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Rococo Canal House in Amsterdam


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After Guild School I spend three days in Amsterdam before going home, I had the privilege of a private tour of one of the best preserved Rococo Canal houses in Amsterdam. The owner is an antique dealer that often comes to South Africa and I got talking to him at an antique fair here in Johannesburg a few weeks ago. I asked him about his Amsterdam showroom which just happens to be his own house which is basically almost a living museum and showroom rolled into one.

The house was build in 1648 as a merchant's house and therefore not very big, the front of the house was used as offices in those days. In the 1700's the house was bought by somebody with a bit of money, he redecorated the house in rococo style, because the house was too small for people with lots of money and had owners with no money in the next few hundred years the house was mercifully preserved in Rococo style.

The narrow outside facade of the house which is on the left in the photo.


The entrance hall with it's fabulous bookmarked marble floor.




The beautiful ladder style staircase, the owner that changed it into Rococo style did not alter the basis bones of the original architecture.


When you go up the stairs you get to the light well with the goddess Fame blowing her Trumpet on the ceiling.


Some of the details on the second floor hall just under the light well.



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Next we went down the stairs and came to the second hallway where turning left took you behind the stairs and into the drawing room which connects to the dining room via an office area. This area was changed into sleeping quarters for five brothers in the 1960's, thankfully the father used boards on top of the existing walls and when the present owner removed them when he did restoration work on the house he found the original wall panelling behind the 1960's decoration.

The drawing room.


The office area where the merchant in the 1600's did some of his office work too with the drawing room in the back.


A fantastic Rococo armoire in the dining room.


We went back into the second hallway that leads to the back part of the house, this is the statue of Minerva, the goddess of war with the Christian emblems of the burning heart, bible and anchor which represents love, faith and hope.


From here you go down the stairs into the kitchen.


I love this wall cupboard!


And last but not least the modern bathroom in a room down more stairs that was probably the cellars. 


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Really gorgeous! The details are fantastic and what a treat to be there in person--

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I would love to see a miniature of this home.  There are so many design elements on the walls that are frequently seen in furnishings, even today.  And I have seen the little wall cabinet that you mentioned before, too in reproduction furnishings when I was searching for Maitland (Dollhouse type) liquor cabinets.  It is a lovely home... my mind wanders - were the ceilings 13' or 14' or higher?  was the railing metal or wood?  The stairs are quite steep in the ratio of the rise and the run, I would not want to be moving my dresser up those stairs, so I hope the house was / will be sold furnished for the upper floors!  It would be fun to step back in time and watch them apply the decoration to the walls.

Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

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Tamra I am not sure how high the ceilings were but they are certainly very high, the stair railings were metal. All these narrow Amsterdam houses have a big hook outside at the top floor which they use to hoist the furniture up and through the windows.

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Here are three links showing how the Amsterdammers move their large pieces of furniture, I am not so sure I would want to do it this way. And then big pieces of antique furniture were often build n such a way that you could take it apart to move it. I have a 3.3 meter long 1940's german cupboard that comes apart in pieces too, although we have never taken it apart.




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Ooookkkayy... note to self - do not live in skinny buildings with narrow staircases!  I wonder if Ikea's ready to build furniture is really popular in the Netherlands! Moving is stressful, but moving furniture by rope and pulley - just doesn't sound like fun for your dresser or armoir.

I know they move pianos in this manner, and even though our windows are large - all more then 5' tall, I can't imagine moving a dresser through our window openings.  I'll suggest this to my husband, next time I buy some large piece of furniture for a bedroom - that should get me some kind of reaction.



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Thanks so much Elga, for sharing these pictures.  Finally got to see them on my laptop.  As I mentioned, I think you showed the small hanging cabinet on FaceBook, and I said that I had one of these cabinets once and have no idea what happened to it.  It was lovely.  Regarding the Rococo armoire, my Antwerp baby house came apart in 21 pieces.  It would have been so difficult to move if it didn't, it was very heavy.  This includes the 9 room boxes I had constructed to make it a baby house.  There were 5 drawers built into the lower portion (could be used to hold silverware, as they were shallow drawers) of the piece which really looked like a Spanish cassone more than a Belgian or Dutch piece.  I always believed it was a "marriage" and someone joined the upper and lower parts using decorative pieces of wood to make it go together.  I had it completely restored when I bought it, so work has always been done on it throughout its history.  Have no idea where it is located today as I sold it at my 2014 auction.

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Elga, this is gorgeous! Such artisan workmanship! I also have a large armoire that comes apart. Mine has much simpler lines than that beautiful Rocco piece. I've often thought of reproducing it in miniature.


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