Waden Museum Borg Verhilders has won a portrait of a young woman, Jorda von Starkenborg, at an auction in Washington. The portrait was painted by an unknown artist in 1720-1725 and can now be found in Borg’s dining room.
For sale were two portraits: two sisters. Verhilders can only buy one on a low budget. It is, however, a feast for Verhildersum, and the enrichment of the story of the Groningen Landed Gentry is told in battle.
Verhildersum is actually very special in having many portraits of people who lived in the war. They belonged mainly to the Jorda von Starkenborg family, who held the war for centuries: from 1587 to 1822.
The largest family portrait in the Netherlands, depicting the family of Alard and Credia Jorda von Starkenborg and their eldest son Edsard (1673), hangs in the main hall and their descendants can be seen in the dining room. The recently purchased portrait of the young woman is temporarily hanging in place of the portrait of Ezart’s mother, Sheldkama Nigenstig’s Gretia Susanna Gland, who is in the family portrait. The portrait of Grady, the portrait of the grandmother of two sisters, was recently auctioned off and is expected to return later this year.
Which of the two?
The purchased portrait is descended from the descendants of the American branch of the Jorda von Starkenborg Stassover family. Christine Cheston Jorda von Starkenborg Statsover lived from 1924 to 2000. She was the daughter of Aldius Jorda von Starkenborg (1888-1978) and Christine Marberg (1891-1989). Christine Marburg presented a large family portrait to Verhilders in 1968.
John Peter de Crude did research to find out who the woman in the portrait was. De Groot is a geneticist who specializes in Croningen families. He is also the researcher who created the models now on display at the museum farm. Only two sisters qualify. Anna Catharina Jorda von Starkenborg (1692-1749) and her sister Grady Susan Jorda von Starkenborg (1695-1759), who died unmarried in Searmonik, were married in 1725 to Johann Stachover in 1687-1734. This family was childless. Since Anne and Gradia had no children, both portraits ended with their brother Ludolf Copen Jorda von Starkenborg (1696-1777), who were later sent to this family and eventually finished in the United States.
They do not know whether the portrait that can now be seen at OP Verhildersum Verhilders is about Anna or Gradia. Research on estate inventory may one day provide the answer.
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