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The main protagonist

The Game of the Golden Age gives you an insight into the world of a merchant living in Amsterdam in the Golden Age. Hans Thijs (1556-1611) was originally from Antwerp, and between 1595 and 1611 he traded jewellery and leather in Amsterdam and invested heavily in the Dutch East India Company (VOC). We know a lot about Hans Thijs because his grandson, Johan Thysius, founded the Leiden Bibliotheca Thysiana in 1653, to which he donated both his books and the accounts and correspondence of his grandfather. These personal papers reveal a great deal about markets and finance in Amsterdam’s Golden Age.


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Bulk Goods vs. Luxury Products

icoon bulkHuge volumes of bulk goods such as grain, salt, herring, timber, and wine passed through the Amsterdam entrepôt and were traded. These bulk goods typically have a high turnover but low profit margins.

icoon luxeIn contrast, silk, leather, and diamonds are expensive luxuries. They weretraded in smaller volumes and had a low turnover, that is to say, they took a long time to sell, but then they offered high profit margins.

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