The property of the late Mrs J.H.M. Staring-de Mol van Otterloo
The late Mrs Staring-de Mol van Otterloo was married to the well-known Dutch art-historian Adolph Staring. Staring was born in Dordrecht in 1890, as a member of a well-to-do family originally from Gelderland. First introduced to art by his father and the Dordrecht collector Simon van Gijn (1836-1922), Staring developed his interest in art history while studying law at the University of Leiden, starting as a collector of drawings and portrait miniatures. After completing his law studies he joined the Dutch Foreign Office in The Hague but decided in 1919 to devote himself entirely to art historical research rather than becoming a diplomate. His life-long aim became the research and description of the Dutch 18th century and Dutch portraiture.
In September 1928 Staring married Jacoba Henriette Magdalena de Mol van Oterloo. Rather than opting for a house in the region of Dordrecht or The Hague, where Staring had lived untill then, they decided to acquire a house in the country and in 1931 bought the castle "de Wildenborch" in Vorden in the east of the Netherlands. This castle had been in the possession of Staring's ancestors from the late 18th century untill 1924, after which it was neglected. Mr and Mrs Staring-de Mol van Otterloo devoted their life to the renovation of the house and its garden around it. In an autobiographical sketch of his life written in 1970 (recorded in the Printroom of Leiden University), Staring described the delight they felt in reviving the splendours of the house, especially in restoring the garden. Through the years, the Starings filled the house with an ever growing collection of pictures, mainly portraits, and works of art, which came to them by descent or were acquired at auctions or via antique dealers.
Besides regularly publishing his art historical findings in short articles, mainly in the art historical magazine Oud-Holland, Staring's best known publications are those on the history of Dutch "conversation pieces", De Hollanders Thuis (1956) and his monography on Jacob de Wit (1958). Parts of the private collection of the Starings are kept in Dutch public collections: the main part of his collection of Old Master Drawings of approx. 240 pieces was sold to the Printroom of Leiden University in 1970. Striking still lifes by Caesar van Everdingen and Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp are respectively in the Mauritshuis, The Hague and the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht. A large group portrait of fellow-artists from Haarlem by Wybrand Handriks is in Teylers Museum, Haarlem.
Staring sat in many cultural committees during his life and was involved with the foundations of the Oranje-Nassau Museum in The Hague and of the Iconographisch Bureau in The Hague. In his autobiographical sketch, Staring described how he felt like an outsider in the art historical world through his status as an autodidact (a position, as he remarked, which he shared with other famous art historians like A. Bredius and J.G. van Gelder) and through his place of residence, which made frequent visits to libraries in the West of Holland less easy. It was also in his choice of subject - the Dutch 18th century - that he was an outsider and true pioneer.
J.W. Niemeijer a.o., Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, opgedragen aan Mr. Adolph Staring, XXII, 1970, with complete bibliography untill 1970
R.J.A. te Rijdt, De collectie tekeningen van Mr. Adolph Staring in het Prentenkabinet der Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek, IX, 1994, pp. 157-230
Further Property from this collection will be offered in the following autumn sales:
11 November - Old Master Paintings
11 November - Old Master Drawings
19 November - Oriental Art
26 November - Silver