The Claes Claesz. hofje is a complex of several hofjes. The "house with the writing hand" was - appropriately enough - lived in by the satirical cartoonist Opland.
The first is the Anslohofje, founded in 1615-1616 by the merchant Claes Claesz. Anslo. By 1845 it had fallen out of use, the original buildings demolished and new ones erected in their place.
In 1955 the Stichting Diogenes, a foundation which restores old buildings and lets them out to art students, spotted the "huis met de schrijvende hand" (house with the writing hand) at Eglantierstaat 52. After restoring that building, the Stichting turned its attention to the Anslohofje next to it. In 1965, with the help of architect Gerard Prins, they suceeded in reconstructing the original buildings based on drawings and the way support beams were placed in the buildings behind. The restored Anslohofje was reopened in 1969.
The final bit of the Claes Claeszhofje, the buildings on Tuinstraat 35-49, are on the site of the former Zwaardvegershof and are new buildings, although number 45 has the gable from a house on the Zeedijk, demolished at the beginning of the century.
Work was finally completed in 1973, and the hofje is lived in by both students and elderly people from the neighbourhood.