From 2006 to 2008 Erik dedicated his research for his bachelor’s and master’s theses to the symbolism of precious stones in Dante’s Divine Comedy. During his master he also found the origin of the Etruscan myth in the Florentine Renaissance, in Giovanni Boccaccio’s literary work. This work led to several peer-reviewed publications in academic journals. 

From 2009 to 2018 he was jewellery editor of the Dutch magazine Royalty, in which he published 120 articles mostly about royal jewels from all over the world. His extensive research in these years makes him one of the foremost experts on the Dutch royal jewellery collection. 

Since 2018 Erik’s focus lies on the history of the diamond industry in Amsterdam, but mostly on Oscar Massin. He is also preparing an article about late 19th century engraved diamonds.

Below a list of publications and lectures and an overview of the impact of Erik’s work on others.

2 diamonds engraved by M.C. de Vries jr. The one on the left is in a private collection, the one on the right in the Dutch Royal Collection.
List of publications


– ‘Aris Marakis: il sigillo del bacio sonoro’, essay in the catalogue raisonné of this Greek-Italian sculptor in ΑΡΗΣ ΜΑΡΑΚΗΣ. La scultura morfosonora. Catalogo ragionato delle opere, red. Dr. Mauro di Vito, Guardamagna di Varzi, Pavia, pp. 196-221, 2019.

– ‘A Closer Look at the 1901 Queen Wilhelmina Nephrite Tray Last Seen in 1980’, in Fabergé Research Newsletter Summer 2018 – my scoop from 2014 (about how Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands probably stole and sold one of Fabergé‘s most important works of art), but this time thoroughly researched. Quoted by newspaper NRC (2019) and in Dr. Gerard Aalders’ Oranje Zwartboek (2020, 3 pp).

– ‘A Literary Invention: The Etruscan Myth in Early Florentine Renaissance’, in Renaissance Studies, vol. 24 no. 4, pp. 459-471, 2010 – I found the origin of the Etruscan myth, relevant for art history, in Boccaccio’s literary work. The result of research done for my master’s. Much cited article.  

– ‘Per una rilettura del “legno lucido e sereno” di Purgatorio VII’, in Incontri, rivista europea di studi italiani, 22/2, pp. 123-130, 2006 – a part of my master’s thesis published before finishing the thesis. 

– ‘Fra Dio e l’imperatore: il simbolismo delle pietre preziose nella Divina Commedia’, in Dante, rivista internazionale di studi su Dante Alighieri, III, pp. 69-93, 2006 – my bachelor’s thesis on the symbolism of precious stones in Dante’s Divine Comedy, published as article.

Other publications

– ‘The Gems of Dante’s Divine Comedy‘, in Jewellery History Today issue 44, Spring 2022, p. 14 – review of Anne Pizzorusso’s The Gems of Dante’s Divine Comedy. 

– ‘DIVA Antwerp Acquires a Rare Oscar Massin Brooch’, in Jewellery History Today, issue 36, Autumn 2019, p. 15 – Presentation of diamond, gold and silver museum DIVA in Antwerp’s acquisition of Oscar Massin’s Couronne Pompadour (1878).

– ‘The Origins of Queen Victoria’s Wedding Brooch‘, self-published on, 2019 – scoop that one of the most important British Crown Jewels – Queen Victoria’s Wedding Brooch, better known as the Prince Albert Sapphire Brooch – was bought from the internationally renowned jewellery firm Josephus Jitta from Amsterdam. 

– ‘A Very Parisian Affair: Oscar Massin’s Jewels in the Dutch Royal Collection’, in Jewellery History Today, issue 31, cover and pp. 6-7, 2018 – presentation of my first in-depth research into Oscar Massin. The article shows the intrinsic links between Parisian jewellers and the diamond industry of Amsterdam.

– ‘Het koningspaar dat wegbleef‘, in Vorsten 7/2018 pp. 50-55 – presentation of my research in the ABN Amro-archives, about the designs court jeweller Jac. Vos made in 1934 for a planned but cancelled visit of King Rama VII of Thailand and his wife.

– A total of 120 articles about royal jewels published between 2009 and 2018 in the Dutch magazine Royalty – about royal jewellery history, the great jewellers, Dutch jewellers, auctions by Sotheby’s and Christie’s, royal history in general and biographical articles. The main focus was on the Dutch royal jewellery collection. I was able to present several scoops based on archival research in the Royal Collections and the archives of Van Kempen en Begeer at RKD in The Hague. From 2014 to 2017 I had my own column, called Royal Jewels.

Koninklijke Juwelen, special glossy edition about European royal jewels of the magazine Royalty, 116 pages, 2011 (cover featured on the right).

Italiaans voor Dummies, editor of the 2nd edition of the Dutch Italian for Dummies, Pearson Education, 2008.

– In between 2003 and 2008 I published 10 interviews with Dutch literary authors in Arabesken, the journal of the Louis Couperus Society. Louis Couperus was, in short, the Dutch Oscar Wilde. The interviews were about the influence of Couperus’ work on the authors. Interviewed were: Hella Haasse, Adriaan van Dis, Bas Heijne, Arthur Japin, Anna Enquist, Antoine Bodar, Helga Ruebsamen, Willem Melchior, Aristide von Bienefeldt and Liesje Schreuders. 


Jewish Court Jewellers and Diamond Traders, Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, 2018 (and elsewhere).

Royal Regional Dress, annual congress of the Royal Association of Orange Societies, Bunschoten, 2015.

The Origin of the Etruscan Myth in Florence, 5th Zenobia Congress, Amsterdam, 2015

Trees of Gold. Royal Adaptations of Paradise in Dante’s Purgatory, International Medieval Congress in Leeds, 2008, and Forum Middle Ages of the University of Amsterdam, 2008. 



An overview of citations, mentions and acknowledgements in works of others. 

Jewellery & Objets d’art

[quotation] Tina Izaac-Goizé, ‘From Gems for Royalty to Recycled Gold‘ in The New York Times, 2022

[quotation] Jean Jacques Richard: ‘Oscar Massin’, 2022,

[quotation & acknowledgement] Gabriella Tassinari: ‘Un ignoto incisore di gemme: lo scultore e ceroplasta Francesco Pozzi’, in MDCCC 1800, Vol. 9, July 2020, pp. 5-46

[quotation] Extensive quotation from my article on Fabergé’s Neo-Renaissance presentation tray in one of the major newspapers in the Netherlands, NRC, on 17 January 2019. A photo of the tray with reference to the article Koninklijke cadeaus, vorstelijke problemen is included on the front page of the newspaper and is the feature on the front page of the Cultural Supplement. To see the article, click here

[mention] Mention of the article in NRC (above) in Fabergé Research Newsletter, Spring and Summer 2019

[literature reference] Reference to my article on Oscar Massin in Jewellery History Today in the literature overview of lot 54 in Sotheby’s Fine Jewels auction in London, 11 December 2018: Important Diamond Necklace, Oscar Massin, Last Quarter of the 19th Century, page 36

[quotation] El misterio de las tiaras de la Casa de Hannover: Con cuál se coronará Sassa de Osma?, Look/OK diario.

[quotation] Quotation on several news websites in the Netherlands about Queen Máxima wearing the historic, sea-green diamond the Stuart during the state visit to the United Kingdom (,,, 2018. 

[object research] Inclusion of my research in the website of the Royal Collections in The Hague regarding the acquisition history of the medallion made by Oscar Massin with diamond engraved by M.C. de Vries jr.

[object research] Identification of the maker of a gold, ruby and diamond snuffbox from the personal collection of Queen Victoria, Royal Collection, Windsor. (One of) the first known objects made by Jan van Oosterwout, an Amsterdam gold and silversmith

[blog] La Tour Eiffel en diamants: qu’elle-est devenue?, article by Jean-Jacques Richard on his blog. I provided the initial find of the subject of this blog post.

[blog] La tombe d’Oscar Massin en direct du Cimetière Montmartre, blog post by Jean-Jacques Richard, presenting the grave of Oscar Massin in its current state, after my question if it could be found by someone in Paris, which Mr. Richard immediately arranged.

[blog] Oscar Massin dans la collection Royale Néerlandaise, translation by Mr. Richard of my article,

[book] Marit Eisses and Madelief Hohé, Haagse Chic, Steltman, 100 jaar sieraden & zilver, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Waanders Uitgevers, Zwolle, 2017, references to my article in Royalty 6/2016 on page 141.

[journal] The Fife Tiara, in: Jewellery History Today 32, mention of the article on Massin in JHT 31, 2018.

[book] Josine Droogendijk, De magie van Máxima, Pepper Books, 2018, short interview on p. 84.

[book] Els Smit, De nieuwe mode van Oranje, Spectrum, 2017, acknowledgement on p. 206.

[online] Fabergé Research Newsletter Winter 2015mention of article on demantoid and diamond bangle.  

[quotation] Parelsnoer Amalia van Solms te koop,, 22 April 2014. 

[online] Quotation of tweets on the jewelry worn by Queen Máxima on Prinsjesdag 2013, the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament on NRC’s live blog

[online] Quotation of tweets on the jewelry worn by Queen Máxima on Prinsjesdag 2013, the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament on NRC’s live blog

 The Etruscan Myth in the Early Florentine Renaissance

[reference] Rebecce Jelbert: ‘The Medici Coat of Arms and Etruscan Votive Sculpture’, The Coat of Arms, series 3 (September 2020), no. 237, pp. 190-208

[reference] Michele Campopiano, ‘Erinnerung und Vergessen von Stiftungsmythen in Italien’, in: Stadtgeschichte(n). Erinnerungskulturen der vormodernen Stadt, Forum Mittelalter – Studien, Band 14, Schell Steiner, 2017, p. 85. 

[book] Joost Keizer, The Realism of Piero della Francesca, Routledge, 2017. 

[book] Virginia Cox, The prodigious muse: Women’s writing in Counter-Reformation Italy, John Hopkins University Press, 2011.

[book] Antonino de Francesco, The Antiquity of the Italian Nation: The Cultural Origins of a Political Myth in Modern Italy 1796-1943, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, p. 244.  

[book] David A. Levine: ‘Frans Hals and the Vernacular’, in The Transformation of Vernacular Expression in Early Modern Arts, ed. by Joost Keizer and Todd M. Richardson, Brill Uitgeverij, Leiden, 2011, p. 193. 

[book] Han Lamers, Greece Reinvented: Transformations of Byzantine Hellenism in Renaissance Italy, Brill Uitgeverij, Leiden, 2015, p. 181. 

[PhD thesis] Timothy Neal, A Labour of Leisure, an Ethnographic Account of a Village in Rural France, Department of Town and Regional Planning, 2015, pp. 204, 316.

[PhD thesis] Lucy Shipley, Experiencing Etruscan Pots: Ceramics, Bodies and Images in Archaic Etruria, University of Southampton, 2013, pp. 47, 369. 

[Article] Lucy Shipley: ‘Guelphs, Ghibellines and Etruscans: Archaeological Discoveries and Civic Identity in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Tuscany’, in Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 23(1): 4, pp. 1-9.

[article] Lucy Shipley: ‘Etruscans Online’, in Blogging Archaeology, edited by Doug Rocks-Macqueen and Chris Webster, Landward Research Ltd in Association with Succinct Research and DIGTECH LLC, pp. 199, 211.

[acknowledgement] Martijn Eickhoff: ‘Meaningful Silence? Alexander W. Byvanck and his Attitude Towards the Archaeology of Fascist Rome’, in Fragmenta, Journal of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, 2008, volume 2, p. 263.

[reference, master thesis] Katherine Coty, A Dream of Etruria. The Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo and the Alternate Antiquity of Alto Lazio, University of Washington, 2013, pp. 45, 200. 

[reference, thesis] Veronica Leoni, La storiografia al servizio della politica? La questione delle origini a Firenze, nascita e fortuna del passato etrusco, Zurich University, 2012, pp. 31, 45, 49.  

[reference, newsletter] Etruscan News, Newsletter of the American Section of the Institute for Etruscan and Italic Studies, Winter 2012, page 28. Mention of the lecture ‘The Origin of the Etruscan Myth in Florence’ at the Fifth Zenobia Congress: The Etruscans and the Seas, University of Amsterdam, October 29, 2011.

[reference, paper] [Author unknown] Etruscan themes in Michelangelo’s New Sacristy: Reflections of a Medici Myth, paper delivered at the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, 2013.

Dante Alighieri

 [reference] Luca Patrizi, ‘”A Gemstone Among the Stones”: The Symbolism of Precious Stones in Islam and its Relation with Language’, in: Historia religionum: an international Journal, 10/2018, Fabrizio Serra Editore, pp. 111, 112, 115

[review] ‘Per una rilettura del ‘legno lucido e sereno’ di Purgatorio VII’, in International Medieval Bibliography, Volume 43, issue 2, University of Leeds, 2009, p. 212. 

[review] by Gabriele Becheri: ‘Per una rilettura del ‘legno lucido e sereno’ di Purgatorio VII’, in La rassegna della letteratura italiana, 2009, nr. 1, p. 161-162.

 [acknowledgement] Evelien Chayes, L’Éloquence des Pierres précieuses. De Marbode de Rennes à Alard d’Amsterdam et Rémy Belleau. Sur quelques lapidaires du XVIe siècle, Honoré Champion, Paris, 2010.

[Reference, PhD thesis] Nella Coletta, La pietra dei filosofi: dispositive analogici e sostituti figurali dall’alchimia alle Petrose di Dante, Università degli Studi di Bergamo, 2015, pp. 177, 178, 479.

[reference, article] Cristina Meschiari: ‘Gorgon e Vis Lapidificativa. Elementi di mineralogia tra Alberto Magno e Dante’, in Saggi e studi, I Castelli di Yale, Anno II, numero 1, 2014, p. 10.

[acknowledgement] Amy Golahny, Professor of Art History, Lycoming College, Williamsport PA: ‘The Marbles of the James V. Brown Library, The Italian Neoclassical in Williamsport, Pennsylvania’, in The Magazine of The Victorian Society in America, vol. 27, no. 2, Fall 2007, 19-26; reprinted in The Journal of the Lycoming County Historical Society, 44, Fall 2008, 6-16, acknowledgements on pp. 11, 16.

[paper], Trees of Gold,

Louis Couperus

[acknowledgement] Evert Paul Veltkamp: ‘Het echtpaar Soulier’, in Arabesken 48, 2016, acknowledgement on p. 42.

Albert Verwey

[acknowledgement] Madelon de Keizer, Als een meeuw op de golven. Albert Verwey en zijn tijd, Uitgeverij Prometheus, 2017, acknowledgement on p. 739.  

Humanities, general

[acknowledgement] Caro Verbeek, Een kleine cultuurgeschiedenis van de (grote) neus, 2022, p. 213.

[acknowledgement] Caro Verbeek, Ruiken aan de tijd. De olfactorische dimensie van het futurisme (1909-1942), acknowledgement in PhD thesis on the olfactory dimension of Italian futurism, 2020

[exhibition catalogue] Coordinator of Chandler Burr’s exhibition El Arte del Perfume (The Art of Scent) in Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid (2014/15) and Editor of the exhibition catalogue

[quotation] Dirk Wolthekker, ‘Pamflet tegen uitkleding talenonderwijs‘, Folia 5/2008, page 4. 

[inverview] Gerard Reijn, ‘De alfawetenschappen hopen op betere tijden‘, De Volkskrant, 13 October 2008

[quotation] Marieke van Twillert, ‘Niemand studeert nog Fins‘, NRC, 3 November 2008. 

[quotation] Marieke van Twillert, ‘Ouderwetse verdieping in een taal is nu eenmaal te duur‘, NRC, 31 October 2008. 

[reference] G. Gemert, ‘Von Kosch bis Kluge. Achtzig Jahre Germanistik in Nijmegen’, Utrechter Blätter, 2009, issue 1, p. 139, reference.

[online] Newsletter of Gary Schwartz Art Historian, ‘Frederik Hendrik gets the hots’, acknowledgement,

In literature

Rijk de Jong [Aristide von Bienefeldt], Er zat weer een Paul Newman in de keuken, Uitg. Marmer, 2014.