Household objects

Fabric, linen and woolen goods, clothing, household objects of porcelain and metal: copper, brass, tin, iron, pewter.

The inventory does not have a subheading for this section, articles __ through ___. It does, however, for the next section, articles 88 through ??, which are grouped under Huijsraad en Inboel. Sewel's dictionary, published just a decade earlier, defines those words:

HUYSRAAD, Houshold-stuff

INBOEL, Houshold-stuff, goods

Whatever it's called, Maria had a lot of it.

Achter de Gevels van Delft analyzed 20 inventories in Maria's tax bracket (the highest) and time period (1738 - 1762), including hers. Compared to her peers, Maria had many more of certain items and not so many of others.

Some of the items were for personal use. Other items, as Wijsenbeek-Olthuis notes below, were for show. Is it possible that Maria maintained the store? In that case, the excess items could be considered unsold retail stock. The room-by-room inventory of household goods indicates a relatively empty top floor, perhaps where the for-sale items were stored.

For example, the 20 inventories included an average of 348 cups. Maria's estate inventory included almost five hundred porcelain cups alone, most with saucers. Wijsenbeek-Olthuis writes (p. 231; my translation):

It is clear that no one, no matter how many guests were received at home, needed 150 to 350 cups. Therefore, most cups ... will have served exclusively as ornaments. It must also not be forgotten that all kinds of drinking bowls were in stock in the estates.

We have no evidence that Maria was a hoarder. Thus, it is possible that Maria, and perhaps her maid Josina van Sprenkel, kept the store running long after Antony retired to the upstairs comptoire to study nature and even after he died. It is more likely that the Leeuwenhoek household was an example of Simon Schama's embarrassment of riches.