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  • Posts Tagged ‘EMMA BUDGE’


    Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

    Four outstanding silver salt cellars made by the renowned Amsterdam silversmith Johannes Lutma (1584-1669) Amsterdam’s foremost silversmith in the 17th century – have been acquired by the Rijksmuseum. These partially gilded objects are among the most important examples of 17th-century Dutch silversmithing. Prior to the Second World War, all four were the property of Hamburg resident Emma Budge, who was Jewish. Following her death in 1937, the cellars were sold at auction. The proceeds of this sale went to the Nazis rather than to Budge’s heirs. The Dutch Restitutions Committee recently decided that the salt cellars be returned to the descendants. 

    Following the death of Emma Budge in 1937, her property was sold off at Paul Graupe’s ‘aryanised’ auction house in Berlin. The proceeds of the sale were confiscated by the German Nazi party. It is believed that the four salt cellars were bought by a German dealer named Greatzer, about whom little else is known. They eventually entered collection of W.J.R. Dreesmann. In 1960, central government and the City of Amsterdam acquired the four salt cellars at an auction of the Dreesman collection; two went on display in the Rijksmuseum and two in the Amsterdam Museum. 

    An investigation carried out by the Amsterdam Museum concluded in 2013 that the two salt cellars in its collection were of suspicious origin. This prompted the Rijksmuseum to initiate an investigation into the two salt cellars in its own collection. A year later, these objects were identified as suspicious on the websites of both the Rijksmuseum and the Museums Association. In 2014, restitutions committees in various countries designated the 1937 auction of Emma Budge’s estate as involuntary. This led to the return to Budge’s descendants of silver, porcelain, tapestries and busts by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the German food conglomerate Dr. Oetker. The Dutch Restitutions Committee arrived at the same conclusion in 2018, leading to the return of the bronze sculpture of Moses attributed to Alessandro Vittoria from the collection of Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle.  In May of this year the Dutch state and the City of Amsterdam returned the objects to the claimants. That same day, the heirs sold all four salt cellars to the Rijksmuseum.

    The acquisition was made with financial support from the Friends Lottery, the Mondriaan Fund, the Rembrandt Association, and private benefactors. The Rijksmuseum will place the four salt cellars on view from September 6 next in a display that also tells the story of Emma Budge.