Our history

In 1663, a connecting canal was dug between the Prinsengracht and the then Boerenwetering. It was called the Spiegelgracht, after one of the four Amsterdam mayors, Hendrick Dircksz Spiegel. Artisans such as clockmakers, upholsterers and plumbers were the first to live and work here, as the rich families to whom they offered their services were just around the corner along the grand canals. The Rijksmuseum opened in 1885, and then, from 1900, arts and antiques dealers began to show their wares to interested museum-goers along the Rijksmuseum’s ‘driveway’. After 1945, the number of antiques dealers grew, and the selection on offer became more varied. Businesses opened not only on the Spiegelgracht and Spiegelstraat, but along the main canals and in the adjacent Wetering neighbourhood. Coach-houses on Kerkstraat were converted into galleries, where the work of contemporary artists in particular went on show. The Rijksmuseum itself became a regular customer of traders in the district, and the museum’s collection today contains ceramics, glass, porcelain and textiles – among much else – from the Spiegelkwartier. We could hardly ask for a better endorsement of the quality of goods we have on offer!