History of Lange Vijverberg 15

Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder is located in an extraordinary historic building at Lange Vijverberg 15. Fully decorated, appropriate to its eighteenth-century origin, the house is a true gem in the heart of The Hague. The history of the present building begins in 1755, when the architect Pieter de Swart was commissioned to build on this site.

However, to go even further back, construction on Lange Vijverberg is mentioned for the first time in the late fourteenth century. Until 1652 the area is inhabited by private individuals who in one way of the other are connected to the Dutch Court. Hereafter the houses on the building plots of the future Lange Vijverberg 14, 15 and 16 become the residence of the Frisian Stadholders. For more than a century the buildings are known as the Frisian Court.
In 1755 Manuel Lopes Suasso acquires the properties, has them demolished, and commissiones Pieter de Swart to build three houses at this location in the same style. Following their completion the houses are sold separately. Four years later, in 1759, the house at Lange Vijverberg 15 is bought by a titled family who manages to hold on to it for nearly two centuries. Most members of this family again have close ties to the Court. In 1939 the building gains its first cultural function. It becomes the home of the Fondation Custodia and houses the renowned art collection of connoisseur and collector Frits Lugt, which would later move to Paris. In 1956 the house is sold to the City of The Hague, after which in 1975 the Netherlands Costume Museum opens its doors to the public here. In 1991 Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder moves into the premises.

The following outlines the history of Lange Vijverberg 15 chronologically.


The name ‘Vijverberg’ is mentioned for the first time. The digging of the Hofvijver created a ‘berg’ (mountain) of sand that extended the length of the ‘vijver’ (pond). The land belonged to the Counts of Holland, who lived on the Binnenhof. Members of the nobility and high government officials were permitted to lease lots along the Vijverberg and to build their houses on them. They themselves were responsible for the ‘timmerage’, or construction, however.


In the ‘hofboek’, or book of court, Jan van der Capelle, priest and canon at the Court of the Counts of Holland, is mentioned as owner of Lange Vijverberg 15.


The same Jan van der Capelle also buys the adjoining house, Lange Vijverberg 16. Since he connected the two, the previously separate houses were referred to as the ‘eastern’ (Lange Vijverberg 16) and the ‘western’ (15) parts in the deed of sale.


Leonard Casembroot, ‘Raet Ordinaris aan den Hove’, or Ordinary Council to the Court, is mentioned as the owner of both houses.


The widow and heirs of Casembroot sell the eastern part to Frans van Dalen, ‘Clerck van de financiele Raet van de Staten van Holland’, or clerk of the financial council of the States of Holland.


Frans van Dalen sells the eastern part to Agatha van Oldenbergh, who then left the property to her sister, Magdalena van Oldenbergh, when she died in 1628.


The widow and heirs of Casembroot sell the western part to Lady Olimpe de Hertang, wife of Willem Zoete de Laecke, Lord of Hauteyn and St Pietersdorp. Willem Zoete de Laecke was Lieutenant-General and Admiral in the Province of Zealand.


Jonkheer Cocq van Neerijnen, husband of Magdalena van Oldenbergh, sells the eastern part to Odilia Hilbrants, wife of Willem Junius, secretary of the Prince of Orange.


The heirs of Alexander Zoete de Laecke (who was possibly a son of Willem Zoete de Laecke) sold Lange Vijverberg 15 to Willem Frederik, Count of Nassau-Dietz, Stadholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drente.


The heirs of Willem Junius sell the eastern part to Willem Frederik, Count of Nassau-Dietz.


Willem Frederik transforms the two properties into one court for himself as stadholder. The Frisian stadholders stayed here whenever they were in The Hague. The house was known as the ‘Frisian Court’ for more than a century.


Beginning of the Second Stadholderless Period, during which The Hague became known as ‘the city with the empty palaces’. For forty-five years the city was bereft of princely splendour, the Frisian Court being the only establishment in the vicinity where the Frisian stadholders lodged from time to time.


The Frisian stadholder Willem Karel Hendrik Friso van Nassau was appointed Stadholder of Holland (Willem tv), thus bringing the Second Stadholderless Period to an end.


The Stadholder of Holland was made Stadholder of the United Provinces, at which point the title became hereditary. Court life thus returned to The Hague. After Willem IV transferred his Court to the Binnenhof, the Frisian Court ceased to be the official residence of the stadholders.


William IV dies at the Huis Ten Bosch palace in The Hague.


On 28 April 1755, on behalf of ‘Her Royal Highness the Dowager Princess of Prince Willem IV of Orange and Nassau as mother and guardian of Her Highness’s children’, the Frisian Hof is sold to Manuel Lopes Suasso for 28,300 guilders. The Suasso family were Portuguese Jews who played an important financial role in Holland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Manuel’s father Francesco had been a very prosperous banker and was a friend of the stadholder-king Willem III, and is said to have loaned Willem it no less than two million guilders in 1688, without which he could not have left for England. Given the close ties between the Suasso family and the stadholders it is not surprising that Manuel Lopes Suasso acquired the Frisian Court in 1755. Suasso had the Frisian Court demolished and commissioned Pieter de Swart, Court Architect of Willem IV, to build three houses on the same lot, Lange Vijverberg 14, 15 and 16. The same numbering could be used because the two houses to the left of the Frisian Court (13 and 14) had previously been turned into one house, Lange Vijverberg 13.


On 17 June Manuel Lopes Suasso sells Lange Vijverberg 16 to Moseh Jahacob de Pinto for 30,000 guilders.


Lange Vijverberg 14 is sold to the lawyer Gerrit Pieter Hoofd, Treasurer of Delfland, on 30 May for 28,000 guilders.


On 21 March Lange Vijverberg 15, the largest of the three houses, is sold to Anna Katharina de la Porte, Lady of Warmenhuyzen, for 47,500 guilders. According to the deed of sale her husband, Christiaan Constantijn Rumph, was already deceased. They had one daughter, Anna Catharina Rumph van Warmenhuyzen, who would marry twice. Her first husband, whom she married in 1750, was Hans Willem, Rijksbaron van Aylva. The marriage lasted only one year: Hans Willem died in 1751, before the birth of his son, who received his name. Anna bore her second husband, Jacob Adriaen, Baron Du Tour, a daughter, who was named after her.


Following the death of her mother, Anna Katharina de la Porte, the date of which is still not known, Anna Catharina Rumph van Warmenhuyzen inherits Lange Vijverberg 15.


Anna Catharina Rumph van Warmenhuyzen dies at Hampton Court during a visit to England. According to her testament, she left the house on the Lange Vijverberg to her son from her first marriage, Hans Willem, and to her daughter from her second, Anna Catharina Elisabeth.


In a notarial act Lange Vijverberg 15 is allocated to Hans Willem, Rijksbaron van Aylva, Lord of Waardenburg, Neerijnen, Warmenhuyzen, Schoorldam and Krabbendam. Hans Willem would live in the house till his death in 1827. The record of his public service is impressive: he was a member of the Council of State, Chamberlain and Honourary Chamberlain of the Queen of Holland, Upper Lord Chamberlain and Upper Chamberlain of the King.
Hans Willem married Cornelia van Brakel (d. 1823). They had a daughter, Anna Jacoba Wilhelmina, Rijksbaroness van Aylva. In 1800 Anna married Frederik Willem Floris Theodorus, Baron van Pallandt, Lord of Keppel, Voorst, Barlham and Hage. Like his father-in-law, Frederik held various important positions, including Minister of Religion, Council of State and Chamberlain Extraordinary of the King. He and his wife Anna, Rijk sbaroness van Aylva, had a daughter in 1801, Arnoldina Wilhelmina Cornelia, Baroness van Pallandt, Lady of Warmenhuyzen, Schoorldam and Krabbendam.


Hans Willem, Baron van Aylva, dies. His daughter and heir, Anna, predeceased him in 1814. The following owner was his granddaughter, Arnoldina. In 1826 she married Edward Hobbe, Baron Rengers, Lord Chamberlain of the Prince of Orange, member of the States of South Holland and Chamberlain Extraordinary of the King. Edward and Anna had six children. The family lived in the house till 1865.


Arnoldina, Baroness van Pallandt, dies. The children are given the house in usufruct.


Arnoldina’s heirs sell the house to Arnout Nicolaas Justinus Maria, Baron van Brienen van de Groote Lindt. Arnout, Baron van Brienen was a member of the Amsterdam banking family Van Brienen. He was Chamberlain Extraordinary to King Willem iir and later also member of the Council of Guardians responsible for the young Queen Wilhelmina. Throughout all of this the house remained in the family, since Arnout van Brienen married a daughter of Arnoldina in 1862, namely Justina, Baroness van Rengers. Justina died, however, shortly after giving birth to their one daughter, Ida.


Following the division of the estate which took place this year, Ida, Baroness van Brienen was mentioned in the cadastral registers as owner of the property. In 1881 she married the lawyer Louis Paul Marie Hubert, Baron Michiels van Verduynen.


Louis, Baron Michiels van Verduynen, inherits the house from his wife. He lived on the Lange Vijverberg, which he must have found convenient since, among other things, he was Secretary-General of the Court of Arbitration and a member of the City Council of The Hague, besides belonging to the States of South Holland and the Lower House of the States General consecutively.


Ferdinand Edgar Marie Hubert, Baron Michiels van Verduynen inherits the house from his father Louis. Ferdinand was the Queen’s Chamberlain Extraordinary and both envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary in Vienna. After having owned the house for ten years he sold it in 1939, possibly on account of his responsibilities abroad.


Frederik Johannes (Frits) Lugt buys Lange Vijverberg 15 from Ferdinand, Baron Michiels van Verduynen. Lugt, an art historian and inveterate collector, was a connoisseur of Dutch drawings. He had already purchased Lange Vijverberg 14 in 1939. Both houses later belonged to the ‘Fondation Custodia’ Frits Lugt founded in Switzerland. During World War Two he lived in the United States and lectured frequently. After the war he founded the Institut Neerlandais in Paris, where he sought to stimulate French interest in Dutch culture by organizing exhibitions and the like. Nowadays his collection can be seen at the Institut. Lugt died in 1970.


The Fondation Custodia sells both Lange Vijverberg 14 and 15 to the City of The Hague. The Netherlands Costume Museum is housed in the former.


Having grown too large for Lange Vijverberg 14 the Costume Museum expands to 15 and opens it to the public.


The City Council of The Hague decides to sell both houses.


The restoration of the two houses was initiated by the architect G. Lankhorst in co-operation with the Gemeentelijk Bureau voor Monumentenzorg, the Municipal authority responsible for historic preservation. The contractor was Koninklijke Woudenberg Ameide.


The art dealers Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder open their new headquarters at Lange Vijverberg 15.


Pieter de Swart, Court Architect of Willem IV

The three houses on the Lange Vijverberg – numbers 14, 15 and 16 – form an architectural whole. In 1755 Manuel Lopez Suasso, Court Architect of Willem IV, commissioned Pieter de Swart to design all three. They are one of the few constructions in Holland that can be securely attributed to De Swart. As a designer of urban decoration Pieter de Swart (1709?-1773) caught the attention of Prince Willem IV at the time of the Prince’s ceremonial entrance to Breda. At the Prince’s instigation and expense, De Swart received his training from the noted master builder Jacques Blondel in Paris in 1745-’46. When De Swart returned to Holland, the celebrated but aged Daniel Marot (ca. 1660-1752) was still Willem III’s Court Architect. Examples of Marot’s designs include Huis Schuylenborch on the Lange Vijverberg (1715) and Hotel Huguetan (l734; until recently the Royal Library) on the Lange Voorhout, to which Pieter de Swart added two wings in 1761. After Willem IV became stadholder in 1749 he appointed De Swart as his Court Architect.

Before leaving for Paris De Swart was still designing his decorations in the style of Louis XIV, as was Daniel Marot. During the decade 1755-’65 he received a great many commissions and his style more closely resembled that of Louis XV, surpassing that of Marot in elegance and refinement. De Swart’s stylistic development during this stage of his career is illustrated by Lange Vijverberg 14, 15 and 16, the facade of the Hague Lutheran Church, the Council Chamber in Leeuwarden, the Landpoort at Weilburg and the house on the Korte Voorhout known for being the former palace of Queen Emma. The changes Huis ten Bosch underwent during these years are also characteristic of De Swart’s style.

De Swart’s later work embodies a few Louis XVI motifs. The Royal Theatre, formerly the palace Nassau-Weilburg, anticipates superbly Louis XVI architecture. We have noted that Pieter de Swart fashioned Lange Vijverberg 14, 15 and 1 6 as one entity, though the three houses are recognizably separate nonetheless. He achieved this effect of unity and diversity by recessing the middle house by several centimetres. The fact that only half of the sandstone bays framing the central structure are visible reinforces the effect. It would thus seem that the floorplan of the complex is U-shaped, that the middle portion stands back while the houses on either side are actually wings. In 1761 De Swart resorted to this device once again when, as mentioned earlier, he added wings to Hotel Huguetan.


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Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder

Lange Vijverberg 15
2513 AC The Hague
The Netherlands



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