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About us

Ab van der SteurAntiquariaat Arine van der Steur flows from historical antiquarian bookshop A.G. van der Steur, founded by Arine's father: tailor, historian and publicist Ab van der Steur (Albert Gerardus van der Steur). Unfortunately, Ab passed away at the end of 2012. Regarding the antiquarian bookshop he said the following: “In 1974, I took over the extensive hand library and the commercial stocks of the last private genealogical – heraldic agency in the Netherlands that still worked in the tradition of Vorsterman van Oyen and Van Epen: the agency Gerard HalIwasse in s’-Gravenhage. This concerned thousands of prints, books, pamphlets and periodicals relating to Dutch history, topography and heraldry: books, brochures and overprints regarding Dutch persons and families, portraits, family weapons, manuscripts, etc.” 

In the years that followed (1975-1988) the bookshop operated as a ‘verzendantiquariaat’ (antiquarian without a physical shop, who mail customers their orders) from Ab's home on the Nieuwe Gracht, by using stencilled catalogues with topics such as Dutch genealogy and topography of various specific regions in the Netherlands. The assortment of the bookshop was expanded in those years through purchases from estates of historians, genealogists and keepers of records. In this period, a new specialisation developed within the antiquarian bookshop: the Old Master Prints, prints made by Dutch artists in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century, in various graphic techniques. These prints were a good match with the collection of topography, historical prints and portrait prints that the bookshop already had in stock.

In 1989 Ab opened a shop on the first, second, and third floor of the Kruisstraat 3 and 5 in Haarlem, where booklovers who were interested in Dutch history, genealogy, and heraldry were welcome to view the works themselves. Moreover, the bookshop became a part of The Dutch Antiquarian Book Fair that was organised yearly in Haarlem then, and also of the International Antiquarian Book & Print Fair in Amsterdam.

Over the years, the bookshop steadily grew, both regarding the available shop-space and the size of the assortment. Also, more and more often catalogues were published with genealogical books, but also with manuscripts and documents regarding certain persons, families, and places, Old Master Prints and various other topics. Examples of this are, among others, the catalogue regarding the history of the theatre and those regarding natural history. The bookshop has focused more and more on old and special books and prints over the last few years. Near the end of the 1990s, the computer was also introduced in the antiquarian shop, which allowed for both the acquisition and the selling of books to be executed more efficiently.  

After the death of Ab in 2012, his children Ard en Arine continued the bookshop. Since January 1, 2018 Arine is the proud owner of Antiquariaat Arine van der Steur. Arine is assisted by art historian Anna Bianco. Arine enjoys the management of the bookshop greatly and is continuing the tradition of publishing specialised catalogues. Under her management the following catalogues saw the light: 200 jaar Koninkrijk (nr. 35), Alba Amicorum (nr. 36), 16th and 17th century portraits (nr. 37), Illustrated stories (nr. 38), Optica prints (nr. 39), Heraldics (nr. 40) and Catchpenny Prints (nr. 41).

The current collection of the bookshop comprises around 25.000 described and more than 10.000 not yet described works. The stock that has already been described is sold from the shop and on the internet through websites such as Antiqbook, Biblio, boekwinkeltjes and Abebooks. There is great effort to describe and digitize the stock that has not been described. Online catalogues made of these works, can be viewed through the website. The bookshop is also active online through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The shop on the Balistraat 81B in Den Haag is open every Saturday from 14:00 to 17:00 and by appointment. In the same building the shop of Arine's husband Arend-Jaap van der Lely is housed. If you want to see the wines you can go to www.wijnopdronk.nl or email for invitations of winetastings info@wijnopdronk.nl. For the stock of Arine's bookshop, please visit www.arinevandersteur.nl

 

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