One of the most frequently-depicted furnishings in Dutch 17th Century interiors is the brass chandelier. With this detail painters like Ter Borch, Dou, De Hooch, Metsu, Van Mieris and Steen emphasised the wealth of the burghers' interior. If this reflects reality has been questioned by C.W. Fock, in her recent study on Dutch interiors depicted on contemporary genre pictures. Research into 17th Century inventories of Holland's wealthy merchant lites reveals how rare these brass chandeliers actually were. When they do appear in written sources, they tend to date from the late 16th and early 17th Century.
The prosperity of the brass-founderies in Amsterdam must have been due to the demand for chandeliers from the Protestant churches. In 1642, the brass-founder Joost Gerritsz. produced fifteen or more chandeliers for the amount of 6700 guilders for the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam (C. Willemijn Fock, 'Werkelijkheid of schijn. Het beeld van het Hollandse interieur in de zeventiende-eeuwse genreschilderkunst, Oud Holland, 112 (1998) pp. 220-225).
A comparable twelve-light chandelier is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and illustrated in Onno ter Kuile, Koper en Brons, Amsterdam, 1986, pp. 136-137, cat. nr.178)