Engeltje, the first person insured by the Hollandsche Societeit

In 1907, the general manager of the Hollandsche Societeit van Levensverzekeringen, Mr W.J.M. Westerwoudt, bought this painting. It was painted in 1793 by Cornelis van Cuylenburg II.

The painting shows an elegant, noble woman in West Frisian costume. The painting is of then 20-year-old Engeltje, the first person insured by the Hollandsche Societeit in the year of its foundation: 1807.

Engeltje was born in Oostzaan on 14 February 1773. Her portrait was painted on the occasion of her first marriage. Unfortunately, Engeltje’s husband died shortly after the birth of their daughter.

Many years later, she married Mr Jan Nagel. He signed a life insurance for Engeltje of 50,000 Dutch guilders, an exceptionally high amount. The insured capital in the equivalent sum in today’s currency would be about EUR 375,000. The annual premium was about 1,500 guilders.

We have no further information about this remarkable insurance contract. We do not know whether it matured, lapsed or was surrendered. We only know that on 29 December 1856, Engeltje Nagel died in Amsterdam at the age of 83, 49 years after the life insurance was taken out.

Portret van Engeltje Nagel Smit, 1793 by Cornelis van Cuylenburg II

Contract of the life insurance on the life of Engeltje Nagel, Hollandsche Societeit van Levensverzekeringen, 1807

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