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Armorial magistrate's cushions of this kind were used by high officials in the Netherlands throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries as symbols of their exalted status. The workshops that produced these cushions were based in the West of the country and had generally been founded by weavers from the Southern Netherlands. The oldest workshop was that of Willem Andriesz de Raet in Leiden, who supplied seven cushion covers with the coat of arms of the province of Holland to the magistrates of Amsterdam in 1568. Other workshops were based in The Hague, Middelburg, Delft, Gouda, Schoonhoven, Amsterdam and Utrecht. Obviously, armorial cushions were ordered by the members of the ruling Nassau family. In the inventory of the Castle of Breda, which Prince William I of Orange had compiled prior to his departure to Dillenburg in 1567, a tapestry is listed from which nine cushions could be made. However, more frequent commissions came from city and provincial councils, admiralities and in particular from the waterschappen or polderboards, which regulated the water-level in and around the polders and dealt with the maintenance of the dykes (E. Hartkamp-Jonxis, 'Op her kussen gezeten', Antiek 29 (1995), pp. 28-37).
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN (LOTS 180-182)