Local Heart, Global Soul

April 2, 2019

Bettcha You Can’t Do THIS On A 3D Printer!

The Mauritshuis in The Hague doesn’t just have exceptional paintings on show: there are also beautiful works in stone. I am a tad confused by the “Copy After” in the short information panel that was nearby. Does this mean I was looking at the copy, or did it mean that Eggers was modelling his representation of Maurits on some earlier piece by someone else that I didn’t see mentioned?

The name further down on the plinth says: “Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679)’ which pretty much duplicates the information on the accompanying Information panel, so I am not immediately (or later for that matter), any the wiser.

Either way, what I see before me is nothing short of amazing… Bettcha can’t do this on a 3D printer!

Bartholomeus Eggers (c1637-1692) (Copy After) Bust of Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679) Sculpted 1664.”

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 14, 2019

Finding An Art Deco Design…

Zierikzee has building of all ages, here’s one in the Art Deco style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2019

Stadhuis Rooms…

Other parts of Zierikzee’s Gemeente Stadhuis (City council / Town Hall) that I managed to visit during the 2017 Easter break, were several beautiful rooms. However I didn’t see all of the Stadhuis by any means because of time constraints, mostly due to my taking time out to keep sitting down to have a rest. One room has a large piece that has been made with thousands of sea shells. Marble pieces above the fireplaces are also amazing…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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January 31, 2019

Posting A Letter: And A Mystery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another place I pass during my 2017 Easter break in Zierikzee was a local post office.

These establishments are becoming as rare as hens teeth in the Netherlands, the rapid rise of email and electronic communication having depleted letter post wholesale.

The rise of internet purchases and subsequent parcel post meant that separate couriers arrive for packages, and the humble letter, greeting card, postcard and stamps have been dispatched to a counter located in a tobacconist, book shop or the like.

What hasn’t changed are the large letter boxes,  they are sometimes bigger in size because there are now fewer of them around the neighbourhood too.

Here in The Netherlands there are different slots for different places, so local Zierikzee post, The Netherlands, Europe / Outside Europe are possibilities, depending on the instructions on the front of the box. This makes for faster sorting and quicker delivery.

Behind it however is a very curious stone plaque that incorporates a letterbox in the wall of the post office.

I looked up the “Coat of Arms for Zierikzee and found that it “consists of a black lion rampart, on a red background, with a saber from it’s mouth, topped with  shield covered in a crown and the letter “Z” in gold on each side of the lion“.

This clearly isn’t it. This stone plaque has two lions rampart, standing apart in the top left and right corners. They both face left and there are two small banners above that semi-connect them.

My guess would be that these represent waves, but I could of course be wrong. Underneath the lions flies a bird… which by the wing length and shape of the body looks (at least to me) more like a seagull than anything else, and then the letter slot and beneath that the words “Anno 1940” (Year 1940). I did a search of Coats of Arms for Zeeland and came up with nothing even vaguely similar so this one is a mystery to me. If anyone knows I’d love to find out what this one means or what it belongs to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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January 5, 2019

Right At Street Level…

Regular readers will know that I love quirky things like the patterns and designs of metal street drain covers, the form of bollards, old stone, wrought iron, brick and the like. The lovely city of Zierikzee in Zeeland did not disappoint. I even found bollards that looked like buried cannon, and there were two of them!, one each side of a museum entrance. (more on that later). Looking around in the vicinity of my feet has become a habit, either because I’m sitting at a lower eye level in the wheelchair, or looking carefully where to park my next step on crutches. Of course my “collection” of things like man-hole covers is only a photographic one, but it delights me all the same. I found some beautiful small markers embedded in the streets, in several other cities of the Netherlands and Germany, these can often denote where Jewish families formerly lived and worked before the terror and horror of the Second World War caught them up and wiped out so many families. In so marking the streets, this is often a small sign that these cities continue to remember these events and their former residents.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some very old stone repurposed…

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The person who designed this master class in brickwork is my hero… beautiful, functional, so pleasing to the eye…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Above and Below): A series of Art Deco style bollards… maybe even original’s?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Below: small but shiny and bright in the cobbles… a remembrance marker?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Or stop your rainwater downpipe from getting squished and dinged by vehicles (it was a very narrow street) by filling and old milk churn with concrete (cement) and incorporating it into the pavement. Inspiring street decoration and problem solved!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These ancient stones have been repurposed and now protect a curb…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

An excellent pattern to liven up a man-hole cover….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heavy duty protection outside the museum. Any driver would think twice before taking these fellas on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 17, 2018

Pounamu, Jade, It’s All Greenstone To Me…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On our way back from Franz Josef glacier we arrive again in Ross. This time we are not here to check our luck finding gold, but to hopefully collect another New Zealöand treasure: Pounamu , or as readers may know it: Jade.

Mountain Jade Company website tells us:  “Jade is a semi-precious stone that goes by many names, including nephrite, greenstone and pounamu.

Typically green or black in colour and often flecked with stunning hints of gold and cloudy milky hues, jade has been revered by cultures around the world for thousands of years.

New Zealand’s European colonists typically refer to jade as greenstone, while Maori people call it pounamu.

Elsewhere, geologists call the stone nephrite while gemologists know it simply as jade. Despite regional differences, these names all refer to same material

I already have a (cow) bone “Hei Matau” (fish hook) which I wear every day. For me this is a special piece first because it was a gift from an Aunt who is a member of the Kaikoura Ngāi Tahu southern group of Maori. The fish hook is the symbol of the “Mainland” (South Island) and in Maori legend Maui used a line and fish hook to drag the North Island out of the depths of the sea. Since I am South Island born and bred and now live on the other side of the world this symbol is my little piece of “home” that I wear every day.

I have always been on the look out for a companion piece in Jade to go with my bone Hei Matau but so far, places like the souvineer shop we visited in Picton just don’t have the simple style I am dreaming of finding. Their pieces are too tourist orientated for my tastes. Kiwi Daughter is also on the lookout for a special piece of Jade for herself so it’s to one of the jade /pounamu / greenstone carvers that we go.

The artist is Steve, who carves amazing pieces of all shapes and sizes. His workshop shows pieces in progress, the walls have photographs of native birds (one of his inspirations) and around the walls the jade is on display. Steve has lost a leg (I didn’t ask how) so we joked about having one working leg each, and he explained about how work on Jade is slow, delicate work where a design can not just be imposed on the stone, it has to be worked out gently around the imperfections and grain of the stone.

We also learn that there are different grades of Jade, the most “pure” being of course the rarest and most expensive. There are probably more than fifty pieces on show and I learn later that from those Steve had put out just a couple of the best quality.  Of course this not to say that the majority of the pieces were low quality, because they certainly were not. That would be like asking you if you wanted to turn down 18 carat gold just because it wasn’t 24 carat gold. Would you do it? Of course not. The Other jade is of seriously good quality, it’s just that it is possible, on occasion to find rare pieces of stone that are almost perfect. Steve had a few such pieces. It turned out that even though one display was higher up than the rest, and contained a mixture of styles, I was immediately drawn to one piece. It was long and slim, imagine a sword blade but with slightly softened edges. This was the piece I’d been looking for, for all these years. To my amazement I’d also picked out one of these rare pieces of Jade. Kiwi Daughter bought herself a beautiful small piece, also of very good quality, a simple, elegant piece of pounamu that she too wears every day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Jade, with the grain clear to see…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Below: this piece was massive.. and so tactile, as Little Mr. could attest. We all wanted to touch this one. Little Mr’s had also for scale…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 27, 2018

Robert Falcon Scott, As Sculpted By His Wife…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is the statue of Robert Falcon Scott, the Antarctic explorer who lost the race to be first to the South Pole and who, with his team of men, perished on the ice.

The statue was damaged in the 2010/11 earthquakes and after breaking in half needed extensive restoration.

In these photographs Scott is missing the staff that he was holding in his right hand. What makes this statue especially notable is that is was sculpted by his wife, Kathleen Scott, in Italy in Carrara marble and it bought out to New Zealand after the end of the First World War.
Wikipedia tell me that;

“The inscription on the plinth, which is one of his last diary entries, reads:

‘I do not regret this journey, which shows
that Englishmen can endure hardships,
help one another, and meet death with
as great fortitude as ever in the past.”

The inscription had become illegible by 1922 and a separate marble plaque with this text was installed at the entrance to the reserve. Another plaque lists the names of the five men who died.”

The link to the Wiki page shows both the broken statue and it in it’s original state, with the staff in his hand. (it looks more “complete” with the staff in my opinion).

I’ve taken multiple views of the statue for my artistic inspiration files.

Wikipedia / Robert Falcon Scott / Statue / Christchurch / New Zealand
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Statue

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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January 7, 2018

A Quiet Spot To Light A Candle…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Lastly, when leaving Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog for the last time, we come across what I first thought to be a Catholic Cemetery.

Instead it shows what appears to be the Stations of the Cross, each of the scenes in a small enclosed box to protected it from the elements.

An information board close by reads: “Kapel van Nijhoven” (Saint Salvator Chapel / St Salvadore of Nijhoven)
Nijhoven is a very old settlement. The name comes from “nieuwe hoven” which means “new farms”.

Excavations have shown that a wooden field chapel was here as early as the post-Carolingian monastery time. In the 14th century there was a stone field-chapel which burnt down in 1585.

In the 17th century the chapel was rebuilt as a cross-formed church which was of the same size as parish churches of that time. In 1648 Protestants tore down and destroyed the contents of the church.

Miraculously a large wooden crucifix was saved which is now in the Sint Remigius church of `Baarle-Hertog. In 1807 a large part of the church was demolished and in1926 the protestant community decided to demolish the entire building.

All of the architectural ornamental elements were used to restore the Reformed church on the market (in the town) of Ginneken. In 1930 the Catholics built the current chapel on the foundations of the previous “Priesterkoor“ (Kiwi’s note: sorry, I couldn’t translate this last word, the closest I could guess was “priest” “Choir” but I know for certain that that’s not correct).The architect is the Benedictine monk Van der Laan”.

A meditation garden surrounds the grotto, and as usual Himself and I lit candles for a friend of ours who is a Catholic nun. Even in the dead of winter this is a calm and serene place and we were pleased to have stopped here before our trip home and back to the rush and roar of family life.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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November 14, 2017

Checking Out Before Checking In…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before checking into our room in “Den Engel” (The Angel) Hotel in Baarle Nassau, I have to of course check out the beautiful carved stone relief panel set into the wall on the street outside.

There is a small information plaque on the wall above it which says:

‘For centuries this street was called “Engelsestraat” (Angelstraat), named after the “Den Engel” (the Angel) Inn.

A  three-day livestock market took place at this location twice per year,  events for which the area was famous.

Max van Tilborg bought “Den Engel” in 1894 because of the existing calf and livestock trade and established a butchery on this spot as an addition to the Inn.

Since this time “Hostellerie Den Engel” has belong to the Tilborg family or as it is today, the Tilborg company.

No information is given as to the age of this stone carved piece, or the artist but I am stopped in my tracks in admiration… and a few photographs of course because this is well worth checking out as we check into the hotel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 21, 2017

Who Can Resist Stopping And Getting A Photo?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sorting out my archive photo files brings many older folders to light.

The Hague doesn’t have the many canals that makes Amsterdam the tourist draw, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s share of beautiful buildings.

Architectural detail is a passion of mine, old buildings, decorative elements, and things of beauty in brick, stone, wood, wrought iron and the like.

I also like that in the Netherlands bikes come in all shapes, sizes and styles: these ones both sport wicker baskets on the front, but the one on the left is twice as big as the one on the right.

In fact I haven’t seen a basket that big before (or since) so I was delighted to have my camera in my backpack.

I also spotted a map shop that looked inviting but we were in town for an appointment so didn’t have time to go inside. I did get a few quick snaps of one of the stunning old maps on a stand outside though. It’s a detail fanatic’s dream. Then there is a door that has decorative grate work incorporated into it and two caved figures into the stone above it, Who can resist stopping and getting a photo? Not me that’s for sure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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