Arent van Curler & the Flatts

History, Archaeology & Art Illuminate a Life on the Hudson

Household Artifacts from the Flatts

A Burgher's Life


“The administrators of the estate of the late Rutger Jacobsen, propose to sell at once at public sale to the highest bidder some furniture, goods and household stuff, for which payment shall be made in good strung seewant.”

- 1665 announcement of the disposition of an estate along the upper Hudson

From the estate of Rutger Jacobsen, Arent bought a painting for 85 guilders, a ring for 39, and a silver beaker for 68. These articles joined other staples and luxuries which a prosperous burgher expected to enjoy.

In the kitchen, the household cooked in lead-glazed earthenware. The food was served on traditional tin-glazed majolica and the newer blue and white style Delft manufacturers were selling. After dinner, the family might enjoy smoking pipes. Though Arent and Anthonia were not blessed with their own brood, visiting children might play with stoneware marbles or blow on whistles made from broken pipe stems.

Luxuries graced Arent’s table when he entertained. Guests enjoyed meals on Chinese porcelain or Italian ceramics. He poured them beer from stoneware jugs. They sipped wine from Venetian glasses.

At his hearth, Arent displayed his Dutchness. The surviving piece of his iron fire back was cast with a torso and upraised arm holding a staff. The design closely resembles another of the era inscribed “Hollandia” and “Pro Patria.” This example depicts a woman holding a lance topped with a hat. A crowned lion crouches before her.  She sits within a fenced enclosure representing the “Dutch Garden.” Through such symbols a household like Arent’s tied itself to the Dutch Republic and the House of Orange.

Elsewhere in the house, artifacts such as mirror glass, book clasps, furniture hardware and gilded braid illustrate how Arent’s home was as well appointed as that of any successful merchant in the fatherland.

Read Related Documents in Translation:
First Recording of Sale for Estate of Rutger Jacobsen, December 9, 1665
Second Recording of Sale for Estate of Rutger Jacobsen, December 9, 1665


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