| "The Viceroy", from a 1637 Dutch catalog. |
Price between 3,000 and 4,150 guilders
(florins) depending on size. A skilled craftsman at
the timeearned about 300 guilders a year.
Here is the opening line in the Prologue:
They came from all over Holland, dressed like crows in black from head to foot and journeying along frozen tracks rendered treacherous by the scars of a thousand hooves and narrow wheels.
I also have to add the first paragraph of chapter 1 which is brilliant as well:
The tulip is not a native of the Netherlands. It is a flower of the East, a child of the unimaginable vastness of central Asia. So far as anyone can tell, it did not reach the United Provinces until 1570, and by then it had already been journeying for many hundreds of years from its original homeland in the mountain ranges that run north of the Himalayas along the fortieth parallel.
Once read there will be a full review of this book.