Mediators of trade and taste
Dealing with demand and quality uncertainty in the international art markets of the seventeenth century
Zeventiende Eeuw , Volume 31 - Issue 1 p. 138- 158
Early modern Antwerp-based art dealers exported a variety of luxury goods across Europe and beyond. They traded locally and globally in mass-produced and unique goods of fancy, in newly produced and resold items. Our contribution examines the business models of these dealers in order to better understand the extraordinary reach of the early modern international art trade and its cultural ramifications. The Forchondt and Musson art dealing firms serve as a case study to put into context the artistic exchanges between Southern and Northern Netherlands during the second half of the seventeenth century and we reveal how their business strategies (both on a cultural and economic level) helped to overcome high levels of quality and demand uncertainty.