The history of collecting ancient art and artefacts in the Netherlands dates back to the seventeenth century, the ‘Golden Age’, which brought international contacts and prosperity after eighty years of war with Spain. Before that period some archaeological objects were present in art cabinets or ecclesiastical treasuries, but the Golden Age saw the beginning of purposeful collecting of archaeological artefacts. In seventeenth-century Amsterdam the jewel in the crown was without doubt the impressive art collection of the brothers Gerard and Jan Reijnst, both wealthy merchants. In ‘De Hoop’, their house on the Keizersgracht, a large art collection was displayed, which comprised around 200 Italian paintings and more than 300 classical sculptures. A collection of quite a different nature, which was formed in Italy but went to the Netherlands, was formed by the adventurous German collector Frederic Count de Thoms.