The Spiegelkwartier Buddha was a long-time resident of Amsterdam’s stylish antiques district.
PS The great thing about window shopping with a camera is that you get to keep what you like. Even if it’s a vast wooden Buddha!
If you collect antiques or modern art, the Spiegelkwartier is the place to go. Just across the bridge opposite the Rijksmuseum, you will find this historical neighbourhood with its typical old Dutch houses. This area had been the heart of the national art and antiques trade for the past eighty years and has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There are few places in the world where you will find such a stunning choice of art and antiques.
Over seventy specialised art and antique dealers offer a wide variety of objects, ranging from archeological finds to this Buddha, 17th century furniture, glass and Dutch Delftware, from oriental art to Art Nouveau, from tribal art to contemporary art, from old medical instruments and clocks to jewellery and, last but not least, icons, paintings and old master prints.
In the Spiegelkwartier you can also have a drink or a bite to eat on almost every street corner. A fun way to get to the Spiegelkwartier and the nearby Rijksmuseum, is with the CANAL-BUS.
Today one finds fine art and antiques dealers in almost every house in the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat and on the Spiegelgracht. This is the result of a historical development of almost 120 years. Without the building of the renown Rijksmuseum the neighborhood would surely have looked very different.
Before the Rijksmuseum was built (1877/1885) there used to be a large windmill on that spot. The existing small business like watchmakers, carpenters, furniture repair shops etc, slowly changed into art and antique dealers. According to old address books the first antique dealer started in 1900 in de Kerkstraat nr 219. In 1910 there are already seven antique shops mentioned. After the war the number of galleries and shops really extended.
If one looks at the objects bought by the Rijksmuseum in the Spiegelkwartier one notices that it mainly concerns objects like furniture, glass, textile and earthenware. This is not surprising since the shops were specialized in these antiquities. The proof of a historically grown connection with the Rijksmuseum is the exhibition in 1985 of a selection of objects bought in the Spiegelkwartier. The first acquisition dates back to 1914 but the museum still buys from dealers in the Spiegelkwartier.