On loan to the Museum Prinsenhof in Delft straight from the permanent collection of the Rijksmuseum.
The Bed of State fence Baluster of Amalia van Solms (1602-1675), Godmother of the House of Orange, gifted to her by the VOC.
We are very proud, because we discovered this piece, which was purchased by the Rijksmuseum with help of a generous gift.
In about 1638, Amalia van Solms, who was very influential in promoting ‘oriental’ crafts in the Netherlands, expressed her wish to the VOC for a Japanese lacquered balustrade she intended to replace the existing gilded balustrade in her bedroom in her residence in Het Stadhouderlijk Kwartier in Het Binnenhof in The Hague. The Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC duly ordered in Japan an exorbitant black-and-gold-lacquered balustrade in Japan and presented it to Amalia van Solms in 1641. Instead of in Het Stadhouderlijk Kwartier, the balustrade was eventually installed in Amalia’s bedroom in the recently finished palace Huis ten Bosch in 1647.
No illustrations of the balustrade survived, and only single balusters, some cut length-wise, reappeared incorporated in a secrétaire, a side cabinet and a piano. Most likely, the parts were spread and sold within furniture-makers and restorers circles in France, used, taken apart or even polished, and all are lost in time.
Go and see it in the exhibition ‘Amalia. Ambition and Allure’ from 16 September 2022 - 8 January 2023.