Susan Moore offers a look in the Financial Times at the Jan Six XI, formerly of Sotheby’s Amsterdam, who has set up his own firm in Amsterdam and forged an association with Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox:
Growing up in a great museum of a home was, according to Six, a strange but remarkably grounded experience. His parents took the decision to have something akin to a normal life by arranging family rooms on the ground floor of the 58-room mansion, so that no one needed to walk through the great period rooms on a daily basis. Upstairs on the bel-étage was the family collection of some 100,000 works of art – paintings, drawings, prints, tapestries, furniture, books, silver, ceramics – amassed over the centuries by 10 previous generations of Jan Sixes. “Almost nothing left the family,” he explains: “While the family occasionally moved house, everything went with them, including the doors and panelling. There is always a sense when walking into a room that everything has always been together, which is very peculiar.” […] Last autumn, Sotheby’s decided to scale back its operation, cutting staff and sales. Six resigned to set up on his own, primarily as an agent and art advisor. He had always imagined he would end up dealing – various ancestors had dabbled in a gentlemanly sort of way – but his move was accelerated by an indignation that Sotheby’s should marginalise the Dutch art market. Holland, after all, was the first country in the world to stage art auctions, and the Dutch – wherever they live – remain the greatest collectors of Dutch art. As for Dutch painting, it is the bread-and-butter of the Old Master market.
A Life with Old Masters (Financial Times)