ABSTRACT

This book explores how women and men employed objects in particular places across the world during the early modern period, in order to achieve the remarkable expansion of the House of Orange-Nassau. The House emerged as a leading force during a time when the Dutch accrued one of the greatest seaborne empires of the early modern period. Lisa Jardine has recently examined the notion and practices of Dutch cultural supremacy in seventeenthcentury England, an important undertaking in the vein of this study.1 Whilst adding to this scholarship, our work aims primarily to explore dynastic colonialism as it applies to transnational strategic behaviour undertaken on behalf of the House of Orange-Nassau, through material culture in a variety of sites of interpretation from palaces and gardens to prints and teapots, in Europe and beyond. We consider materiality here as the study of both objects and spaces, and women and men’s behaviours relating to them. Our analysis of such material practices, artefacts, and the spaces they shape allows us to rethink dynastic power and identity in gendered terms.