By John Michael Montias

During this examine of Amsterdam's Golden Age cultural elite, John Michael Montias analyzes documents of auctions from the Orphan Chamber of Amsterdam in the course of the first 1/2 the 17th century, revealing a wealth of knowledge on a few 2,000 paintings buyers' neighborhood origins, social and spiritual affiliations, wealth, and aesthetic personal tastes.
Chapters concentration not just at the paintings buyers who acquired at those auctions, but in addition on dealers who had distinct connections with person artists.

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96 I have divided these sales results into two periods, 1597 to 1619 and 1620 to 1638, which show clearly marked differences. 1 covers 240 sales from 1597 to 1619 and 275 sales from 1620 to 1638 (it excludes nine very small sales included in the full sample). The art objects sold in both these periods are shown in this table. In the first period (1597-1619), paintings predominated both as a percentage of all lots sold (77 percent) and even more of the total value of lots sold (92 percent). In the second, the importance of drawings and prints increased significantly.

In most, but by no means all, the other cases, he wrote down the first name and patronymic. , “In het Soutvat”). 111 Among those without a family name, the percentage fell to 54 percent. 112 When individuals known only by their relation to the owners of the goods sold (“the widow”, “Abraham the son”, the “guardian”, the “godmother of Trijntje”) are added to the “identified set”, the number of identified buyers rises from 72 to 80 percent. Both in the period 1597-1619 and in the period 1620-1638, almost exactly 87 percent of the buyers were men and 13 percent women.

Schaerwacht bought 60 lots at 46 sales between 1609 and 1636. In the single year 1625, her purchases of works of art are recorded in 13 sales. 5 ƒ for another. 125 From these statistics, it emerges that uitdraagsters played a significant role as redistributors of art works, a role that was perhaps greater than had hitherto been suspected. As I have already pointed out, many artist-painters and other professionals were also resellers. This is very likely in the case of painters such as Adriaen van Nieulandt, Barend van Someren and Jan Basse, but I have not classified them in the category of art dealers because I suspect that many, if not most, of their purchases were for their workshop.

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