is a brass rail for the outside
curtains, which can be drawn around the bed enclosing it entirely, with
the exception of the “_pommes_.” The counterpane, bolster and pillow are
covered with material that carries Marot designs. The pillow is adorned
with tassels.

Another of Marot’s designs for a bed is reproduced in Plate XLVIII. This
is interesting on more than one account. The carving of the canopy shows
the advent of the _rocaille_ work that ran mad during the periods of the
Regency and Louis XV. The scrolls in the woodwork at the foot of the bed
are of the same form as the stretchers in tables, chairs, stands and
stools of the period. The decoration of the room is worth notice also.
The walls are covered with tapestry, and the same lambrequin that adorns
the bed is repeated all along the walls under the cornice. The same
decoration is repeated around the seat of the armchair on either side of
the bed. The low foot-posts of the bed are surmounted by “_pommes_,”
which usually hold the positions above, here occupied by carved shells.
Finally, the sconce mirror over the chair is graceful in form.

Queen Anne’s bed at Hampton Court Palace gives one a good idea of the
Marot decoration. It has a square canopy and tester, below which hang
curtains that when drawn enclose the entire bed. The head-board is
upholstered. The furnishings of this bed are entirely of stamped or cut
velvet, a white ground with formal patterns of crimson and orange. The
chairs, tabourets and long forms are also covered with this material.

A beautiful chandelier of silver decorated with glass balls hangs from
the ceiling, which was painted by Sir James Thornhill. The design
depicts Aurora rising from the ocean in her chariot, drawn by four white
horses and attended by cupids, while Night and Sleep sink away.


  Figs. 40, 41 and 42.—“_Sophas._” Fig. 43.—_Lower part of Chair, by
    Marot._ Figs. 44 and 45.—_Lambrequins, by Marot._

Marot’s armchairs owe their effect almost entirely to upholstery: the
framework is certainly solid, heavy and ungainly. He prefers carved feet
of animals’ claws to the popular Dutch bulb. A typical form of the seat
and legs appears in Fig. 43. The top of the back is usually a straight
line, though, if the chair is designed for a prince or noble, the centre
sometimes rises in a carved crown or coronet. The woodwork is generally

Marot’s sconces usually had only one candle socket (_see_ Plate XLIX).
When the mirror was of silver, or any burnished metal, its surface was
generally convex. When it was of glass it was flat, but very often the
edges were bevelled. The three examples on Plate XLIX show the
characteristic ornamental details of mascarons, floral scrolls, and
heavy _chutes_ of the bell-flower or wheat-ear. The same ornamentation,
intermingled with “_pommes_,” geometrical lines and broken scrolls,
distinguishes the two large mirrors above. Other handsome oval and
rectangular mirrors appear on Plate L. The lower one on the right, with
cornucopias disgorging _chutes_ of fruit, bears the crossed double L of
Louis XIV, with a royal crown, and therefore must belong to Marot’s
early period before he went to Holland. The mascarons and human figures
on the other mirrors on this plate also belong to the early Louis
Quatorze period.

On Plate LI are two more mirrors, large and small, one above an inlaid
console table and three candle or candelabra stands. These are
interesting as showing the extent to which Marot made use of caryatides
and swags in decorative work. It will be noticed that his Junos, Floras
and Venuses are functional as well as graceful and decorative. With
their heads and arms they have real work to do and weights to support.

Tables of Marot’s design are represented on Plate LII, which also gives
a series of eight mascarons. Plate LIII shows three of Marot’s tall
clocks, with details of decoration and designs for key handles. The
little frieze of designs for keyholes at the top of the Plate show that
the forms of china-ware were even invading goldsmiths’ work.

It will be noticed that the grandfather’s clock in Marot’s mind was
somewhat more ornate than the modern idea of that timepiece. Chippendale
owed a heavy debt to Marot’s forms of clocks and candlestands.

Marot’s designs for rooms show the limit to which porcelain could be
used as a decorative feature. There are brackets, brackets everywhere.
Vases of different shapes and sizes stand on the ledges, oval, circular
or straight, above the doors and stud the cornices; but it is the
chimney-pieces that serve, as the tiered _dressoir_ did in Mediaeval
days for plate, in the display of porcelain. The corner chimney-pieces
of Hampton Court with their diminishing shelves give some faint idea of
the many plates of Marot’s designs. Some of these show brackets and
shelves that support hundreds of cups, saucers, pots, bowls, bottles and
vases. In one extreme case more than three hundred pieces may be counted
on the chimneypiece and hearth alone. These are not merely suggestions,
for we have evidence that, in Holland, rooms decorated in this style
really existed. Thus one poet sings:

                         OF THE PORCELAIN ROOM

       _.... Geheel zijn huis, ja zelfs het klein gemak,
       Blonk als een diamant—duizend fijne kopjes
       Vercierden ’t kabinet, hoe veel japanse popjes,
       Uit amber, zeekoraal en roosverw paerlemoer,
       Vervulden ’t groot salet._

           (His whole house, even his small parlour,
       Shone like a diamond—a thousand small cups
       Decorated this parlour; how many Japanese figures (dolls)
       Of amber, sea-coral and pink mother-of-pearl
       Filled the big room!)


  PLATE XLVIII.—_Bed and Bedroom, by Marot._

On Plate L two brackets will be noticed, for the support respectively of
one and three China jars.

A typical English mansion of this period is Holme Lacy in Herefordshire.
Though dating from Tudor days, it was partly rebuilt and decorated in
the reign of William III. The principal apartments are well
proportioned, and are embellished with richly stuccoed ceilings, with
compartments of flowers and other designs. The “saloon” is particularly
remarkable for its ceiling of pendent flowers and fruits, and carvings
by Grinling Gibbons over the chimney-piece. Superb carvings by this
great master, representing birds, shell-fish, fruit and flowers, are to
be seen in all of the rooms on the ground floor, which communicate with
one another by folding doors. The gardens, too, are noticeable, for they
were also laid out in the style of King William’s day, and contain yew
hedges of extraordinary height and thickness.

At this period English and Dutch taste were identical. This is only what
we might expect when we consider the bonds that united the reigning
houses and nobility of the two countries. Mary, the eldest daughter of
Charles I, married the Prince of Orange; and their son, William, married
Mary, the daughter of James II. During this period, also, some of the
English nobility went to the Low Countries for wives. In 1650, the Earl
of Derby married Dorothea Helena, a daughter of John Baron de Rupa, in
Holland. She was a Maid of Honour of another ill-fated Stuart,
Elizabeth, the beautiful Queen of Bohemia. Baron Colepepper married
Margaret van Hesse, and the Earl of Arlington married another Dutch
woman, Isabella, daughter of Henry of Nassau, Lord of Auverquerque, in
the early days of the Restoration. The Earl of Bellomont married
Isabella’s sister. The Earl of Ailesbury, in 1700, married Charlotte
d’Argenteau, Countess d’Esseneux and Baroness de Melobroeck in Flanders:
and the list might be extended. Incidentally we may note that, in 1646,
the Earl of Berkeley married Elizabeth Massingberd, the daughter of the
treasurer of the East India Company.

It has already been noted that Charles II was hospitably entertained in
Holland at his sister’s court during part of his exile. We have also
seen that James II was a connoisseur in Oriental art products. When the
daughter of the latter, Mary, married her cousin William and settled
down in Holland, her mind was fully receptive to Dutch tastes and ways
of living. When she became Queen of England, on the exile of her father,
it was a Dutch palace into which she transformed Hampton Court, that
splendid enforced gift of Wolsey’s to Henry VIII. The English student,
therefore, need not cross the Channel to study Dutch interior decoration
and furniture of the close of the seventeenth century. The majority of
the rooms and grounds are still practically in the same condition as
they were when inhabited by William and Mary, under whose direct orders
the work was designed and supervised by Marot and Sir Christopher Wren.
A considerable amount of the Marot furniture still survives there. Defoe
tells us in his _Tour_ (1724):


  PLATE XLIX.—_Mirrors and Sconces, by Marot._

“Her Majesty (Mary) had here a fine apartment (Hampton Court), with a
set of lodgings for her private retreat only, but most exquisitely
furnished, particularly a fine chintz bed, then a great curiosity;
another of her own work while in Holland, very magnificent, and several
others; and here also was Her Majesty’s fine collection of delft ware,
which indeed was very large and fine; and here was also a vast stock of
fine china-ware, the like whereof was not then to be seen in England;
the long gallery, as above, was filled with this china, and every other
place where it could be placed with advantage.”

Although an Englishwoman, Mary had all the virtues and tastes of a Dutch
_vrouw_. She kept her husband informed of all that happened from day to
day, bewailed his absence and neglect, and busied herself and her Maids
of Honour with needlework, and, perhaps, with tenderly dusting her
cherished porcelain. When in London, she used to spend many an hour and
all her pocket money shopping at the India houses and in the New
Exchange. She set the fashion for china-mania, and may well have
inspired Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s lines:

            “What shall I do to spend the hateful day ...
            Strait then I’ll dress and take my wonted range
            Thro’ India shops, to Motteux’s, or the Change,
            Where the tall jar erects its stately pride,
            With antique shapes in China’s azure dyed;
            There careless lies a rich brocade unrolled,
            Here shines a cabinet with burnished gold.
            But then, alas! I must be forced to pay,
            And bring no penn’orths, not a fan away!”

Hampton Court was remodelled under Mary’s direction. It almost entirely
lost its Tudor character, and became characteristically Dutch in
appearance. Sir Christopher Wren’s talents were called into requisition
to design the shelves, cornices and tiered corner chimney-pieces that
are still to be seen there. Verrio was employed to adorn the staircases
and ceilings with his gaudy frescoes. Grinling Gibbons, a Dutchman, whom
Evelyn had discovered, was responsible for the carvings that even to-day
are the admiration and despair of the woodworker. The fish-ponds and
gardens were laid out in the formal Dutch taste, with fountains, clipped
trees, hedges, avenues, geometrical beds, an orangery and an aviary of
tropical birds. The furniture was due to Marot and Wren.

The comparatively small amount of furniture now to be seen in the
show-rooms of Hampton Court belongs mainly to this period. It consists
principally of chairs, stools (_tabourets_), beds, card-tables, mirrors
and chandeliers.

Many of these specimens are extremely interesting, showing the Marot
taste. Of the latter, there are stools, chairs and tables with the heavy
scroll foot and stretchers, the latter joining in the centre and
supporting there a carved ornament; other tables have four scroll
supports and stand on bulb feet. Some of the stools and tabourets have
gilded woodwork. Among the later style we may note a chair in William
III’s Presence Chamber, with tall back, jar-shaped splat, cabriole leg,
hoof feet and straining-rails, the front one higher than the other; and
also two card-tables in the King’s Drawing-room, with slender legs
ending in the hoof foot, and the tops supplied with wells for the
counters and slight depressions for the candles.


  PLATE L.—_Mirrors, by Marot._

About thirty handsome looking-glasses of the period are there. Many of
them are pier-glasses hung, of course, between the windows. One of the
most noticeable of these is a fine pier-glass in William III’s State
Bedroom, dating from his time. This has a border of cut blue glass, the
edges are bevelled, and the centre contains the monogram W. R.,
surmounted by the crown in blue and white glass. A similar mirror hangs
over the fireplace.

Another looking-glass with a blue glass frame hangs between the windows
in Queen Mary’s Closet.

Another beautiful chandelier hangs in William III’s Presence Chamber:
this is of silver, with eight lower and four upper arms. It is decorated
with the harp, thistle, etc. A still more ornate one hangs in the
Queen’s Audience Chamber. This is a magnificent combination of silver
and crystal, with silver sea-horses and lions supporting the silver
branches, crystal balls and drops, and a crystal crown on top.

The mantelpieces are extremely interesting, as many of them are of the
old inverted funnel shape, and are supplied with tiers of shelves—
sometimes as many as six—for the reception of ornaments. Upon these now
stands a good deal of blue and white china, many pieces of which
belonged to Queen Mary. Pieces that are known to have belonged to her
are two blue and white jars and two goddesses in Queen Mary’s Closet,
and two goddesses and two vases, about eighteen inches high, on the
mantelpiece of William III’s Presence Chamber.

Charles II, who, while a royal refugee, spent much time in Holland, had
acquired the new taste. It was there, doubtless, that he saw visions of
wealth in the Indies that later led him to grant the English East India
Company a charter, and to embark on a disastrous and inglorious war,
which resulted in London hearing foreign guns for the first time since
England was a nation. His keen appreciation of Oriental works of art,
however, was somewhat dulled when his bride, Catherine of Braganza,
brought him a shipload of cabinets and ceramics in lieu of the dowry her
mother had promised, although Evelyn, in his description of Hampton
Court (1662), says: “The Queen brought over with her from Portugal such
Indian cabinets as had never before been seen here.”

It is frequently asserted with apparent authority that Mary carried the
Dutch taste for porcelain and the manufactures of the Far East into
England; but, as we have seen, this idea is not well founded. Herself a
china-maniac, she merely set the royal stamp of approval on contemporary
taste, and made Hampton Court a model of the _style refugié_. That style
dominated English and Dutch homes before she heartlessly danced in the
Palace of Whitehall from which her father had fled.

Hampton Court, remodelled under her directions, was not completed till
1693. Many documents show that the _style refugié_ was popular in
English aristocratic homes before that date.


  PLATE LI.—_Mirrors, Console Table and Candlesticks, by Marot._

Under William and Mary, London swarmed with Dutch merchants and refugee
Huguenot arts and craftsmen, and was almost as much of an Eastern bazaar
as Amsterdam was. Mary set the pace, and wealth and aristocracy gladly
followed. As an example of the vogue, we cannot do better than take the
diary of the wealthy John Hervey, afterwards Earl of Bristol, and quote
a few entries of expenditure.

He was always buying porcelain and other Oriental wares “for dear wife.”
On July 6, 1689, he notes: “Paid to Katherine Scott for 12 leaves of cut
Japan skreens, 2 pieces of India damask and 6 Dutch chairs, £65.” In the
following July, he also bought from John van Colima, a Dutchman, who had
probably followed William III to London, “a parcel of old China for £3
2_s._ 6_d._” Though the Earl dealt more extensively with “Medina ye
Jew,” “Leeds ye mercer,” “Seamer ye goldsmith” and many “India houses”
in the New Exchange, we find him still patronizing the Dutchman after
the death of his first wife, as is shown by the following entries:
“1696, Jan. 11: Paid Calama, ye Dutchman in Green Street, for a parcell
of china for my dear wife, £31 8_s._ 4_d._ May 4: Calamar, ye Dutchman,
for another parcel of China, £10 4_s._” Two years later he also pays
“John Van Collema, for an Indian trunk, £35.” Another Dutchman who
enjoyed this nobleman’s patronage was “Mr. Gerreit Johnson, ye
Cabinett-maker,” who, on May 25, 1696, was paid £70 “for ye black sett
of glass, table and stands, and for ye glasses, etc., over ye chimneys
and elsewhere in my dear wife’s apartment.”

Gerreit Johnson, whom the Earl patronized, was a fashionable
cabinet-maker who made the china-cabinets for Queen Mary that were
placed in a room at Hampton Court called “the Delft Ware Closett.” It is
interesting to note that the mirrors and cabinets in the Countess of
Bristol’s boudoir had black japanned framework.

His diary and expense account shows that his purchases of furniture and
_bric-à-brac_ faithfully reflected the prevailing taste for Oriental
wares and the _style refugié_. He did not exclusively patronize

In 1688, he paid “to Frenoye, the silkman, for the fringe of the bed,
edgings for the window curtains, etc., £155”; “to the joyner who made
the chairs, stools and squabs for my wife, £19”; and “for gold and
crimson fringe for the India bed quilt, £17.”

In 1689, he bought “for dear wife” a white teapot and basin, £4 16_s._
9_d._; two china basins, £1 1_s._ 6_d._; an India trunk, £7; India quilt
for a bed, £38; a “brockadal hanging in my wife’s anti-chamber, £11
10_s._”; and “to a French varnisher for ten chairs, a couch and two
tabourettes, £12.”

In 1690, his purchases included “silver andirons, for my dear wife her
closett chimney, £13 5_s._“; “a glass screen, £1 1_s._ 6_d._”; “two pair
of basins for dear wife, £1 12_s._“; “a large China punch-bowl, with a
large jarr and two white cupps, £3 5_s._“; “sett of cupps and saucers,
£2”; six other saucers, 10_s._; “two china beakers, £2 11_s._“; two
great jarrs of china and two smaller ones, “with one very little one,”
£7 3_s._; a parcel of old china, £21; another parcel of old china, £6
10_s._; “another sett of old china for dear wife, £22”; “a pair of old
china roul wagons” (large blue and white vases), £7 10_s._ 6_d._; a pair
of china cupps and a little jarr, £1 6_s._; for a china teapot basin, £1
1_s._ 6_d._; an old china bottle and two china dishes, £1 15_s._; “at a
curiosity shop, 10_s._“; “a rich piece of India atlas, £13 10_s._”; “a
parcel of Indian things, £5 7_s._ 6_d._”; and “a pair of china jarrs, £1


  PLATE LII.—_Tables and Mascarons, by Maret._

In 1691, he bought a “Jappan travelling strong water cellar, £5 7_s._
6_d._”; a “Persian carpet (all of silk) to lay under a bed, and an old
china roulwaggon, 22 guineys”; “a piece of blue Indian stuff, £2
15_s._”; and “a candle-skreen, £1 6_s._” (The “roulwaggon” is a kind of

In 1692, he enters “two china rice potts for dear wife, £5”; “a china
jarr, £2 10_s._”; and “a parcel of china, £2 14_s._”

It is evident from the above that at the close of the seventeenth
century, Huguenot, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, English and Dutch artists
and artisans had combined to produce a style, the leading spirit of
which in England and Holland was Marot.

A noticeable fact in connexion with the European craze for Asiatic art
products is that, though the English and Dutch highly admired the native
wares, the European merchants sent out their own patterns and designs
for furniture and ceramics. It is even maintained that the famous
“Willow Plate” was the design of a Dutchman. The evidence of the
practice of exploiting foreign labour in the field of home taste is
overwhelming; and, as the century advanced, the guilds, city companies
and other trades unions in England, France and Holland grew more and
more restive under the burden of “Chinese cheap labour.” Mazarin was one
of the early enthusiasts in France to encourage Eastern importations.

In the _Mémoirs_ of La Grande Mademoiselle (1658), we read: “The
Cardinal (Mazarin) behaved in a very delightful and galant manner. He
took the two Queens (Anne of Austria and Henrietta Maria) and the
Princess of England and myself into a gallery that was filled with all
that could be imagined in the way of precious stones, jewels, furniture,
stuffs and everything beautiful from China; crystal chandeliers,
mirrors, tables and cabinets of all kinds, silver vessels, perfumes,
gloves, ribbons and fans.”

Towards the close of the century the craze for Oriental wares had
assumed such proportions that in France Louis XIV enacted sumptuary laws
to protect native industries; and in Holland and England the artisans
grumbled bitterly over the hard times occasioned by the vogue. The
Eastern workmen accepted patterns and supplied orders that natives of
Western Europe could not venture to undertake. The guilds and city
companies admitted the superiority of Oriental work, and cried aloud for
protection. Thus, in 1700, the Joiners’ Company addressed a petition
against the importation of manufactured cabinet work from the East
Indies. In this they state that they have “of late years arrived at so
great a perfection as exceeds all Europe.”

“But several merchants and others,” they continue, “have procured to be
made in London of late years and sent over to the East Indies patterns
and models of all forms of cabinet goods, and have yearly returned from
thence such quantities of cabinet wares, manufactured there after the
English fashion, that the said trade in England is in great danger of
being utterly ruined, etc., etc.”

The following goods, manufactured in India, have been imported within
these four years, viz.:


  PLATE LIII.—_Clocks and Details, by Marot._

                   244 cabinets.
                   655 tops for stands.
                 6,580 tea-tables.
                   818 lacquered boards.
                   428 chests.
                   597 sconces.
                    70 trunks.
                   589 looking-glasses.
                    52 screens.
                 4,120 dressing, comb and powder-boxes.

The Japanners also brought their grievances before the authorities in
1710. The taste for japanned goods had forced them to endeavour to make
worthy imitations for home consumption, and they thought they were
entitled to patronage and tariff protection. The evils are fully
indicated in the preamble to their petition:

“Many of the artificers (cabinet-makers, turners, goldbeaters and
coppersmiths) have brought (the curious and ingenious art and mystery of
japanning, so much improved in England of late years) to so great
perfection as to exceed all manner of Indian lacquer, and to equal the
right japan itself, by enduring the fire in the boiling of liquors.

“Also it will, if encouraged, vastly improve both the wood and iron
trades for cisterns, monteiths, punch-bowls, tea-tables and several
sorts of ironware, which would be useless if not improved by our English

“But the merchants, sending over English patterns and models to India,
and bringing such quantities of Indian lacquered wares (especially
within the last two years), great numbers of families are by that means
reduced to miserable poverty.”

The trade with the Indies thus encountered bitter opposition, and many
tracts were published calling attention to the alleged grievances of
native workmen from its prosecution. In 1700, _Reasons_, a tract, tells
us: “The charter of the East India Company was confirmed by King Charles
II in the thirteenth year of his reign, and the law for permitting
bullion to be exported was made soon after. In 1672 or 1673, several
artificers were sent over by the Company with great quantity of English
patterns to teach the Indians how to manufacture goods to make them
vendible in England and the rest of the European markets. After which
began the trade in manufactured goods from the Indies.”

In 1699, also, a bitter wail went up in a broadside entitled _Prince
Butler’s Tale_:

            When first the India trade began,
            And ships beyond the tropics ran
            In quest of various drugs and spices,
            And sundry other strange devices.
            Saltpetre, drugs, spice and such trading
            Composed the bulk of all their lading:
            Bengals and silks of India’s making
            Our merchants then refused to take in,
            Knowing it would their country ruin
            And might prove to their own undoing.
            Nor did they carry gold or bullion
            To fetch home what supplants our woollen;
            Nor were this nation fond to wear
            Such Indian toys which cost so dear.
            Then were we clad in woollen stuffs,
            With cambric bands and lawn ruffs,
            Or else in silk which was imported
            For woollen goods which we exported;
            Which silk our English weavers bought
            And into various figures wrought.
            That scarce a child was to be seen
            Without Say frock, that was of green.
            Our hangings, beds, our coats and gowns
            Made of our wool in clothing towns,
            This nation then was rich and wealthy
            And in a state which we call’d healthy.
            But since the men of Gath arose,
            And for their chief Goliath chose,
            And since that mighty giant’s reign
            Whose chiefest aim was private gain,
            This trade was drove on by such measures
            As soon exhausted much our treasures;
            For then our chiefest artists went
            With patterns, and with money sent,
            To make and purchase Indian ware,
            For which this nation pays full dear.
            Then by great gifts of _finest_ touches
            To lords and ladies, dukes and duchess,
            So far prevailed as set the fashion
            Which, plague-like, soon spread o’er the nation.
            Our ladies all were set a gadding,
            After these toys they ran a madding;
            And nothing then would please their fancies,
            Nor Dolls, nor Joans, nor wanton Nancies
            Unless it was of Indians’ making;
            And if ‘twas so, ‘twas wondrous taking.
            This antick humour so prevailed,
            Tho’ many ‘gainst it _greatly_ railed,
            ‘Mongst all degrees of female kind
            That nothing else could please their mind.
            Tell ‘em the following of such fashion
            Wou’d beggar and undo the nation
            And ruin all our labouring poor
            That must or starve, or beg at door,
            They’d not at all regard your story,
            But in their painted garments glory;
            And such as were not Indian proof
            They scorn’d, despised, as paltry stuff;
            And like gay peacocks proudly strut it,
            When in our streets along they foot it.

                   *       *       *       *       *

            And happy thrice would England be,
            If, while they’re living, we could see
            Our noble ladies but beginning
            To wear our wool of finest spinning,
            Or in such silks our workmen make,
            For which our merchants cloth to take;
            Which soon would bring them in such fashion
            As they’d be worn throughout this nation,
            By all degrees, and sex, and ages,
            From highest peers to lowest pages;
            Nor would the meanest trull, or besses,
            Delight to wear these Indian dresses,
            Which certainly would profit bring
            To them, their tenants, and their king.

To show how enormous was the trade with the East Indies at the end of
the century, we need only examine the records of sales of the cargoes of
three ships at the East India House in 1700. In this we omit all mention
of sugar, tea, coffee, bezoar stones, ambergris, drugs of all sorts,
sweetmeats, gems, musk, aloes, carpets, rugs, and all kinds of woven
silk and cotton goods. The other goods, “besides great quantities unsold
of toyes and small goods,” fetched over £200,000, which at the present
day might represent three-quarters of a million sterling:

    China-ware pieces                                        150,000
    Fans                                                      38,557
    Lacquer’d sticks for fans                                 13,470
    Lacquer’d trunks, escretors, bowls, cups, dishes, etc.    10,500
    Lacquer’d tables inlaid                                      189
    Lacquer’d panels in frames, painted and carved for rooms      47
    Lacquer’d boards                                             178
    Lacquer’d brushes                                          3,099
    Lacquer’d tables not inlaid                                  277
    Lacquer’d fans for fire                                      174
    Lacquer’d boards for screens                                  54
    Screens set in frames                                         71
    Paper josses                                               1,799
    Shells painted double gilt                                   281
    Paper painted for fans                                       377
    Images of copper, stone, wood and earth                      600
    Pictures                                                     669
    Brass and iron leaves for lanthorns
    Brass hinges in chests
    Embroideries for curtains, valloons and counterpanes

Among the textiles that were imported from the East Indies, Persia and
China at the end of the seventeenth century, and used for curtains,
upholstery, cushions, etc., were many varieties of wrought silks, “dyed
Bengals,” and printed or stained “callicoes,” known under the following

                     Bengalis or Nilas.
                     China silks.
                     Checquered silks.
                     Canvas bolts.
                     Cuttannees, Striped.
                     Cuttannees, Flowered.
                     Cuttannees, Wrought.
                     Chints, Serunge.
                     Chints, Caddy.
                     Chints, Surrat.
                     Chints, Brampore.
                     Chints, Culme.
                     Chints, Pattanna,
                     Chints, Gulconda.
                     Chints, Wrought.
                     Damask nankeens.
                     Elatches, Lingua.
                     Ginghams coloured.
                     Gelongs, printed and painted.
                     Gelongs, striped.
                     Goachon Cherulas.
                     Guiney stripes.
                     Herba Taffeties.
                     Herba Lungees.
                     Longes Flowered.
                     Mahobutt Bannes.
                     Mocha silks.
                     Nankeen Taffeties.
                     Phota Lungees.
                     Peniascoes or Penasses.
                     Romalls silk.
                     Romalls cotton.
                     Romalls serunge.
                     Sattins plain.
                     Satin nankeens.
                     Silk Lungees.
                     Taffety nankeens.

The above list is copied from a tract protesting against foreign
importations that was printed about 1700.

                               CHAPTER X

  Lacquer—Oriental Methods—European Importations and Limitations—Prices—
      An Ambassador’s Report—_Singerie_, _Chinoiserie_ and _Rocaille_—
      The Dutch Decadence—Interiors of Cornelis Troost—Mirrors—Wealth
      and Luxury of Dutch Merchants—Court Contrast—Tapestry—Brussels as
      a Centre of Art and Luxury—Eighteenth Century Furniture—The Empire
      Style in the Low Countries—Dutch Homes of the Nineteenth Century—
      The Maarken House and Furniture—Typical Farmhouse and Furniture—
      Country Seats and Town Houses—Hindeloopen Houses and Furniture—A
      Friesland House—Canal Boat Furniture—Dutch Love of Symmetry—
      Collectors and Collections.

So far little attention has been paid in these pages to lacquer, though
important articles of household furniture that owed their beauty and
value to this species of ornamentation have appeared in inventories and
diaries under the designation of “vernish,” “japan” or “japanned.”
Sometimes this work was referred to as “black” merely, as in the case of
John Hervey’s “dear wife’s” boudoir.

The Oriental method of lacquering requires a vast amount of patience and
skill. After the wood has been smoothly planed, it is covered with a
thin sheet of paper or silk gauze. Over this is spread a thick coating
of buffalo’s gall and powdered red sandstone. When dry, this is rubbed
with wax and polished, or washed over with gum and chalk. The varnish is
laid on with a flat brush. The article is now thoroughly dried, and
again moistened and polished with a piece of soft slate, or the stalks
of a special grass. The workman then repeats the process, giving it a
second coating of lacquer, and again dries and polishes it. Sometimes as
many as eighteen or twenty coatings are applied, but never less than

The lacquer used by the Chinese and Japanese is derived from the juice
of the “varnish tree.” This juice, a natural secretion, is acrid, and
soon hardens into a black resin. To obtain it, pieces of bamboo are
inserted into the bark and allowed to remain all night, for the juice
flows more freely at night than during the day. This is boiled with
equal parts of oil obtained from the fruit of the _mimusops elengi_. The
chief trees that yield this gum are the black varnish tree
(_melanorrhoea usitata_) and the Japan varnish tree (_rhus

There are grades in lacquer. Lacquer on a gold ground is the most highly
prized; and the first examples of this kind that reached Europe were
gifts to Dutch officials from Japanese princes. This sort of lacquer is
seldom found on furniture, with the exception of delicate little boxes
and occasionally plaques that were inserted into furniture.

Lacquered wares were brought into Holland, England and France in large
quantities all through the seventeenth century, as the bills of lading
(see page 292) show. We have seen that the European merchants sent out
designs for forms and decorations of Oriental porcelain; and they did
the same for carved ebony, teak and ivory, and especially lacquer. Many
of the screens, clocks, bedsteads, cabinets, panels, tables, etc., of
the period show unmistakable signs of Oriental attempts to supply
European demands. In textiles also, especially in screen-fillings, and
other textiles used in upholstery for couches, chairs and hangings, we
frequently find views of Dutch towns and social life, indoors and

The framework of large pieces of furniture was sometimes both carved on
the edges, and the flat surfaces were lacquered. Sometimes the frames of
screens were of carved rosewood (home-made), and the apertures were
filled with genuine Eastern textiles. Tables of inlaid ivory and
mother-of-pearl were also in general vogue.

Lacquered furniture was highly prized and very costly during the days of
William of Orange, our “Dutch William.” “A grand Japan cabinet”
(probably a wardrobe) in the bedroom of a Countess in 1675 was valued at
£200 in present money. In 1698 an “Indian trunk” is listed at £35 in
money of that date. In valuations that might be perhaps multiplied
fivefold to-day in actual cash, apart from appreciation in art or
sentimental value, we find also: a pair of India cut Japan screens, £60;
a black bureau, £6; a Japan scrutoire, £60; a Japan cabinet, £35; and
India-cut Japan frame and glasses, £10 10_s._

We have seen from the complaint of the japanners in England that strong
attempts had been made to imitate the home demands; and considerable
success had rewarded the efforts of the artists and cabinetmakers. The
trouble was that they could not obtain the proper lacquer or “vernish”
in England, France or Holland for many years. The Dutch, holding such a
dominant position in the East Indies, practically throughout the
seventeenth century, naturally had the best chance to discover the
secret of the constitution and manufacture of the far-famed varnish.
They tried to reproduce the Oriental product of lacquer just as
persistently as they did the porcelain with delft. Good as their
imitations were, however, they could not produce a lacquer that could
compete with the Japanese any more than the English could. They used
native varnishes, therefore, and produced beautiful work which, alas!
was not destined to last. The surface soon cracked, scaled off and left
the framework decrepit and friendless,—relegated to the attic, kitchen
or wood pile.

As Dutch enterprise led the way in imitations of Oriental wares, of
porcelain in delft, so also imitations of lacquer first found fame in
the Netherlands. A Dutchman named Huygens was famous for his japanned
work early in the eighteenth century. He was called to France, and was
probably largely instrumental in the invention or perfection of the
celebrated _Vernis Martin_. This was a species of lacquer that
beautifies many sumptuous examples of Louis Quinze furniture, and is
highly prized by collectors.

The character of lacquered and other Oriental wares obtainable early in
the eighteenth century may be gathered from the report of an ambassador
to Pekin in 1721. Among other things he says:


  PLATE LIV.—_Interior, by Cornelis Troost._


“The most valuable furniture of lackered ware, viz., cabinets, chairs,
tables, baskets, and other things of that sort, as also the richest
porcelain ware, come from Japan. For when the Emperor sends any person
to Japan in a public character, most of the princes and great men of the
court seldom fail to engage him to bring them some of those things at
his return....

“After the lackered ware of Japan, that of the province of Fokien, is
looked upon as the best; but none of it comes to Pekin because the great
lords of China oppress the merchants to a great degree and take their
goods from them upon many frivolous pretences, without leaving them the
least hopes of ever obtaining any payment.

“They have at Pekin a people dexterous enough at lackering, but their
works fall short of those of Japan and Fokien, which may be attributed
to the difference of climate; and it is for this reason that the
lackered work made at Pekin is always much cheaper than the other.
Nevertheless, the lackered work made at Pekin infinitely exceeds any
work of that kind made in Europe.... The European merchants carry away
from Canton raw silk; damasks wrought according to draughts furnished to
them; wrought silks; lackered ware; tea, green and bohea; badians, a
seed having a taste like aniseed; canes and china-ware, made according
to models given them.

“For the rest they carry to China from Europe, and bring back from
China, a very great variety of toys and different sorts of curiosities,
upon which they make a very considerable profit; but these are so
numerous that it is not possible to furnish a complete specification of

During the eighteenth century Dutch and Belgian furniture, in common
with English and German, humbly submitted to the dictates of the great
French designers. The _Singerie_, _Chinoiserie_ and _Rocaille_ work of
Watteau, Boucher, Meissonnier, Oppenord, Cressent, Huet, Gillot and
others were welcomed and adapted to local tastes in the Low Countries.
Many of the most beautiful cabinets and china-closets of the _Régence_
and _Louis Quinze_ period that are preserved in Continental museums owe
their origin to the skilled workmen of Belgium, especially of the School
of Lille. Many fine specimens of the decorative work of this period may
be seen in the Lille Museum. A typical example from Liège appears in
Fig. 46. This shows the use as an ornamental feature of the broken
curve, the auricle, a more sober descendant of the _style auriculaire_.
The use of this ornament encountered rabid opposition in Regency days in
France, England and the Low Countries, but it forced its way into favour
shoulder to shoulder with the _Chinoiserie_, _Singerie_ and _Rocaille_
ornamentation. This double-bodied cabinet is made for the preservation
and display of delft and porcelain. Ledges at the top are also provided
for urns and jars as decorative accessories.

It may be interesting to see what a typical china-cabinet contained at
the beginning of the eighteenth century. In 1700, we note one of carved
walnut with four doors. In the lower compartment there were twenty vases
of red India ware, a porcelain vinaigrette, a cup of enamelled glass, a
little horn cup and a multitude of miscellaneous curios. Another cabinet
having two lower doors, a middle drawer and one glass door above,
contained fine delft vases, two cups and saucers, a big faïence jug and
two little ones, six big rare sea-shells and other Oriental curios.


  Fig. 46.—_Cabinet from Liège._ Fig. 47.—_Dutch Mirror Frame._

Dutch art was now in its decadence; it had lost its pre-eminence. The
French artists set the fashion. The painter who is commonly held
responsible for the decadence is Gérard de Lairesse (Liège, 1641–1711).
He shows all the technique of the old school, and arranges his
compositions in accordance with the laws of Italian taste, but he is
decidedly artificial. His contemporaries and successors are feeble
imitators of the Great and Little masters, and those who have the
greatest reputations are miniaturists and still-life painters.

For Dutch interiors we now have to go to the pastels of Cornelis Troost
(Amsterdam, 1697–1750), whose compositions gained for him the name of
the “Dutch Hogarth.” Two reproductions of interiors by this artist are
shown in Plates LIV and LV. The chairs, tables, sideboards,
candlestands, chandeliers, buffets and chimney-pieces in these pictures
in nowise differ from those used in England during the early Georgian

Dutch taste ran to heaviness and over-loading in ornamentation. During
the _Louis Quinze_ period, Schubler was more in favour in wealthy Dutch
houses, as he was in Germany, than were the French designers of a
lighter touch.

A handsome example of Dutch carving of the early eighteenth century is
shown in the mirror frame in Fig. 47. This is of carved and gilded wood,
representing scrolls, leaves, flowers, a mascaron and a female figure
issuing from one of the scrolls. “This kind of mirror, made to be hung
upon the woodwork or tapestries of the rooms, is often of a rather heavy
and inelegant execution,” writes a critic, who referring to this special
example continues, “but in this specimen where the outlines are so
accentuated the effect is quite happy. The hooks intended for the metal
sconces in the lower part of the frame should be noticed.”

Holland was profiting so much by her mercantile ventures and, perhaps,
unscrupulous trade dealings as to arouse bitter envy, jealousy and
animosity. The famous despatch of Canning:

            “In matters of business the fault of the Dutch
            Lies in giving too little and asking too much,”

would have been investigated a century earlier by both English and
French merchants if they could have forced their Governments’ hands.
Thus in _The Trade and Navigation of Great Britain Considered_ the
following occurs:

“Trade with Holland: the balance paid us is thrice as much as we receive
from either Portugal or Spain. But when we consider the great number of
smuggling ships that are employed between this country and Holland, and
the supply we have from them of pepper and all other sorts of India
spice, with callicoes, muslins, India silks and romals, and other
manufactures of India, coffee, tea, China-ware, and very great
quantities of Hollands and fine lace, etc., it is apt to furnish the
thinking part of mankind with other notions.”


  PLATE LV.—_Interior, by Cornelis Troost._


The Dutch merchants were able to indulge all their artistic and
luxurious tastes in furnishing their houses. Some of them were wildly
lavish and ostentatious in interior decoration and furniture years
before the frenzied finance of the Mississippi Scheme and South Sea
Bubble, when valets became millionaires while they slept and senselessly
squandered their gains in a month. As early as 1709, in Shaw’s _Travels
Through Holland_, we read: “Glorious monuments of the excessive wealth
acquired in trade are to be seen at Mr. Tripp’s and Pinto, the rich
Jew’s houses; in this last is a room pav’d with ducatoons, or
crown-pieces, and these laid edgewise. But, indeed, the whole new Heer
Graff is fronted with houses like the palaces of princes, where
glittering guildings, exquisite paintings, rich china, screens, gold,
pearls, diamonds enchant you, and rival the apartments of monarchs in
haughty magnificence.”

It is no exaggeration to say that the establishments of opulent
merchants of the Low Countries at this period could match and sometimes
even outshine those of princely courts. Life was very dull in Belgium at
the court of the Austrian princess who ruled the Netherlands when George
II came to the throne. Marie Elizabeth was forty-five when her brother
gave her the rule of the Low Countries in 1725. She was very pious, and
eschewed all gaiety. The only description of a festival given during her
reign is that of the _Fête de l’oiseau_ given in Brussels, October 10,
1729, on the occasion of the birth of Monseigneur le Dauphin (born
September 4, 1729), and was written by the minister from France,
Chaillon de Joinville, who arranged it, to the Marquis de Chauvelin.
After the ball they went to supper at half-past ten, and we learn that
“In the ‘_grande gallerie_’ there was a long table of ninety covers with
two large buffets at the two ends, and in the balcony of the
‘_gallerie_’ there were four trumpeters and a drummer, who played all
through supper; and there were eighteen instrumental players for the

The Flemish tapestries of the eighteenth century are of slight
importance, for the great workshops of the Low Countries have now fallen
into evil days. At the beginning of this century, Brussels has only
eight manufacturers, fifty-three looms and about a hundred and fifty
workmen, and by 1768 only one manufacturer is left—Jacques van der
Borcht. The last loom perishes at his death in 1794. The Oudenarde looms
are stilled for ever in 1772, and those of Ghent about the same time.

Flemish workmen are, however, still employed at Beauvais, of which Oudry
becomes director in 1726; and their services are valued throughout
Europe. Adrian Neusse of Oudenarde, a former workman at Beauvais,
establishes a workshop at Gisors in 1703, and Jean Baert and his son one
at Cambrai in 1724. Until 1738, when Boucher takes charge of them,
Lille’s workshops are directed by Wernier of Brussels. When the first
high-warp loom was established at Madrid in 1720, the first director was
Jacques van der Goten, a tapestry-weaver of Antwerp, who aided in
founding that of Seville in the same year; and the tapestry manufactory,
founded by Peter the Great in St. Petersburg, employed workmen from
Brussels in 1777–8.

During the eighteenth century, tapestry is put to a new use, which makes
it especially important in connexion with the study of furniture. In the
Middle Ages, we found it was a custom for the rich to throw over their
carved chairs and benches, sumptuous pieces of tapestry and other
handsome textiles; in this age we now find the weavers making covers for
the backs and seats of chairs, sofas and screens, the patterns or
pictures for which are specially designed. Throughout Europe, the
drawing-rooms are furnished with these beautiful sets of tapestry
furniture, always consisting of two sofas, armchairs and chairs. This
new fashion practically made the fortune of the Beauvais manufactory.
The most delicate pictures, artistically framed, were woven: landscapes,
scenes from _Æsop’s Fables_, pastorals, emblems, mythological stories,
baskets of fruit, baskets of flowers, garlands of flowers, bird cages,
shepherds and shepherdesses, monkeys, swings, children playing, animals,
birds, etc., etc.

The majestic style of Le Brun gives place to the airy charm of Watteau,
Boucher and Van Loo. _The Hunts of Louis XV_, _The Adventures of Don
Quixote_, _The Gardens of Armida_, _Aurora and Cephalus_, _Venus on the
Waters_, _Venus at the Forge of Vulcan_, _Cupid and Psyche_, _Children
Playing_, _The Swing_, _Genii of the Arts_, _Endymion_, _Rustic
Festivals_, _Fortune Tellers_, _Fishing_, _Rural Amusements_, scenes
from Molière’s comedies, Indian hangings, Chinese hangings and scenes in
which monkeys appear in grotesque attitudes and costumes, supplant
heroic triumphs and religious pictures as subjects for wall decorations.

Some of the last historical pieces that were made in Brussels were _The
Campaigns of the Duke of Marlborough_, _The History of the Duchy of
Brabant_ and _Victories of Prince Eugene_.

The Flemings of the early eighteenth century still maintained their
ancient eminence in Decorative Art. Their weavers were still sought
after, and their craftsmen produced many pieces of carved furniture of
the _Régence_ and _Louis Quinze_ periods that are still preserved and
admired. The schools of Liège, Brussels and Lille (the latter just
across the border in France, being practically still in Belgium, as
originally it was) were famous for the high excellence of workmanship
produced. Jacques Verberckt, who was born in Antwerp and died in Paris
in 1771, was accepted at the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, and
executed or planned the greatest number of decorative sculpture made
during the reign of Louis XV at Versailles. He was also employed by the
Marquise de Pompadour to decorate her _château_ of Bellevue. Verberckt
worked with a delicate touch in marble, wood, or metal.

Brussels was an important centre of industry and art throughout the
century. Its citizens included many men of wealth who took interest in
art, science and literature.

In his _Journey in the Year 1793 through Flanders, Brabant and Germany_,
the Rev. C. Este says: “The town is tolerably well built as to the walls
of the houses; but their windows and doors are after the manner of the
French. The lower windows are also deformed with iron bars, offensive
even beyond the eye, as implying something wrong in the place, either
from real danger, or from false fear.

“The buildings at Bruxelles compare in one point advantageously with
Paris. For the houses having fewer floors, but three or four, generally
have but one family under one roof.... The places for a traveller to
see, if he has time, are the Archduke’s Château de Schoemburg (in the
village of Lack), and the villa of M. Walkiers the banker. They are not
half an hour’s drive from Bruxelles and close to one another; besides
the way is through the _Allée Verte_, those beautiful vistas of elms and
limes, where the canal goes to join the Scheldt....

“The Archduke’s _château_ is a modern building, Ionic without,
Corinthian within, with two fronts of 260 feet, the depth 150, with a
central portico at the entrance and a bow in the centre behind. The
effect of the building at a distance is gay and imposing enough; when
close to it the effect is maimed by bad figures at the top of the
building, and the pediment of the portico being filled by a clock, which
seems fit only where the character of the building is appropriate, as at
Inigo’s church at Covent Garden, to simplicity and use. The gate of
approach, loaded with bad ornaments, cupids and what not, is at once
lofty and trifling, elaborate and dull.

“In the internal distribution the best rooms are forty feet square—a
dining-room 52 by 40—a chapel 27 by 22—and the state room a circle 54
feet in diameter; the dome is the ceiling of the room, and midway
between the bottom and the top there is a small gallery on twelve
Corinthian pillars. The floors in the other rooms are inlaid mixture,
angular shapes of oak, mahogany and petrified cedar. In the circular
room the floor is shewy, formed of various marbles. There are five
windows, which should have five looking-glasses opposite—there are but
two, with three glass doors, but not looking-glass. The looking-glasses
are the manufacture of Venice. And these, eight feet by six, are among
the largest ever blown there. For that is the Venetian process; not by
the mould as in France and England.

“There are few objects of art. The only pictures are four large ones by
De Lance of Antwerp. They are mythological subjects; of course, the
worst in the world. Le Roi of Namur supplied the five feet full length
of the Virgin in the chapel. It is not bad statuary, for it has, which
is very rare, thought and emotion.

“The architect was Montoyer. He built also the Vauxhall in the park at
Bruxelles. The house was begun in 1782—it was finished in 1788. A small
temple and the pagoda, the only buildings in the garden, are also by
him.’ The pagoda has eleven floors. And there, as in Kew, it may be
considered as a well-placed trifle....

“The grounds the Archbishop keeps in his hands are between two and three
hundred acres. There is an artificial water, fifty _toises_ across and a
quarter of a league long—the lawn sloping down to it from the house,
with the uplands on the other side, and the fine woody hill form the
prettiest scene.

“The adjoining villa of M. Walkiers, the banker, is another more pretty
building by Montoyer, amidst the same little fertile scenery. The
architecture is Ionic. With a _loggio_ throughout the middle floor of
one front, like an Italian villa, the ground plan of the house is about
150 feet by 50. There is a small grass plot before and behind with side
walks, through very small trees, in half a dozen strait alleys: not one
of the trees are worth five shillings. There is no gravel for the feet,
no water for the eye, and the inclosure is a flimsy two-feet hedge which
a child may either pass through or step over.”


  PLATE LVI.—_Room in the Stedelijk Museum._

The new style of ornamentation of the _Régence_ and _Louis Quinze_
periods, with its broken curves, auricles, rococo and _rocaille_ work,
was carried to greater extremes in Germany and Holland than in France.
The school of Borromini, Oppenord and Meissonier carried everything
before it, in spite of great opposition on the part of those who clung
stubbornly to the traditions of Renaissance art. Carved panelling
adorned the walls of rooms, and ceilings, picture and mirror frames,
chairs, beds, tables, etc., all submitted to the new designs for
chisel-work. A room with furniture of the early eighteenth century is
illustrated in Plate LVI. This is in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam,
and the woodwork and painted ceiling come from an old Dutch _château_.
The chairs, with their carved frames and stretchers, were in vogue in
the last years of Louis XIV and under the Regency. The cabinet with its
graded top for the accommodation of porcelain vases is characteristic of
the period. The frames of the mirror and picture and the mantelpiece are
also fine examples of Decorative Art of the days immediately after
British soldiers used such bad language in the Low Countries. In passing
it may be noticed that Marlborough’s campaigns in the Netherlands had
considerable influence on English taste of the day and forming the
“Queen Anne” style, by familiarizing British officers with the
Decorative Arts of the United Provinces. The Peace of Utrecht (1713)
left the Netherlands free to pursue the arts of peace, which they did,
so far as internal decoration is concerned, in the wake of the foe they
had so bitterly combated. We may note here that the richly carved table
on which the Peace of Utrecht is said to have been signed is preserved
in the Antiquarian Museum of Utrecht.

The course of Dutch and Flemish furniture during the rest of the
eighteenth century tamely follows the channels of French design.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Empire style was in
vogue in Holland, as it was throughout Europe. When the Town Hall on the
Dam in Amsterdam was presented by the city to the King of Holland, Louis
Napoleon, in 1808, the Royal apartments were fitted up in the Empire
style, and these hangings and furniture may be seen to-day. A great deal
of Empire furniture is scattered through the museums of Belgium and
Holland, as well as in the castles and mansions of the nobles and
merchants who followed the fashions. A trace of the Empire style is
found in the following description of the palace of Laeken, the
residence of the royal family, near Brussels, by Robert Hill (_Sketches
in Flanders and Holland_, 1816):

“The apartments had very little of royal magnificence about them: there
were no pictures. A few pieces of indifferent tapestry, pier glasses
economically put up in three pieces each, and tables, chairs, etc.,
which might only be called handsome, made up all that I recollect of
their furniture. This palace has undergone strange vicissitudes. It was
built for an Austrian archduchess; in one of the rooms a sky blue
canopied bed was shown, which had belonged to the late Empress
Josephine, had next been occupied by Maria Louisa, and, shortly before
my visit, had been slept in by the Queen of the Netherlands.”

Mr. Hill was not greatly impressed with the Dutch house of the middle
class. He says:

“I saw few things about their furniture and household arrangements worth
noticing. The lower parts of their houses were commonly lined with
glazed Dutch tiles, and stoves made of the same kind of clay were as
commonly used to warm their apartments....

“There are two singularities about the houses of the Dutch which must
not be forgotten. The first is that every country seat from the
merchant’s domain to the little peddling tradesman’s smoking-box, though
surrounded perhaps by nothing but marshes, damps and duckweed, is almost
sure to bear on its front or over its entrance the words _Land Lust_
(Country Delight), or _Land Zight_ (Country Prospect), _Belle Vue_, or
some other title expressive of the beauties of the situation, or the
comforts and ornaments which are to be found within. The other is that
the windows of these _Land Lusts_ and _Zights_, as well as those of
houses in the midst of towns, are generally furnished with little
looking-glasses, which, projecting from their sides, command every
passing object. These are by no means to be considered as ornamental,
but they are so placed (sometimes two or three on each side) that they
indulge the curiosity of their owners without putting them to the
expense of showing themselves in return.”

He also notes the peculiar custom of breakfasting and dining in
bedrooms. “At the country box of one of the most respectable tradesmen
in Holland,” he writes, “I dined with his family in the principal room,
which had beds concealed behind parts of its wainscoting.” This was in
Rotterdam. He says: “At the end of this garden stood a pretty little
summer residence, among whose lower apartments was a kitchen with
furniture that displayed all the brightness and neatness for which the
culinary arrangements of the Dutch have been celebrated, and above which
was a large bay windowed room in which we dined. A natural inquiry
respecting bed-chambers was here answered by opening parts of the
wainscot, behind which were concealed canopies of the master, mistress
and their children.”

The homes of Holland changed little during the century, and the
cottages, farmhouses and homes of the peasants may be said to have
changed not at all. Take, for instance, the fishing village of Maarken,
in the Zuyder Zee, of which Esquiros writes:


  PLATE LVII.—_In Bruitlaen, by Artz._

“Most frequently the same room serves at once as bedroom, kitchen and
storehouse for the fishing utensils. Some houses, however, have a second
and separate room, called here the saloon, in which furniture and
clothes are kept, but that is almost aristocratic luxury. The rooms
which are flush with the ground have no ceiling, and communicate with
the garret, over which the tile or thatch roof rises at right angles.
The houses are equally deficient in chimneys as a rule, but before the
principal window there is a large flat stone surrounded by a row of
bricks. A piece of iron is fastened at the back of this stone, against
which the fire is kindled. An opening in the roof allows exit to the
smoke, which, before emerging, spreads through the loft, where the nets
are dried. Only thirty houses are remarkable for possessing chimneys.
Several times a year the interior is cleaned and whitewashed. A table
surrounded by very low chairs, an old _escritoire_ loaded with pretty
china, an eight-day clock, milk tubs whose copper rings shine like gold,
produce in the houses of the island an alliance of facts rarely found
among other races, namely, of cleanliness with poverty. This taste for
china, old glass, curtains and flowered counterpanes is a delicate
feature in the Batavian character. Art sits down by the side of Misery
at the fireside, which it enlivens with a consolatory beam.”

Plate LVII, entitled _In Bruitlaen_, by Artz, in the Rijks Museum, shows
the modern artist’s conception of a peasant room and furniture. First we
notice a large _kas_ or _armoire_, with heavy ball feet and pieces of
china arranged on the top. More china adorns the chimney-shelf, and the
chimney-piece with its valance is characteristic. The heavy carved
beams, the windows with small leaded panes decorated with coats-of-arms,
the tiled floor spread with a carpet, give an air of comfort to the
room. The chairs are of the four-backed variety, the table is square,
the stool has turned legs and stretchers, and there is a Bible on a
stand and a Friesland clock on the wall.

The old farmhouse of which the modern traveller sees so many examples,
with its red-tiled or thatched roof visible beneath its sentinel
poplars, usually consists of a large living-room, a kitchen, a
cheese-room, a dairy, two small bedrooms in the garret, a big cow-stable
at the back, and an outside kitchen called the “baking-house.”

A native writer says:

“The ‘baking-house’ is often used as a living-room in summer, which is
more cheerful than the solemn apartment into which the visitor is
invariably ushered. A wide chimney lined with tiles stretches nearly
across one side of this room; but the open fire on the hearth has long
ago disappeared and given place to an ugly stove. Quaint brass
fire-irons hang behind it, and on either side is an armchair, differing
from its humbler brethren only in the possession of wooden arms. If
there is a baby in the family, it is likely to be reposing in a cradle
with green baize curtains as near as possible to the fireplace, in
defiance of all laws of health. Two or three large cupboards, sometimes
handsomely carved, always kept well polished, stand against the
whitewashed walls. One of them generally has glass doors in the upper
part; and on its shelves the family china—often of great value—is
exposed to view. Unfortunately, these heirlooms in old families have
been largely bought up by enterprising Jews. Sometimes, however,
sentiment has proved stronger than the love of money, and the farmer has
not parted with his family possessions. In a corner of the room a chintz
curtain, or sometimes a double door, shows where the big press-bed is—an
institution of pre-hygienic times which, to the peasant mind, has no
inconveniences whatever. In the middle of the room a table stands on a
carpet; and, as people take off their shoes at the door and go about in
their thick woollen stockings, neither it nor the painted floor ever
shows signs of mud. Another table stands near one of the windows, of
which there are two or three. The linen blinds so closely meet the
spotless muslin curtains, which are drawn stiffly across the lower panes
on two horizontal sticks, that a stray sunbeam can hardly make its way
into the room, even if it has been able to struggle through the thick
branches of the clipt lime-trees that adorn the front of the house. On
one of the tables a tray stands, with a hospitable array of cups and
saucers, teapot, etc., and is protected from the dust by a crochet or
muslin cover. The huge family Bible, with its huge brass clasps, has an
honourable place, often on a stand by itself. Rough woodcuts or cheap
prints, and a group of family photographs, which do not flatter the
originals, are hung on the walls. The framed and glazed sampler, worked
in wools by the farmer’s wife in her young days, usually makes a _dessus
de porte_. The alphabet is the principal part of this extraordinary work
of art; but it bears various other figures, which, on patient
investigation, appears to have some resemblance to certain birds and

The country home of wealth is usually built of small, hard,
reddish-brown bricks resembling those used in the Elizabethan houses in
England. The front entrance is often embellished with a handsome
pediment and a stone _loggia_ and steps. Flower beds, canals and woods
surround the house, which has a dignified and attractive air. It is no
less so within, for many Dutch houses, both in the country and city, are
beautifully finished. The woodwork, whether of oak or mahogany, is often
exquisitely carved and highly polished, and consists of broad staircases
with ornate banisters, doors, panelled walls, mantelpieces and mirror
frames. Many of the doors and windows are decorated with carvings of
garlands of fruits, flowers and other devices, according to the period
in which the house was built. In some of the old houses the walls are
still hung with the old gilt leather of the sixteenth and seventeenth

Suburban houses as well as country seats bear fanciful names; and on the
outskirts of The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and other large cities you
may read _Lust en Rust_ (Pleasure and Repose), _Buiten Zorg_ (Without
Care), _Myn Rust_ (My Repose), _Mon Bijou_ (My Jewel), _Rosen Lust_
(Rose Pleasure), _Honigbij_ (Honey Bee), _Mijn Lust en Leven_ (My
Pleasure and Life), _Vriendschap en Gezelschap_ (Friendship and
Sociability), and other such names. These retreats are often covered
with creepers, and are situated in the centre of a lawn made gay with
flower beds, arbours and sometimes strange ornaments of painted clay—
gnomes trundling wheelbarrows, curious vases, windmills, etc., etc.

The town houses and such country houses as are built on reclaimed land
are constructed on piles. They begin to build in Holland by digging to
the depth of two or three feet. This excavation soon fills with water.
Piles are then driven into the ground, and the ends are cut off evenly;
and on this level surface beams of oak are laid. The back and front of
the house are not added until long after the roof is laid on, so that
the air may pass through and dry the walls thoroughly. The houses are
lightly constructed of brick, iron or wood, with outer casings of stone
or marble, intended for show and not for solidity. At the back of the
house there is usually a little garden, to which it is necessary to
bring every year earth and gravel to replace the soil that the water has
carried away.

Frequently the Dutch town house consists of two apartments; for land is
dear, and so are house rents in the cities. The lower apartment is
called _benedenhuis_, which comprises a cellar and the ground floor;
while the second apartment, called _bovenwoning_, is composed of the
first and second floors and a garret. Each apartment has its separate

The houses are deeper than they are wide, and the ordinary arrangement
consists of a drawing-room in the front, a dining-room in the back, and
a dark room in the middle. The latter is the family sitting-room,
particularly in winter evenings, for its complete isolation from the
outside protects the inhabitants from the cold air. Of late years this
middle room has become less popular, and every room in recently built
dwellings contains one or two windows. The houses are comfortable, and
are heated throughout.

The outsides of the houses, with their cheerful white cornices on
windows and doors, ornamental roofs and large windows with Flemish
shades and adorned with blooming plants and boxes of flowers, give an
impression of comfort and prosperity.

These homes are comfortably or luxuriously furnished, according to the
purses and tastes of the dwellers, with the ordinary modern furniture;
but every prosperous family possesses a few inherited pieces of
furniture. Nearly every home contains one _kas_, if not more, and a
small collection of porcelain, earthenware and silver. Oriental goods
from the Dutch colonies are not rare.

One peculiarity of the Dutch home is the arrangement for storing and
washing household linen. From the moment of a little girl’s birth her
female relatives begin to collect the household linen she will have as a
portion of her dowry; and the large cupboards and presses of every
well-to-do home are stored with linen and damask. As the family washing
is done but four times a year, great hampers are used as receptacles for
the soiled linen. These are lowered by ropes from the cranes at the top
of the house, placed in the canal boats, and carried to the meadows,
where they are washed in the canals and laid on the grass. There they
are sprinkled by means of curiously shaped wooden spoons with long
handles that are dipped in the canal. The clothes, again packed in the
hampers, are carried to the house, where they are mangled. The mangle
and the napkin-press are found in every house, and the press is not
unfrequently a decorative piece of furniture.

One of the most interesting provinces in Holland is Friesland—as yet
unspoiled by tourists and rich in old buildings, quaint villas and
picturesquely costumed inhabitants. Workum and Hindeloopen (celebrated
for its gaily-painted houses) both contain some good buildings of the
seventeenth century; while at Leeuwarden, the residence of the governors
of Friesland (of the Nassau-Dietz family, and ancestors of the reigning
house of Holland), the Frisian Museum, with its fine collection of
antiquities and porcelain, repays more than a brief visit. Here are two
rooms from Hindeloopen, correctly furnished; and many houses with
similar rooms still exist in that town. The walls of the smaller room
are encased with blue and white Dutch tiles, ornamented with Scriptural
or other subjects. The floor is laid with red and brown tiles. A cabinet
containing articles of porcelain and curious little silver ornaments
hangs upon the wall; and, hidden behind the painted woodwork, is a bed,
like a bunk in a steamer, to which access is gained by means of a small
and gaily painted ladder. The tables, chairs and other furniture are of
simple form, and are painted with bright flowers on a cream or white
background. The other room is similarly furnished, and has a number of
wax figures of men, women and children dressed in the Hindeloopen

The Rijks Museum also contains a Hindeloopen room with characteristic

We may, perhaps, be permitted to quote an extract from _On Dutch
Waterways_, by G. Christopher Davies, as a vivid picture of the modern
Frisian home.

“We crossed a tiny little bridge, over a tiny moat, passed through a
tiny and spotlessly clean yard to the back door. The front door of a
Dutch house in the country is for ornament only, and not for use, and is
rarely opened save to be cleaned and painted afresh. This house was the
most minutely clean and unique any of us had ever seen, and was a
perfect and rich museum of the wealthier side of Frisian life. In the
passage by the house door was a well, and the polish on its mahogany
cover was only exceeded by the glisten on the copper bucket, with brass
bands, and the shining brass chain which took the place of the ordinary
rope. The floor of the hall as well as the doors leading from it looked
as if they had only been painted yesterday.

“The kitchen, the living-room on the ground floor, the hall, a passage
and a staircase were lined with Dutch tiles, those in the passage and
dark staircase and corridors being white, or with a pattern or figure of
an animal painted on them. At the foot of the stairs were hung several
wooden bowls, painted with cupids and flowers in many colours. Climbing
up the narrow staircase, we were ushered into the sacred front room,
which would rarely be used for any purpose but show. It was the museum
of the house, where a collection of antique treasures were preserved in
a place which was worthy of them.

“The room was so jealously guarded from daylight by drawn inner and
outer blinds that we could see nothing distinctly until one shutter was
opened, and as we crept about cautiously over the highly polished oaken
floor we had an uneasy feeling that we ought to have taken our shoes
off, and, in fact, did debate in whispers whether we should do so or

“Three sides of the room were completely lined with tiles. Up to the
height of six feet or so the tiles were adorned with various Biblical
subjects, the Dutch conception of which was, in many instances,
extremely comical. Above this dado the tiles were plain white, except
that a blue bordering went round the oaken beams which supported the
roof. On the fourth side was a range of magnificent oak cabinets, with
lattice or fretwork doors, through the interstices of which the contents
were visible. These consisted of rare old china and antique silver
articles of every kind, spoons, teapots, pins, brooches, and even a
silver birdcage.

“Many of the things were so curious that we could assign neither use nor
ornament to them, and much of the interest of the collection was lost to
us for want of some one to explain the uses of what we saw. Probably the
following paragraph, which I have just seen in a weekly newspaper, may
give the true explanation of the small size of some of the objects: The
rich Dutch burghers of old believed very much in teaching children by
means of their playthings, and used to give them elaborate dolls’ houses
furnished with utensils in solid silver that worked perfectly, and were
exact models of those in daily use in the family. There were silver
lamps and coffee pots, dishes, spice boxes and everything in miniature.
Thus the little Dutch girls were housewives from their babyhood.

“Along the top of this rare old piece of furniture was suspended a row
of porcelain plates. About the room were curiously carved and designed
chairs and tables, some of the latter finely inlaid; and on the wall I
particularly noticed mirrors with tortoiseshell frames. The waning light
left us too little time to examine the contents of the room in detail,
but we all thought it the choicest thing of the kind we had ever seen in
public or private.”

In a study of Dutch furniture the canal boat should not be overlooked.
More than two centuries ago an English traveller asked if there were not
more people living on the water in Holland than on the land. In that
country canals lead from town to town and village to village, and boats
perform transport service. Vegetables, fruits, flowers and dairy
produce, flour and all kinds of merchandise are transported in boats;
furniture is moved from house to house by means of the canal boats, and
passengers are also carried.

Many families know no other home than the _trekschuyt_: cradled on the
drowsy waters the inmates grow to manhood and womanhood, and die in
these floating homes.

The traveller in Holland never fails to be interested in the canal boats
that are constantly arriving and departing in the _grachten_ of the
large cities; but he rarely sees their interiors. The following
description by Alphonse Esquiros shows how these canal homes are
furnished, and gives us an idea of the life spent there:

“Along nearly the whole length, which is about thirty feet, runs a box
or wooden house, frequently painted green; the roof, on which the
sailors walk to perform sundry operations, being covered with a layer of
pounded cockle shells. This house is divided into two compartments or
cabins; the larger one, situated near the prow, is common to passengers
and luggage. Here, during the winter, the worthy people, shut up as in a
box, swim along in a cloak of tobacco smoke, which relieves the tedium
of the voyage. In summer the wooden shutters are removed, and the hatch
is raised from the orifice by which the travellers descend. The second
compartment is the cabinet, called in Dutch the _roef_, which is entered
through folding doors. The second cabin is small, but fitted up with
some degree of taste. The windows, four or six in number, are glazed and
have red or white curtains, according to the season. In the centre is a
table with a copper vessel containing fire, and another smaller one to
receive cigar ash, both cleaned and polished in a manner only found in
Holland. Add to this, to complete the furniture, a mat, a looking-glass,
and, in winter for the ladies, a foot-warmer, called the _stoef_,
containing a small earthenware vessel with two or three lumps of lighted
peat in it. Along two sides of this cabin run cushioned benches, on
which the travellers sit down opposite to each other. Sometimes there
are on a shelf a few volumes belonging to the boat and forming a
floating library at the service of the studious passengers. The whole
national character is revealed in this simple and minute attention to
comfort. At the bows, the space not occupied by the cabinet is filled
with merchandise, bales, and barrels; while the poop is left to
travellers who wish to take the fresh air, and the helmsman, who steers
and smokes the while with the regularity of a steamer....

“On the _trekschuyten_ floats old Holland, with its language, manners
and conscientious and powerful originality. There are some
_trekschuyten_ in which you pass the night; at about six in the evening,
in the event of the master being polite (and we never met any who were
not so), he invites you to take tea. You then see a little cabinet
produced, containing cups, sugar-basin, and teapot of black earthenware,
which is not inelegant. The kettle is placed on a species of stove
covered with Chinese designs, and containing a vessel filled with
burning peat. At night the _roef_ is divided into two parts—a saloon and
a small sleeping-room, of which the curtains are raised. A common bed,
occupying the entire width of the cabin, and on which men and women
sleep honestly side by side, invites you to take your share of the
universal calm and rest of nature. This bed is composed of a mattress
and counterpane, and you lie down on it full dressed. During this period
the boat continues its noiseless voyage through the waters, which divide
in a silver furrow on either side the prow.”

The Dutchman has always been famous for his clinging to cleanliness,
order and symmetry. Cleanliness in the house and order in the garden,
with its clipped trees and hedges of formal designs and stiff flower
beds, still persist. The Dutch house of the present day is described by
the Rev. J. Ballingal _In the North Holland Polders_ as follows: “Their
houses are as often furnished in very modern style, though the furniture
is sure to be solid and good. They have the utmost contempt for anything
sham and flimsy. In their jewellery, of which a great deal is worn, they
would never think of buying false diamonds or imitation coral. Their
houses are models of neatness and cleanliness, but there is no trace of
aesthetic feeling. Symmetry is admired above everything. Trees planted
round the house at equal distances, trimmed to an exact height, and
whitewashed to a certain height of the trunk, windows and doors to
correspond, gates freshly painted, and gravel walks without a
foot-print—that is the country ideal. There is a story of a Boer who
fancied a piano would be a handsome addition to his best room, and
having bought one and got it placed, he returned a few weeks after to
the piano warehouse. ‘Did the instrument give satisfaction?’ the dealer
anxiously inquired. Oh, yes! yes! I’ve no complaint to make, for nobody
has even touched it. What annoys us is we don’t like the look of it in
the room. It is not _symmetrisch_, so I’ve come to buy another, exactly
the same, to stand in the opposite corner.’ Such a story is credible
enough when one sees the exactly similar way in which, through a large
district, houses are built, and trees planted round them, as if every
detail were compulsory. The love of cleanliness, too, has its
extravagances, as, for instance, in the neighbourhood we speak of we
once enjoyed the comic spectacle of a man sitting astride on the ridge
of his house, with a pail slung round his neck, scrubbing away at the

Holland has not escaped the present taste for the collection of
antiquities; but in that country where there is so deep a love of home,
and where the peasants guard their possessions with the same tenacity
and affection as the rich do their heirlooms, the collector is only
rewarded after long years of patient search. However, many of the
wealthy merchants and travellers, who are spending the well-earned
afternoon and evening of their lives in their country seats near Arnhem,
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Leyden, Dordrecht, Middelburg, Maestricht
and other large cities and small towns, are able to show rare and
interesting relics of the past. A house of a rich traveller will reflect
naturally enough the wanderings as well as the taste of its owner. The
spoils of Java, Dutch Guiana, the West Indies and other colonies, not to
mention those of Egypt, Spain and Italy, adorn his rooms and render his
cabinets highly interesting.

As a rule his study and the boudoirs of his wife and daughters, his
drawing-room with its adjoining conservatory, his library and his
bedrooms are furnished in the latest French taste. The dining-room is
frequently painted in pale green, and here are displayed in the
cupboards _vitrines_, cabinets, and on the hanging shelves his family
treasures, consisting of curious and beautifully engraved glass, silver,
and choice sets and individual pieces of porcelain. If, however, as is
often the case, the owner is the collector, then he takes especial
delight in the “antique-room,” which he has fitted up in the style of a
cabinet of the seventeenth century. The general impression of this
apartment is brown, derived not only from the panelled ceiling, high
wainscot and carved chimney-piece, but from the wall hangings of leather
with its raised patterns of faded gold and the high-backed carved

Brightness is contributed by the array of brass, porcelain, delft, rugs,
cushions and tiled fireplace, with its fine brass andirons, bellows and
other equipments. On the ledge of the wainscot handsome jars and vases
and other specimens of porcelain and delft are symmetrically arranged,
and on the wall hang plaques and brass sconces. The room receives
additional light from old brass chandeliers. A cabinet full of curios, a
large _kas_, a Bible on a stand, a spinning-wheel, foot-warmers, pipes
and old kitchen utensils are sure to be found here; and to these
articles we may add a carved napkin-press, a mangle, an old carved board
and rolling-pin for doing up fine linen, and an ancient carved, gilded
and painted sled.

Collecting is not confined to the individual; for the study of old
furniture and other antiquities that contribute so great an aid to the
historian in constructing the social life of the past and so great an
aid to the artist, architect and decorator, is widespread in Holland.
The great museums of the large cities contain many superb and valuable
specimens, and display them with great taste. In some cases whole rooms
have been removed from some old palace or _stadhouder’s_ house with
their original ceilings, chimney-pieces, hangings and furniture; and,
again, entire rooms have been fitted up in the characteristic style of
some province whose individual manners and customs are fast
disappearing. Many of the small towns have a collection of local
antiquities, which are, as a rule, attractively displayed; for the
members of the numerous Dutch antiquarian societies take great pride in
the history of their country. Sometimes, as in the case of the “Museum
van Kunstnyverheid” in Haarlem, the collection embraces the artistic
industries of ancient and modern times. This museum contains a
particularly fine collection of kitchen utensils and other articles and
furniture familiar to us in the pictures of Jan Steen, Maes and other
Dutch masters.

The museums of Belgium are equally rich in old furniture, tapestries and
other treasures.

                                THE END


 Abbaye de Montréal, 50;
   —— d’ Oignies, 25

 Abbey of Charlieu, 50;
   —— of Citeaux, 50;
   —— of Clairvaux, 50;
   —— of Cluny, 50;
   —— of Saint Maximin, 39;
   —— of Vézélay, 50

 Abbeys of Burgundy, 50

 Aelst, Peter van, 75

 _Æsop’s Fables_, 305

 Agnes Sorel, 22

 _Aiguière_, _Aiguières_, 10, 150, 151, 166

 Alart du Hameel, 62

 Albert, Archduke, 135, 137;
   —— and Isabella, Court of, 132

 Aliénor of Poitiers, quoted, 43–5, 46–7

 Alost, looms, 58

 Amsterdam, 136, 203, 208, 215, 239, 249, 270;
   ——, stores in, 237;
   ——, Leonard van, 221

 Amber, 72

 Andirons, 129

 Anil, 225

 Antwerp, 23, 73, 203, 135–6;
   ——, artists of, 101–3;
   ——, cabinets of, 114;
   ——, clavecin-makers of, 124–8;
   ——, wealth of, 101
 Arabesques, 65–6, 93

 _Arche_, 13

 Architecture, Early Renaissance, 177–8

 Ards, W., 51

 Armchairs, 7

 _Armoire_, _Armoires_, 11, 12, 13, 113–4, 204, 261

 Arphe, Juan de, 52

 Arras, 20, 21, 53;
   —— looms, 35–6

 Artisans, 1–3, 28, 47–8, 52, 53, 101–3

 Artists, 28, 67–8, 95–6, 103, 106–7, 118–20

 Artz, picture by, 313

 Aspruck, Franz, 165

 Asselijn, quoted, 182

 Auricular style, 111, 166–7, 300.
   _See_ _Genre auriculaire_

 Avignon, 58

 Avont, Peter van den, 165

 Babou, Philibert, 74

 Baby’s outfit, 199–200

 Baert, Jean, 304

 Baerze, Jacques de, 48

 _Bahut_, _Bahuts_, 12, 13, 66, 116, 140

 Baldwin, Count of Flanders, 19

 Ballingal, J., quoted, 324–5

 Banbosa, D. 212

 _Banc_, _Bancs_, 13–14, 140–1

 Banderole, 94

 _Banquiers_, 47

 Barbé, J. B., 165

 Bass viol, 129

 Bataille, Colin. _See_ Bataille, Nicholas;
   ——, Nicholas, 20, 37

 Battle of Nancy, 39;
   —— of Nicopolis, 36;
   —— of Pavia, 79

 Beaugrant, Guyot de, 52, 78

 Beaumetz, John de, 48, 50

 Beauneveu, André, 50

 Beauvais, tapestry of, 155–6, 304–5

 Becius, Joh., quoted, 259

 Bed, Beds, 43, 44, 70, 108–11, 147, 150, 151, 198, 266, 312;
   —— chest, 12;
   ——, folding, 70;
   ——, Josephine’s, 311;
   ——, Mary of Burgundy’s, 56;
   ——, Queen Anne’s, 274, 275, 276;
   ——, panelled, 191
   ——, from Rijks Museum, 110;
   —— tapestry, 56;
   ——, William’s, 274

 Bedroom, 9, 43–4,104–5. 190–1, 197–8;
   ——, Marot’s, 275–6;
   ——, Mary’s, 274, 275, 276

 Bedsteads, 266

 Beef-wood, 268

 Béhagle, Philippe, 156

 Bein, Heinrich van, 166

 Belgium, buildings in, 145–6;
   ——, museums of, 327

 Benches, 7

 Bérain, 164

 Berent, 62

 Berenberge, Pierre van, 51

 Bernagie, quoted, 194

 Bernard, Michel, 21

 Bernard, Pierre, quoted, 99–100

 Berruguete, 52

 Beughem, Louis van, 68

 Beveren, Cornelius van, 256

 Blommaert, Georges, 156

 Blondeel, Lancelot, 53, 79–80

 Blyenborgh, Adrian, 257;
   ——, Vrouwe van, 257–9, 259–60

 Board and trestles, 6, 15, 141

 Boegarden, Henry van, 51

 Bol, F., 170

 Bolsward, Church of, 5

 Bonaffé, quoted, 158–9

 Bonte, C. de, 61

 Borromini, 131, 309

 Borcht, Jacques van der, 304

 Bos, Cornelius, 95, 107

 Bosse, Abraham, 142, 147

 Boteram, Rinaldo, 59

 Bouche, P. P., 166

 Boucher, 300, 304, 305

 Boulle, A. C., 115, 271;
   ——, Pierre, 115

 Bouts, Derick, 15

 Bouttats, Gaspard, 166

 Brackets, 278, 279

 Brassware, 129

 Breda, Church of, 5

 Breughel, Pierre, the Elder, 88;
   ——, Peter, 175

 Bride’s basket, 200;
   —— crown, 200;
   —— house-furnishing, 255;
   —— throne, 200

 Broederlam, M., 48

 Broederkerk. _See_ Bolsward

 Broec, L. van den, 51

 Bronchorst, J. G., 170

 Bronzino, 73

 Bruges, 25, 32, 40;
   ——, looms of, 58;
   ——, Palais de Justice, 79;
   ——, St. Anne, 139;
   ——, St. Walburge (pulpit), 138

 Brulh, Van der, 52

 Brussels, 20, 21, 23, 25, 32, 306;
   —— looms, 57, 304;
   —— museum, 198, 254;
   —— school of, 306;
   —— tapestries, 73, 304

 Bruyn, Charles de, 51

 Bry, Theodore de, 94

 Buffet, 14–5,43;
   à deux corps, 140

 Bulteel, John, 51

 Burgundian etiquette, 98;
   —— style, the, 85–7

 Burgundy, Dukes of, 16, 31–2, 272;
   ——, House of, 31–2

 Buten, Martin van, 165

 Buytenweg, William, 165

 Cabinet, Cabinets, 11, 62, 89–90, 107, 114–5, 116, 204, 211, 226,
    238–9, 244, 245, 246, 262, 284, 300

 Cabinet-makers, 7, 8, 13, 159, 297

 Calin, 211

 Cambrai, Peace of, 79

 Cameryck, C. van, 122

 Campen, J. van. _See_ Kampen

 Canal-boats, furniture of, 321–4

 Candlesticks, 44–5, 60, 129

 Canning, quoted, 302

 Cape of Good Hope, 208

 Carest, Josse, 125

 Caron, 73

 Carpenter, 8

 Carpets, 19, 70, 243;
   ——, table, 263

 Carracks, 208–9

 Cartoons, tapestry, 58, 59, 73, 137, 156, 157

 Cartouche, 94

 Carvers, 2, 5, 50–3, 122

 Carving, Carvings, 2–6, 7, 80–3, 115, 171, 138–40, 279, 282, 301–2

 Caryatid, 94

 Cathedral of Antwerp, 27;
   —— of Dietz, 27;
   —— of Tournay, 27

 Catherine of Braganza, 284

 Cats, 269;
   —— head, 190

 Cavalli, M., 101

 Cecil, 214

 Cedar, 268

 Ceilings from the Binnenhof, 171, 172

 Cellini, 91, 92

 Ceramics, 107, 116–7, 284

 Chair, Chairs, 15, 16, 112–3, 142, 160–4, 266–7, 276–7

 Chambre, 17;
   —— de parade, 45

 Champeaux, 86

 Chandelier, Chandeliers, 10, 60, 129, 166, 283

 Charles I. (England), 136;
   —— II.(England), 201, 280, 284;
   —— —— chair, 163;
   —— V. (France), 20, 22, 26–7;
   —— V. (Emperor of Germany), 65, 75, 76, 79, 87, 97, 98, 198;
   —— VI. (France), 20, 22;
   —— VIII.(France), 65, 68;
   —— the Bold, 27, 40, 39–43, 54, 60, 61

 Chastelain, Georges, quoted, 35–6, 38

 Château de Schoemburg, 307

 Chest, chests, 6, 12–13, 15, 116, 139, 256, 257;
   —— bed, 12;
   —— -upon-chest, 12

 Chimney-pieces, 49, 53, 78–9, 88, 122, 170, 171, 181, 278

 China, 216, 299;
   —— mania, 281;
   —— -cabinets, 285, 300;
   —— -ware, 225, 239, 240, 245, 246, 247, 261, 281, 283. _See_

 Chinese boudoir, 172;
   —— style, 127, 305. _See_ _Chinoiserie_

 _Chinoiserie_, 273, 300

 Chippendale, 278

 Choir-stalls, 3–6, 77–8, 80–3, 122, 139

 Chronicle of St. Trond, 57

 Claas, Alaert, 95, 96

 Claire, Godefroid de, 6

 Classic architecture in furniture, 140;
   —— orders, 91;
   —— style, 65

 Clavecin, 124;
   —— makers, 124–8

 Clavichord, 124

 Clays, Pierre, 88

 Cleaning-utensils, 187

 Clerc, G. de, 24

 Clocks, 267, 278

 Cluny Museum, 13, 15, 48, 66, 160, 162, 163, 261, 267

 Coach-bed, 266

 Cock, Jerome, 94, 102, 103

 Cockatoo, 270

 Cocques, 153, 250

 Coeck of Alost, Peter, 87–8, 94, 103

 Coffers, 66, 257

 Colars, N., 5

 Colima, John van, 285

 Collaert, Adrian, 103, 121;
   —— Hans, 103

 Collan, J., 165

 Collection of porcelain, 206–7

 Collectors of tapestry, 20–2

 Cologne, 28

 Comans, Marc, 155

 Communes, The, 1, 2

 _Compartiment_, 93, 94

 Comptoir, 179, 188

 Constant, quoted, 225–6

 Constantinople, fall of, 64

 Cooking-utensils, 11, 151, 196, 268–9

 Coral, 72, 174

 Cordova, 23, 99

 Cosmo I., 77

 Cotgrave, 12

 Court-cupboard, 140

 _Court pointerie_, 17

 Coxie, Michel, 73

 Cradles, 198

 Credence, 12, 14–15, 140

 Cressent, 300

 Crispin de Passe, the Elder. _See_ Passe, Crispin van de

 Croissy, Fouquet de, 270

 Crusade, the First, 18

 Crusades, 1, 7

 Crusaders, 23

 _Cubiculum_, 141

 _Cuirs_, 93, 94, 103, 104, 114

 Cupboards, 62, 256, 257–8, 260

 Curios, 69, 71–2, 89, 114–5, 143, 204–5, 300–1

 Curtains, 17–8

 Cushions, 6, 13, 16, 69, 70, 71, 141

 Custode, Dominic, 107;
   ——, Raphael, 165

 _Daïs_, 4

 Dale, Lucas van, 221

 Dam, The, 145, 169

 Damme, 19

 Dangeau, quoted, 249

 Daret, Jehan, 39

 Davies, G. C., quoted, 319–21

 Decadence, The, 107, 131, 158–9, 165;
   —— of Dutch Art, 301;
   ——, Flemish, 203

 Decorations, 29, 200

 Decorative designers, 103, 106–7, 165–6

 D’Erembert, 25

 Defoe, quoted, 281

 Delft, looms, 77;
   —— ware, 204, 216, 220–2, 300;
   —— ware, Closett, 285;
   —— ware, Mary’s, 281

 De Parival, quoted, 185

 Develstein, Castle of, 228, 256, 260–1, 262

 De Vries. _See_ Vries, Hans V. de

 Dextras, The, 221

 Dijon, 32, 47;
   —— Museum, 48, 49, 51, 112;
   —— Palais de Justice, 85–6;
   —— St. Michel’s, 85

 Dinant, 10, 16, 32

 _Dinanderie_, 10–1, 129

 _Dinantairs_, 11

 Dixmuiden, St. Nicholas, 83

 Dogs, 269

 Dolls, 173, 176–7;
   —— houses, 172–6

 Don Juan of Austria, 100

 Dordin, Jacques. _See_ Dourdain

 Dordrecht, 256;
   ——, Groote Kerk, 80

 Dou, 250, 254

 Douay, looms, 58

 Dourdain, Jacques, 20

 _Dragée_, 45–6

 _Drageoir_, 45, 46–7

 _Dragonnades_, The, 272

 Drawing-table, The, 111–2, 141–2

 Dressing-cloth, 262;
   —— table, 262–3

 _Dressoir_, 9, 12, 14–5, 34, 37, 38, 40, 44, 45, 53, 105, 261, 278

 Du Cerceau, 104;
   ——, “the Dutch,” _See_ Vries, H. V. de

 Duke of Alva, 157;
   —— of Anjou, 20;
   —— of Berry, 20, 22, 50;
   —— of Orleans, 20, 22

 Dukes of Burgundy. _See_ Burgundy

 Dulcken, Peter van, 122

 Dürer, Albrecht, 76, 82, 93

 Dussen, Mrs. Lidia van der, 197–8

 Dutch, The, 203–4;
   —— Art, Decadence of, 301;
   —— artisans in London, 284;
   —— artists, 165, 166;
   —— beds, 312;
   —— carving, 301–2;
   —— collectors, 325–7;
   —— country houses, 315–6;
   —— in the East, 215–6, 237–8;
   —— farmhouses,313–5;
   —— furniture, 255, 317–8;
   —— homes and houses, 177–98, 188–91, 197–8, 311–2, 316–7;
   —— love of home, 172–3, 182–3;
   —— love of marquetry, 160;
   —— love of porcelain, 238–9;
   —— love of symmetry, 324–5;
   —— luxury, 249, 255–6, 302–3;
   —— mania for cleaning, 183–7, 194–5, 324;
   —— and English marriages, 279–80;
   —— navigators, 214–6;
   —— ships, 215, 226;
   —— taste, 204, 279, 280, 282, 284–5, 287

 Duysbourg, H. van, 51

 Ear, as decorative motive, 166. _See_ Auricular style

 Earl of Pembroke, 57;
   —— of Warwick, 57

 East India Company, 270;
   —— of England, 237, 284, 290

 East, trade with the, 64

 _Ébéniste_, 159

 Ebn’ Abd el Noûr el Hamîri et Toûnsi, 23

 Ebony, 7, 115, 268

 Ecclesiastical Art, 1–6, 7;
   —— hangings, 18–9

 Edrisi, 205

 Eeckhout, G. van der, 166

 Eenhoorn, L., 221

 Egmont, Counts of, 100

 Elizabeth, Queen, 117, 125, 214;
   —— Queen of Bohemia, 279

 Embroiderers, 56

 Embroideries, 17, 56, 69, 70, 71

 Empire Style, The, 310

 _Encoinçons_, 93, 104

 Engravers, 165

 England and Holland, relations of, 241

 English workmen, complaints of, 288;
   —— and Dutch pirates, 238

 Entrecolles, Father d’, quoted, 223–5

 _Escarbeau_, 16, 47, 266

 _Escritorios de la Chine_, 211

 Esquiros, Alphonse, quoted, 312–3, 322–4

 Este, C., quoted, 306–9

 Etiquette, 14, 33, 46–7, 98

 European patterns sent to the East, 223–5, 287, 288, 290, 296–7

 Evelyn, 249, 282, 284

 Eycken, John van der, 62

 _Faerie Queen, The_, quoted, 21

 Faïence, 91, 206, 301

 Faldstools, 7, 16

 Falkema, J. S., 166

 Faydherbe, L., 136

 Feast of the Pheasant, 33–4

 Feltham, Owen, 183, 185, 264

 Ferdinand of Aragon, 79

 Ferrara, 59

 _Fête de l’oiseau_, 303–4

 Fictoor, Lowys, 221

 Fire-basket, 199

 Fireplace, 62

 Flanders, 79, 203

 Flemings, artistic character of the, 84–5

 Flemish artisans, 306;
   —— artisans abroad, 52, 58–9, 74–5, 85, 117–8, 155, 156, 304;
   —— carvers, 50–3;
   —— glass-workers, 26–7;
   —— teachers, 24;
   —— looms, 58, 71, 74, 76–7, 304–5

 “Flemish Raphael,” The, 88

 Floreins, John, 52

 Florence, 28

 Floris, Cornelius, 102;
   ——, Francis, 88;
   ——, James, 102;
   —— Style, the, 102–3

 Flowers, 200, 201

 Folding-beds, 111;
   —— tables, 112

 Fontainebleau, 74;
   —— School of, 92

 Foot-stove, 263–4

 Forbin, Count de, quoted, 249

 Forms, 7

 Fouquet, 154

 Francis I., 74, 97

 François de la Planche, 155

 Francouart, 94

 Franquart, Jacques, 137

 French influence in Low Countries, 299–300

 Friar Hugo, 25

 Friesland, 318

 Frytom, F. van, 221

 Furnes, St. Walburge, 139

 Furnishing, house, 255

 Furnishings of Banquet Hall, 40–3

 Furniture, 141–2, 244–5;
   ——, canal boat, 322–4;
   ——, Duchess of Burgundy’s, 43–5;
   ——, Dutch painted, 319;
   ——, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century, 61–2;
   —— at Hampton Court, 282–4;
   ——, inlaid, 90, 107, 158–60;
   ——, Italian, 90–92;
   ——, Japanned, 297;
   ——, lacquered, 297, 298–9;
   ——, Margaret of Austria’s, 69–72;
   ——, mediaeval, 2, 6–7, 7–8, 11;
   —— mounts, 159;
   ——, Renaissance, 83–4, 92–5, 105, 107, 108–17, 139–42;
   ——, Seventeenth century, 146–52, 158–64;
   —— tapestry, 304–5. _See_ Cluny, Marquetry, Rijks

 Gaîne, 94

 Galle, Theodore, 107

 Galles, Phillip, 107

 Gance, J. van den, 51

 Gardens, Dutch, 279, 282

 Gazoni, quoted, 99

 _Genre auriculaire_, 111, 166–7, 300

 Geraerts, M., 106, 107

 Gerard, Marc, 93

 Gerbier, B., 127

 Ghent, 25, 32, 98;
   —— tapestry, 304

 Gheyn, Jacques de, 165

 Giacomo d’Angelo, 59

 Gibbons, Grinling, 279, 282

 Gilbert, Sir John, 214

 Gillot, 300

 Giovanna, Francesca, 59

 Giovanni da Udine, 73

 Glass, 26, 117–8, 207, 246;
   —— blowers, 117–8;
   —— makers, 101;
   ——, painted, 159;
   ——, painting on, 118;
   —— windows, 27

 Glosencamp, L., 53

 Glusomack, Henry, 48

 Goa, 209, 210, 214, 216

 Gobelins, 76, 154, 155, 157, 158, 272

 Godewijck, Margaretha, quoted, 174–5;
   ——, P. van, quoted, 172–3, 182–3

 Golden Age of Tapestry, 53

 Golden Fleece, Knights of the, 38;
   ——, Order of the, 16, 39, 41, 61, 89

 Goldsmiths, 5, 6, 61, 65;
   ——, Corporation of, 25

 Goldsmiths’ work, 24–6, 35, 37, 39, 44, 60

 Goler, Pierre, 115

 Goltius, Hubert, 88, 89

 Goten, Jacques van der, 304

 Gothic Art, 7, 67, 77–8;
   —— ornamentation, 3–5, 12;
   —— style, the, 62, 65, 77–8, 82–3, 105, 108, 133

 Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, 100, 106

 Gruuthuuse, pew, 53

 Guadameciles, 23

 Guicciardini, quoted, 73, 87, 101, 118–20, 123, 187

 Guilds of St. Luke, 28, 88, 120, 124, 125, 126, 128, 220–1

 Guionet, 26

 Haarlem, Groote Kerk, 82

 Hague, The, 170, 201, 265

 Hall, 192–3;
   ——, furniture of, 15–6

 Halles (Brussels), 51

 Hameidan, M. van der, 156

 Hampton Court Palace, 157, 274, 278, 280, 282–4

 Handel, clavecin of, 128

 Hangings, 7

 Harpsichords, 124, 267

 Harrewyn, J. J., 166

 Hee, Gilles de la, 88

 Hecker, A., 165

 Heemskerck, M. van, 96

 Héliot, B., 48

 Helt-Stocade, N. de, 170

 Hendricks, L., 165

 Henri II., style, 83;
   —— IV., 115, 154

 Henry le Backer, 61;
   —— VIII., 97

 Hervey, John, 285–7, 295

 Hervormde Kerk. _See_ Breda

 Heylbrouck, M., 166

 Hessels, Gerrit (Gerritz), 94, 165

 _Het Loo_, 170

 Hicks, Robert, 77

 Hill, Robert, quoted, 310–2

 Hindeloopen, 318, 319

 Hoevens, The van der, 221

 “Hogarth, The Dutch,” 301

 Holland, buildings, 145–6;
   ——, jealousy of, 302. _See_ Dutch Holme, Lacy, 279

 Holsteyn, C., 170

 _Hoogerhuis_, room from the, 172

 Hooghe, R. de, 165

 Hoogstraten, S. van, 250

 Hosemant, J., 58

 Houbraken, A., 165

 Hour-glasses, 268

 House-in-the-Wood, 170

 Houses, miniature, 173–6;
   Seventeenth century, 145–6

 Houtman, C., 215

 Howard, Admiral, 157

 _Huche_, _Huches_, 13, 66, 166

 _Huchiers_, 8, 13, 38–9, 53;
   —— _menuisiers_, 17

 Huet, 300

 Huguenot emigrants, 272, 284

 _Huis ten Bosch_, 170

 Hulst, John, 48

 Huygens, 298

 Hynart, Louis, 155

 Ibn Batuta, 205

 Importations, 226, 289, 292

 India, 205, 209, 216;
   —— -houses, 281, 285

 Inlaid furniture, 7, 90, 107, 158–160

 Interiors of the Great and Little Masters, 250–5

 Inventories, Dutch, 146–52, 191–2, 231–5, 241–6, 246–8, 257–61, 269

 Isabella of Bourbon, 43;
   —— of Castile, 79;
   —— of Portugal, 37

 _Isle des hermaphrodites, L’_, quoted, 159

 Italian furniture, 90–2

 Ivory, 7

 Jackenon of Nivelles, 5

 Jane of Burgundy, 17

 Janz, House of A. H., 188–91

 James II., 249, 280

 Japan, 209, 210, 226

 Japanned furniture, 297;
   —— goods, 289, 295

 Japanners, complaint of, 289, 297

 Jaspar, 6

 Java mahogany, 268

 Jehan de Bruges, 16, 59;
   —— de Dinant, 11

 Jewel-boxes, 263

 Jewelry, 242, 243, 262

 John of Brussels, 68

 John III., Count of Hainault, 25

 Johnson, Gerreit, 285

 Joiners, 8;
   —— Company, petition of, 288–9

 Joinville, C. de, quoted, 303–4

 Joanna the Mad, 65, 78

 _Jouées_, 3, 4

 Kampen, Jacob van, 145, 165, 169, 170, 172

 Kampen, Town-hall, 122

 Kams, The, 221

 Kamyn, Erasmus, 166

 Karcher, John, 77;
   ——, Nicholas, 77

 Karel de Moor, 171

 _Kas_, _Kasten_, 204, 244, 247, 256, 257, 260, 261

 Keizer, Albrecht de, 221;
   ——, Cornelis de, 221

 Keldermans, M., 62;
   ——, R., 78

 Key, William, 88

 Keyser, Hendrik de, 165, 169, 171

 King-wood, 260, 268

 Kitchen, 151, 189–90, 196, 268–9;
   ——, Rembrandt’s, 144;
   —— utensils, 11, 96, 151, 268–9

 Koedyck, 250, 251

 Kooge, Abraham de, 221

 Lacquer, 127, 211, 295–9;
   —— imitation of, 298

 Lacquered furniture, 297, 298–9

 Laeken, Palace of, 310–1

 Lairesse, G. de, 172, 301

 Lame, Jahn de, 101

 Landenspelder, John, 103

 Lange, Jacob de, home of, 246–8

 Launoy, 79

 Laval, P. de, quoted, 208–11

 Layens, M. de, 62

 Leather hangings, 71, 153–4, 171, 172;
   ——, paintings on, 3;
   ——, Spanish, 267

 Leathers, gilded. 99, 102, 133, 134, 135, 149, 150

 Le Brun, 154, 305

 Leeuwarden, 318

 Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, 37

 Le Maître à la Navette, 62

 Leo X., 75

 Leonardo da Vinci, 58

 Lepautre, 272–3

 Lerambert, 73

 Leyden, Lucas van, 9, 93, 95, 96

 Liefrinck, Hans, 103

 Liège, 23, 24, 25;
   ——, School of, 306;
   ——, tapestry-weavers of, 57

 Lievens, Jan, 170, 171

 Lignum vitæ, 256

 Lille, 23, 33, 156, 304;
   —— looms, 58;
   —— Museum, 300;
   ——, School of, 300, 306

 Linen, 192, 256, 257, 258, 318;
   ——, paintings on, 13;
   ——, printed, 6

 Linen-fold pattern, 12, 93, 105

 Linkerk, Peter, 48

 Linschoten, J. H. van, quoted, 226

 Lisbon, 99, 117, 208, 214, 215

 _Lit en housse_, 147

 Living-room, 189

 Lochon, M. van, 165

 Lodeweycke, H. 165

 Lombard, Lambert, 88–9

 Looms, Flemish, 16, 19

 Louis XII., 65, 68;
   —— XIII., 142;
   —— Napoleon, 170, 310;
   —— Quatorze Period, 270–3;
   —— Quinze Period, 270, 300, 301, 306, 309

 Louvain, St. Michael’s, 139;
   ——, Town-hall, 62

 Louvre, 115, 154, 271

 Lower, Sir John, quoted, 201–2

 Loyet, Gérard, 61

 Lucidel, Nicholas, 88

 _Luifel_, 177, 179

 Lute, 129

 Lutma, John, 166

 Luxury, 32–43, 100–1, 259, 302–3

 Maarken, 312

 Macé, Jean, 115

 _Mademoiselle, La Grande_, quoted, 287–8

 Madrid, looms, 304

 Maes, 327

 Maestricht, 25

 Majolica factory, 101

 Malaca, 209

 Maldives, 210

 Mantua, 59

 Mantegna, Andrea, 58, 59

 Mantel-piece, 283

 Maps, Tapestry, 77

 Marchaut, Countess of Artois, 21

 Margaret of Austria, 47, 67–72, 78, 79, 87, 89, 97, 99;
   —— of York, 40

 Marguerite of Valois, 99–101

 Marie Elizabeth, 303–4;
   —— de Medici, 137

 Marot, Daniel, 164, 272, 273–8, 280, 282, 287;
   —— style, 267

 Marquetry, 91, 108, 111, 112, 158–60

 Marville, John de, 48, 49

 Mary of Burgundy, 45, 56, 67, 79;
   —— of Hungary, 97–8;
   —— of Orange, 279;
   ——, Queen of England, 171, 280–2, 283, 284, 285

 Mascarons, 277, 278

 Masters, The Great, 301;
   ——, the Little, 250, 255, 301

 Matsys, C., 103

 Matteo del Nassaro, 73

 Mauritshuis, The, 170, 201

 Maurice of Nassau, Count John, 170

 Maussel, Guillaume, 38

 Maximilian, 79

 Mazarin, Cardinal, 113, 115, 270, 287

 Mechlin, 23, 78;
   ——, house in, 146–52

 Mediaeval room, 9

 Meissonnier, 300, 309

 Melter, J. de, 156

 Memling, 9, 54, 58

 Mendelslo, quoted, 225, 227

 Mendoza, 211–2

 Mercurius, 264

 Metal chairs, 16;
   ——, wrought, 13

 Methwold, quoted, 226

 Metsu, 250, 253, 254

 Meyt, Conrad, 68–9

 Michael Angelo, 85, 131, 132

 Micker, James, 165

 Middelburg, looms, 58, 77

 Mierevelt, Gertrude van, 191–2

 Milan, 59

 Mindanao, Queen of, 205–6

 Miniatures of MSS., importance of, 8

 Mirrors, 260, 264–5, 268, 277, 283

 _Miséricorde_, The, 3

 Moelenere, Thierry de, House of, 88

 Molensleyer, Godefroy den, 51;
   ——, Henry den, 51

 Monet, 11–2

 Monkeys, 128, 135, 269–70;
   —— in decoration, 128, 305. _See_ _Singerie_

 Montagu, Lady Mary, quoted, 281

 Montoyer, 308

 Moonen, quoted, 238

 Morales, A., quoted, 99

 Moretus, 101, 137

 Mortlake tapestry, 154, 156–7

 Mosquito net, 71

 Mostaert, Jean, 87

 Mosyn, M., 166

 Moucheron, 166, 173

 Mounts, Furniture, 159

 Muntink, A., 165

 _Museaux_, 3

 Museum van Kunstnyverheid, 327

 Music, love of, 122–3

 Musical instruments, 123–9

 Musicians, list of, 123

 _Nachtbouquet_, 262

 Nancy, looms, 156

 Napkin basket, 199

 Napolitanus, C., quoted, 178, 186–7

 Natalis, M., 165

 Needlework, 281. _See_ Embroiderers

 Netherland East India Company, 216

 Netherlands, Luxury in the, 100–1

 Neusse, A., 304

 New Amsterdam, 241

 New Year’s Gifts to Queen Elizabeth, 214

 _Niello_, 25–6

 Nieucasteel, Nicholas de, 88

 Nispen, Van, 256–7

 Nivelles, Church of, 5

 Nolpe, Peter, 166

 Northampton, Earl of, 240–1

 Noye, Jacques van, 106;
   —— Sebastian van, 106

 Numismatics, 88, 89

 Nutwood, 238, 247, 248, 260, 268

 Oak, 7, 268

 Oesterham, Pieter, 221

 _Old Brechtje_, quoted, 199

 Olive-wood, 268

 Olivier de la Marche, quoted, 32, 42–3

 Oost, Peter van, 51

 Oppenord, G. M., 272, 300, 309

 Oppenordt, C. J., 271

 _Or bazané_, 99

 _Orfèvres._ _See_ Goldsmiths

 _Orfèvrerie_, 24–6

 Oriental goods, 7, 209, 240, 242, 243, 244, 246, 285, 286–7

 Orley, Bernard van, 73, 75, 76, 87

 Ornamentation, Renaissance, 92–6

 Ornaments, decorative, 165–6

 Ort, A. van, 101

 Oudenarde, 78;
   ——, Hôtel de Ville, 122;
   ——, looms, 58, 304

 Paintings, 69

 _Palissandre_, 268

 Palissy, 117

 Panellings, 11, 12, 93, 105, 171, 172

 Panelled-bed, 191

 Pand, Le, 73

 Pannemaker, André, 156;
   ——, François, 156;
   ——, William de, 76

 _Paraclose_, The, 3, 4

 Paris, 20, 21

 Parrots, 269, 270

 Passe, Crispin de, or van de, 94, 106, 107, 120–1, 142, 162, 171, 203

 Passo, P., 101

 Paston, John, quoted, 40

 Pauli, André, 165

 Patin, Charles, quoted, 249–50

 Peacocks, 269

 Pekin, 299

 Penon, J. H., 38

 Pentin, J., 61

 Peter the Great, 304;
   —— of Campana, 73

 Pets, 134, 135, 269–70

 Perréal, John, 67–8

 Pewter, 191, 261

 Pheasants, 269

 Philibert of Savoy, 67, 68

 Philip de Comines, 32;
   —— the Bold, 20, 31, 47, 49–50, 55;
   —— the Good, 33–8, 55–6;
   —— (of Spain), 79;
   —— II., 88, 89, 98, 100, 116, 215;
   —— III., 137;
   —— IV., 137

 Pictures, 245, 247–8

 Pietersz, Gerrit, 221;
   —— Hermann, 220

 Pietra-dura, 159

 Pigapheta, A., 205–6, 207

 Pilaster, 93

 Pillow, 12

 Pirates, 238

 Pitsembourg, The, 146–52

 Plantin, Christopher, 101

 Plantin-Moretus house, 101–2

 Pointed Style, The, 3

 _Pommes_, 275, 276, 277

 Porcelain, 116, 117, 177, 181–90, 191,196, 204, 205–8, 210–4, 216–20,
    222–8, 231–5, 237, 238–9, 260, 261, 285, 286–7;
   ——, marks on, 228;
   ——, Marot’s use of, 278;
   ——, prices of, 239;
   —— room, verse on, 278–9

 Pordenone, 73

 Portugal, trade with, 208–13

 Portuguese navigators, 205, 208

 Post, Pieter, 170

 Pourbus, Peter, 80

 Primaticcio, 73

 _Prince Butler’s Tale_, 290–2

 Princess Amalia of Solms, 170

 Prindale, J. M. H. van, 48, 51

 Printing, 64;
   —— presses, 101–2

 Pynackers, The, 221

 Quarré, Jean, 117

 Queen Anne’s bed, 274, 275, 276

 Queen Anne Style, 274, 276, 309

 Quellin, Artus, 137–8, 165, 169, 170

 Quillyn, Artus. _See_ Quellin

 Rabel, Daniel, 167

 Raephorst, B. van, 51

 Rambouillet, Mme. de, 240

 Raphael, 59, 91, 73, 74, 75, 91, 161

 Rasch, A., 53

 _Reasons, The_, quoted, 290

 _Régence_ period, 270, 300, 306, 309

 Regency style, 267

 _Relai_, 11–2

 Rembrandt, 143–4, 250;
   ——, house, furniture and porcelain, 143–4

 Renaissance, Dawn of the, 63–7;
   —— in Flanders, 84;
   —— furniture, 92–5, 101, 108–17, 139–42;
   —— ornaments, 92–96

 _Retables_, 48

 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 272

 Reygensbergh, A., 221

 Rheims, 17, 35

 Rijks Museum, 61, 62, 110, 124, 129, 147, 154, 160, 162, 164, 171, 172,
    175, 250, 252, 261, 267, 313, 319

 Richard II., 57

 Robbia, Luca della, 91

 Robert, Duke of Albany, 57;
   —— of Sicily, 18

 _Rocaille_, 276, 300, 309

 Roelants, John, 62

 _Roman_, The, 19

 Romano, Giulio, 59, 73

 Rooms, 134–5, 171, 172

 Root-wood, 261, 262

 Roovere, Sara de, 257

 Rost, John, 77

 Rozmital, Leo van, 33

 Rubens, 131, 132–3, 135–7, 157–8, 203;
   ——, house of, 132–4;
   —— pupils of, 136, 137;
   —— School of, 94

 Ruckers, Andreas, 127–8;
   ——, Andreas the Younger, 128;
   ——, Christofel, 128;
   ——, Hans, 125–6;
   ——, Jean, 126–7

 Rugs, 7

 Sablière, Marchioness de, 230

 Sacerdan. _See_ Sacredaan

 Sacredaan-wood, 143, 189, 197, 198, 229, 255, 256, 257, 266, 268

 Sadeler, Ægidius, 106, 107

 Saffron-pots, 228

 Saint-Florent of Saumur, Monastery of, 19;
   —— Gertrude, Louvain, 77–8;
   —— Waltrude in Herentals, altar-piece, 5

 _Salutation angélique_, The, 9–10

 Salviati, 73

 Sambin, Hughes, 85–6

 Samedo, quoted, 218–9

 Sandom, 53

 Sarto, A. del, 73

 Schelden, Paul van, 78;
   ——, Peter van, 78

 Scheldein, Jean van der, 122

 Schentz, P., 166

 School of Fontainebleau, 92;
   —— of Liège, 306;
   —— of Lille, 300, 306;
   —— of Rhine, 25;
   —— of Rubens, 94

 Scent-boxes, 263

 Schubler, 301

 Serlio, Sebastian, 74, 87, 92

 _Serviettes_, 72

 Settle. _See_ _Banc_

 Shah Rukh, 205

 Sheldon, William, 77

 Ships, Portuguese, 208–9

 Show-rooms, 194, 195–6

 Sideboards, 12, 14–5, 201

 Sidney, Henry, 239

 Silk manufactory, Palermo, 18

 Silver, 35, 39–40, 41, 45, 60, 150, 199, 201, 242, 243, 260–1, 269

 _Singerie_, 270, 300. _See_ Monkeys

 Shaw’s _Travels Through Holland_, quoted, 303

 Sluter, Nicholas, 47, 49, 50

 Smet, Roger de, 53

 Smout, Williken, 48

 Smuggling, 302

 Sopha, The, 273

 South Kensington Museum, 24

 Soutman, Peter, 165

 Spanish Armada tapestry, 157;
   —— chair, 160–1;
   —— influence in the Netherlands, 98–9

 Spenser, 21

 Spierinck, Franz, 77, 157

 Spinets, 124, 267

 Staete, P. de, 51

 Stavelot, 25

 Steen, Jon, 250, 252, 253, 254, 327

 Steen Museum, The, 88

 Steenberch, Adam, 51

 Stedelijk Museum, 309

 _Stoef._ _See_ Foot-stove

 Stool, 16, 47

 Stradan, J., beds by, 109

 Stuarts as art connoisseurs, 249, 280

 Style, Auricular, 111, 166–7, 300;
   ——, Chinese, 127, 305 (_see_ _Chinoiserie_);
   ——, Classic, 65;
   ——, Empire, 310;
   ——, Floris, 102–3;
   ——, Gothic, 62, 65, 77–8, 82–3, 105, 108, 133;
   ——, Henri II., 83;
   ——, —— Louis Quatorze, 270 272;
   —— Louis Quinze, 270, 300, 301, 306, 309;
   ——, Marot, 267;
   ——, Pointed, 3;
   ——, Queen Anne, 224, 276, 309;
   —— Refugié, 272–3, 284;
   ——, Regency or Régence, 267;
   —— Rubens, 132, 136, 142, 165;
   ——, William and Mary, 274

 Sultan Bajazet, 36–7

 Sumptuary Laws, 288

 Sybrandszoon, Diderik, 83

 Table in Utrecht Museum, 310

 Tables, 7, 15, 111–2, 141–2, 266, 277–8;
   Table-bell, 268;
   —— -carpet, 263;
   —— -cover, 263;
   —— and trestles, 53

 Taillebert, V., 122

 Tapestry, Tapestries, 6, 17–8. 19–22, 36–7, 39, 44, 53–9, 69–70, 72–7,
    100–1, 154–8, 304–5. _See_ Leather.
   —— weavers, 19–21, 57–9, 156–7, 304

 _Tapisserie._ _See_ Tapestry

 Tea, 204, 226, 230;
   ——, afternoon, 229–30;
   —— buffet, 228;
   ——, Dutch poet on, 230;
   —— pots, 228;
   —— room, 227–9;
   —— sets, 228;
   —— table, 228

 _Tenières_, 156

 Teniers, 156, 250, 254

 Terburg, 250, 253

 Terme, 94

 Tetzel, quoted, 33

 Textiles, 18, 292–3

 Theophilus, 23

 Theorbo, 129

 Thornhill, Sir James, 276

 Thuys, J., 166

 Tiles, 179, 180

 Titian, 73, 161

 Toilet-table, 262–3

 Tournay, 20, 21, 25, 32

 Toys, 173–4, 176, 242, 244, 321

 Trade with the East, 64, 207, 208, 213, 214–20, 226, 237–8, 287,
    288–92, 299;
   —— _and Navigation of Great Britain Considered_, 302, 303

 Travellers, 205;
   —— in Holland, quoted, 183–7

 _Trekschuyt_, The, 322

 Trestles, 7, 53

 Trèves, 39

 Troost, Cornelis, 301

 Trundle-bed, 266

 Trunk, 12

 Tulips, 204

 Turquet, Pierre, 53

 Turkey-work, 243

 Tverff, J. van der, 165

 Unteutsch, F. 166

 Upholstery, 234, 274

 Utrecht Museum, 173, 310;
   ——, Peace of, 310

 Valance, 245

 Valenciennes, looms, 58

 Valentin d’Arras, 59

 Van Dyck, 157

 Van Eycks, The, 54, 55, 58

 Van Varick, Mrs., possessions, 241–6, 260;
   ——, toys of, 176

 Van Loo, 305

 Varnish-tree, 296

 Vasari, quoted, 75–6

 Vases, 278

 Velasquez, 161

 Venice, 23, 27, 64, 208

 Venetian glass, 117, 264, 265

 Verberckt, Jacques, 306

 Verbrugghen, Peter, 138

 _Verdures_, 156

 Verhagen, 221

 Vermay, Jan, 76

 _Vernis Martin_, 298

 Veronese, Paul, 73

 Verrio, 282

 Versailles, 272, 306

 Vestibule, 179

 Vigarny, P., 52

 Villain, Jehan, 61

 Vilvorde Church, 139

 Vinckboons, Philip, 169, 171

 _Viol da gamba_, 129

 Violet-wood, 268

 Virginals, 126, 127

 Vischer, G., 166;

 Visscher, Roemer, quoted, 264

 Vlaenders, Jan, 51

 Voeren, G. van der, 62

 _Voorhuis_, The, 179, 194, 227, 257

 _Voyeuse_, 113

 Vriendt, Cornelius de, 102;
   ——, Floris de, 102

 Vries, Hans Vredemann de, 94, 95, 103–6, 109, 141, 142, 165, 203;
   ——, Paul de, 104, 120

 Vrij, De, 255

 Vroom, H. C. de, 157

 Waydere, M. de, 78

 Wall-cabinets, 115

 Walnut, 84, 158, 268

 Wars of the Roses, 64

 Washing of linen, 318

 Watches, 267

 Watervliet, Van, 89

 Watteau, 300, 305

 Waulsort, 25

 Waydere, M. de, 78

 Weenix, 250, 254

 Wernier, 304

 Werve, Nicholas van de, 47, 50

 Westerhem, J. de, 39

 Westerhen, Roger, 48

 Weyden Roger, van der, 55

 Wilhelmina, 170

 William III. of England, 231, 273, 279, 297;
   —— and Mary Style, 274

 Willow Plate, 287

 Windebank, Sir F., 127

 Window-seats, 11

 Windows, glass, 118;
   ——, painted, 181

 Winter, Antony, 166

 Wood-carvers, 50–3, 62;
   —— -carving, 2, 6, 7, 49, 78, 122, 138, 146;
   —— -work, 8, 11–2.
   _See_ Panelling

 Woods, 257, 268;
   ——, exotic, 158

 Work-boxes, 263

 Workmen, 8, 28

 Workum, 318

 Wren, Sir Christopher, 280, 282

 Ypres, 32;
   ——, looms, 58;
   ——, St. Martin’s, 122

   _Butler and Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London_


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Did not change the word ‘jouées’ as it was used consistently. The
      word ‘joues’ might be more appropriate.
 2. "In Bruitlaen" might be an English-pseudo-phonetic transcription of
      "In Bruikleen" (On Loan). Did not change.
 3. Jehan/Jan/Jean Maluel/Malouel and Hennequin/Hannequin van/of/de
      Prindale/Prindael are likely two separate individuals. They are
      considered sometimes as the same person and sometimes as different
      persons. Did not change.
 4. Did not attempt to correct any English translation errors from the
 5. Did not change ‘daïs’ as it is an old spelling of ‘dais’.
 6. Changed ‘Itedelijk’ to ‘Stedelijk’ on p. vii.
 7. Changed ‘Aubri de Bourguinon’ to ‘Aubri de Bourguignon’ on p. 37.
 8. Changed ‘maestra di panni de razza’ to ‘maestra di panni de arazzi’
      on p. 59.
 9. Changed ‘Turween’ to ‘Terween’ on p. 82.
10. Changed ‘Judocus Hondius’ to ‘Jodocus Hondius’ on p. 107.
11. Added ‘in’ before ‘1589’ on p. 116.
12. Changed ‘tart pannen’ to ‘taart pannen’ on p. 151.
13. Did not change the dates (1689–98) provided for Heinrich van Bein on
      p. 166. Could not determine the actual lifespan.
14. Changed ‘studied with Diamonds’ to ‘studded with Diamonds’ on p.
15. Changed ‘They left the Texel’ to ‘They left Texel’ on p. 215.
16. Changed ‘household gods’ to ‘household goods’ on p. 242.
17. Silently corrected typographical errors.
18. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
19. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
20. Superscripts are denoted by a carat before a single superscript
      character or a series of superscripted characters enclosed in
      curly braces, e.g. M^r. or M^{ister}.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dutch and Flemish Furniture" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.