Lot 3006
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Arts of the East: Asian Ceramics & Works of Art | 16 December 2021
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An important Japanese lacquer kodansu cabinet

Edo period (1603-1867), late 17th - early 18th century, Japan

Original possession of Jan Cock Blomhoff, director of Decima, and passed down through the family. A rectangular chest of drawers behind a door. The sides and top decorated in gold and brown in takamaki-e (raised relief) on a black ground, showing buildings in a mountainous landscape. Not signed.

L 30 cm, W 18.5 cm, H 20 cm

Cock Blomhoffs Box (‘kistje’), once cherished by Jan van der Hoop.

A.N.J. Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop ('Jan van der Hoop' 1893 - 1969), became famous as one of the first airpost pilots to Batavia where he arrived from Schiphol in 1924 with the Fokker F-VII H-NACC. [1] A few years later he returned to the Indies to work as a historian, archaeologist and as curator of “Het Bataviaasch Genootschap”. [2] His long stay in the Dutch East Indies included a period of internment in two camps under Japanese occupation. After the war Van der Hoop was, like many other Dutch nationals, repatriated (January 1946). He later returned and stayed for another few years to put things in order in cultural institutions and museums for which he had worked before the war. On retirement in 1950 he returned to The Netherlands permanently, living first in The Hague (14 Billitonstraat). His second address was a lodging at 50 Koninginneweg in Amsterdam. In June 1954 he moved for a short time to the Hotel Terminus in the Hague and then, on the 16th of June, he finally moved in to a purchased home at 13 Tollenskade in Voorburg. [3]

The house was not large, but still offered enough space for him and his two 'caretakers', who were in fact also his domestic servants. He writes about the furnishing of his house to his dear friend 'Peu' Terwen-de Loos in Leiden, whom he knew from his East Indies years: “I enjoy it immensely. A number of crates came, which n.b. had been in a warehouse in Amsterdam since 1933, and all kinds of delicacies came out of them. Tender reunion. You should definitely come and see them soon.” [4]

Before his departure in 1933 to Batavia, he had apparently had most of his collection and family heirlooms put into storage, which turned out to be a great stroke of luck: almost all Dutch nationals in the war years in the Dutch East Indies under Japanese rule lost all their possessions, because their properties were taken over by the new rulers and insofar as goods were left behind, they were subsequently 'rampokt' (looted) by the Indonesian population. [5] Van der Hoop was aware of this and must have considered himself very fortunate to have returned safely home. But also the reunion in his new house with all the valuable items from the family possession would have been a great comfort to him.

Among the valuables that he unpacked in Voorburg was the lacquer box offered here, the 'Cock Blomhoff kistje', as it was always referred to. This Jan Cock Blomhoff (1779-1853) was, between 1817 and 1823, the well-known 'Pakhuismeester' (Warehouse-manager) of Deshima, located in the port of Nagasaki in Japan and was a direct ancestor of Van der Hoop. Some of the many objects that Blomhoff brought from Deshima remained in the family. Many were donated or sold by Blomhoff himself and after his death many have changed hands and are no longer traceable. However, large parts of the collection ended up via Het Koninklijk Kabinet van Zeldzaamheden in the collections of Het Nederlandsch Museum (now Rijksmuseum) in Amsterdam and ‘s Rijks Ethnographisch Museum (now Museum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden). [6] A last part was sold in 1907 at the book auction of R.W.P. De Vries in Amsterdam. [7]

After settling in the Netherlands, Jan van der Hoop still held important cultural positions, including at De Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal- land- en Volkenkunde and De Stichting Cultuurgeschiedenis van de Nederlanders Overzee (CNO) until his death in 1969. He left his beloved 'Cock Blomhoff-kistje' to his dear friend 'Peu' Terwen-de Loos (†1973) who in turn cherished it under the same name: ‘kistje van Cock Blomhoff’. [8]

Footnotes: [1] J. Thomassen à Thuessink Van der Hoop, Door de lucht naar Indië, Amsterdam 1926. [2] A.J. Bernet Kempers, In memoriam A.N.J. Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop 9th March 1883-2 February 1969, in: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, land en Volkenkunde Vol. 125, no. 4 (1969) p. 401-427, Leiden 1969. [3] Ibid. and correspondence between Jan van der Hoop and J. (‘Peu’) Terwen-de Loos, from February 1945 till 27-4-1968, Private V.d.Hoop-archive. [4] Private V.d. Hoop-achive,. [5] L. Zweers, Buit, De roof van Nederlands-Indisch cultureel erfgoed 1942-1950, Amsterdam 2020, passim. [6] M. Forrer, The Japanese Collection of Jan Cock Blomhoff, in: M. Yoko and M.Forrer, Japan through the Eyes of Blomhoff: The Blomhoff Collection at the Ethnological Museum, Leiden 2016, p. 55-81. [7] Book auction Art Japonais, Peintures - Etampes – Livres, Collections Feu M. Jan Cock Blomhoff , chef du commerce Hollandais à l’île de Décima 1815-23, [and another collection of M.-W. Holst à Yokohama], R.W.P de Vries, Amsterdam 12 November 1907. Het Algemeen Rijksarchief (Dutch State Archive) bought many archival documents, see: Verslagen ‘sRijks oude archieven, XXX, 1907, ’s Gravenhage 1908, p.108. (with thanks to Dr. M. Forrer, Leiden). [8] Van der Hoop donated various objects during his lifetime to het Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Museum Nusamtara in Delft and het Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden. To the latter he also bequeathed an important Javanese bronze temple bell from ± 800 CE, inv. nr. RV 4355-1.

€ 5.000,00
€ 8.000,00

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