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However, Dr Dreesmann, like his father Willem J.R. Dreesmann and many other Dutch collectors, had also been a keen buyer of 17th and 18th century Dutch cityscapes, which, as London-based Old Master specialist Alex Hope explains, had the potential to attract an extra dimension of demand on home ground.

“When we had a number of pictures with local interest and we had the strength of the group behind them, we thought we’d get more attention if they were offered in Amsterdam.”

The group of 18 cityscapes were duly included in the April 16 leg of the Dreesmann sale in Christie’s Amsterdam (20.825/11.9% buyer’s premium) and all of them found buyers, though some of the more poorly preserved paintings were allowed to sell well below already reasonable estimates.

A heavily restored and rubbed panel painting of A Pavilion in the Garden of Goudesteyn on the Vecht by Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712), for example, went for €40,000 (£25,480) against an estimate of €80,000-120,000.

Local bidders were rather keener on this signed 121/2 by 161/4in (32 x 41cm) panel, right, of the Oudezijds Heerenlogement on Oudezijdsvoorburgwal, Amsterdam by the Haarlem painter Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde (1638-1698), who, together with Jan van der Heyden, is regarded as the most gifted of the Netherlands’ 17th century specialist town view painters.

Helped by a modest estimate of €32,000-42,000 – reflecting its small size, the relative obscurity of the view and its here-to-be-sold reserve – and its relatively well preserved condition, this attracted interest from at least eight bidders before topping the group with a bid of €440,000 (£280,255) from a private collector.
£1 = €1.57