Unknowncirca 1670 - circa 1680

Centraal Museum

Centraal Museum

Ever since the establishment of the museum in 1838, its collection has contained a small table that the very first catalogue reports as having been used during the peace negotiations held in the years 1712-1713, in the city hall of Utrecht. These negotiations culminated in the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht on 11 April 1713; an event that assured the city an international reputation. This treaty ended the War of the Spanish Succession. But it also put an end to a long period of religious wars in Europe, and had major consequences for the overseas territories (Canada, South America). That is why this peace treaty remains of immense historical significance. According to the 1838 catalogue, the table was used to receive the credentials presented by the negotiators from the various European nations, upon their arrival in Utrecht. This cannot be verified, however. What we do know is that the city secretary who organised the convention, Everard Harskamp, searched far and wide for round tables to use for the talks. After all, a round table emphasises the equivalence between the participants and encourages mutual respect. Because of the ‘SE’ mark(Stads Eigendom, or City Property) and the city’s coat of arms it is certain that the table was present in the city hall in the eighteenth century. The furniture became part of the museum’s collection as part of the overall city hall belongings. With respect to the dating of the table, it may indeed have played a role in the peace negotiations in 1712-1713. The walnut piece is dated as originating from between 1670 and 1680. It is a so-called gueridon with an oval tabletop and a richly decorated foot. Its maker probably hailed from Utrecht.

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  • Title: Gueridon
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: circa 1670 - circa 1680
  • Location Created: Utrecht?
  • Physical Dimensions: w73 x h89 x d59 cm
  • Type: furniture
  • External Link: Centraal Museum