Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The stork again

Where Prinsengracht meets  Reguliersgracht in Amsterdam you can see the famous seven bridges.

At night, the illuminations of the bridges gives the impression of a tunnel, "the tunnel of love" as this view is also called.

On the corner of these two canals, at the end of the 'tunnel', a midwife had her practice in the 17th century. A statue of a stork above the door is still visible as an early advertising sign of her business.

Also there is a church called de ooievaar (the stork)
In 1705 the parish bought the house in Barndesteeg that in the Middle Ages had been part of the Mary Magdalene-in-Bethanënklooster and had later become an inn ,owned by the widow Jacoba Roch-van Erp.
Her grandfather was the merchant Marcus Vogelaar, who captured his name in the stone. Thus came the church to its name.

The plaque with the stork comes from the former hidden church of Sts. Peter and Paul in  the Barndesteeg. 
There it was placed in the facade of the house on the garden side.
Because it was hidden by a wall no one knew of its existence. 
When the owner in 1954 tore  the wall down, the stone came out and went over to the Municipal  Monument Bureau. 
Now it was a  coincidence that the head of this agency was also a board member of the metropolitan Amstelodamum historical society, whose secretary, Jan Ringeling, was a member of the Old Catholic parish in the Ruysdaelstraat.
This was the Office, if it wanted to relinquish the stone to the parish on condition that it would be placed in the new  church.
 It so happened on Christmas Day 1954 and was unveiled by  pastor Heyligers .

Why are we so stork minded because  of the letter by Charles James Vlieland and because of the spoon.
Here is the letter  by  Charles James Vlieland.

June 11 1905

Dear Sir
In November 1902 you wrote me in answer of an advert, I put in a Dutch Newspaper
I have, owing to certain circumstances let the matter drop .for the time.
I am now desirious of getting certain information if possible.
A certificate of the birth of my grandfather which would I suppose give the name ,social position place of residence of his father also whether there was a family crest
Certain of my relatives think it was a stork with a snake in its bill.
The following details are all I can give you.
If you consider that with them it is useless to proceed please say so
I state you for giving such advice
If you think it is worthwhile kindly let me now what your charges will be ( inclusive)
I will tell you what I am prepared to do.
My Grandfather was born June 27 1796 his name was Jerome Nicholas Vlieland.
(like the island in the Zuijderzee) shown in maps of Holland
His ancestors supposed to have been de Vlielands
One of his grandchildren , a cousin of mine was christened Janson de Vlieland Vlieland
I do not know where in Holland he was born probably at or in near the Hague or Amsterdam
He came to this country with some other members of his family when probably about 25 years old.
He is said to have come as a “refuge” but why I do not know. personally he seems to have had some kind of hatred of the French
He is said to have had an uncle an officer in the Dutch Navy John Vlieland who was killed fighting by the French.
My Grandfather would have been a well educated man ,as he made his living as a professor of languages and wrote volumes in French German and Italian
I should say he was certainly not a Roman Catholic
I am
Yours faithfully

And here is the story of the spoon.
An interesting thing happened yesterday. I was looking for something in the depths of a cupboard when I found some silverware which belonged to my grandmother, I have not looked at these items for years, well I had a quick look through and spotted a spoon with a monogram on the handle, the monogram was a stork!! I suddenly thought I wonder if this is the same monogram that is spoken about in the letter. This stork does not carry the eel in it's beak but has it's foot raised on a cross, it is also standing on a twisted rope style ground.
One family member mailed

So here is the stork and of course there is a back on this spoon

Then another family member explains this back side .The duty mark. This is the monarchs head, in this case George III. This was to show duty had been paid to the crown on this spoon before it has its assay mark struck. In this case he is what is called “in cameo” as he has an oval mount around him.

Then the lion is what is called passant (standing on 3 legs) also he is not looking ahead of himself but at you. Hard to tell I know but if you saw one looking ahead you would see how it differs.

The date letter is a Roman uppercase K in a cartouche that is flat at the top with slants either side and a shield shape at the bottom.

Every year and City has variations of these things, the date letter especially, as it can be one of many fonts with a different surround.
The only place that has all these ingredients at one time is London 1805-1806.
And this is what the first familymember had discovered as well
The makers marks of
Thomas Wallis II

as you can see here as well .
So we know it is made in 1805 in London by Thomas Wallis .
And maybe it was apresent for someone born in 1805
Then the stork

The third familymember asked help at the Dutch heraldic society about the stork.
And they explained 
It is possible Anglo-Saxon, as the stork with the knob cross under his footand it  stands on a knot .

This is a so-called crest In the English part of the world it can be used separately without helmet marks on the weapon., As a kind of synecdoche.
Very heraldic and maybe quite understandable but it does not make sense for this familymember .

But we can conclude that it is British and about the time Jerome was born obviously we have no way of knowing if this was part of the Vlieland silver but it is nice to think it could be.

More about The stork

The stork is also a symbole of birth .
 Of the city of the Hague in Holland .
Of the Stork family in England

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