The present lot shows the extension built after 1421 of the old Amsterdam townhall on the Dam. Its name 'Vierschaar' derived from its function as a court of justice by the Amsterdam magistrates. It burnt down on 7 July 1652, while the new townhall was being constructed.
A drawing of circa 1671-80 by Lambert Doomer in the Van Eeghen Collection, now in the Gemeentearchief, Amsterdam, (B. Bakker, E. Fleurbaay, A.W. Gerlagh, De Verzameling Van Eeghen, Amsterdamse Tekeningen 1600-1950, Amsterdam, 1988, no. 25, illustrated pp. 32 and 80) shows an imaginary view of the Dam in which the 'Vierschaar' appears seen from the same direction as in the present lot. It is assumed that Doomer used contemporary drawings such as the present lot in order to reconstruct the situation. Other drawings of this part of the 'Vierschaar' by or attributed to Doomer are also in the Gemeentearchief, Amsterdam (W. Sumowski, Drawings of the Rembrandt School, New York, 1979, II, nos. 395 and 511X)