Simular to the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines complimentary gift of small ceramic replicas of historical houses, Holland America Line hands out ceramic Delft Blue tiles in various forms and shapes, as part of their Mariner Society Rewards Program.
Since there is no accurate administration, it was not exactly known how many different tiles have been produced on behalf of Holland America Line. For the last 60 years the majority of the ceramic tiles have been manufactured by Royal Goedenwaagen-Gouda in Nieuw-Buinen, The Netherlands. On a global basis a search has been initiated by collectors to make an inventory of all tile editions from Royal Goedewaagen-Gouda. That inventory has now been completed. The number of issued HAL official tile editions is set at 315 pieces. All tiles can be found on this website. Estimated 70 tiles are issued by associated organizations.
My collection consists of 375 tiles and 7 tile tableaus. The items in this collection have been acquired through website and exhibition purchases, through auctions and gifts.
In principle every first day of the month (with exception of the summer months) the picture on the homepage will be replaced; then I also make an update with any new acquisitions.
In the 1930’s, the Holland America Line ships were known as “The Spotless Fleet”. At the time, the Statendam III was “The Queen” of the fleet. This ship with three outstanding smokestacks is depicted on the “certificate of authenticity”, accompaning the newest marine tile distributed to the passengers during a cruise (Mariner Collection series 2019, see the menu News Februari 1, 2019).
In 2005, the famous maritime artist Stephen J. Card, whose original oilpaintings hang on almost all Holland America Line ships, has collected his work in a splendid 225 page photo album published by Carmania Press in London. Presently, he is working with historian dr. Nico Guns on a renewed edition. His unique paintings and sketches provide a fitting homage to the ships of “The Spotless Fleet”.
Stephen J. Card gave me permission to enrich the website homepage on a monthly basis with a picture of one of his paintings beginning February 1, 2019.
In this update the Maasdam is central.
Painting of the month March: the ss Maasdam (IV) during an Atlantic crossing from Montreal en route to Rotterdam. In this painting Stephen also depicts The Solent, the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England, steaming along the northern shore of the isle heading out toward the Nab Tower pilot station. On the hills of East Cowes abeam of the Maasdam is Norris Castle, a Norman-style private residence built in 1790.
The painting is a link to a newly discovered tile: the fifth tile from the so-called Bethlehem-series with the inscription “to remind me of my trip with the …”. You can read more about the tile in the menu News.
Next update: in September 2018, Holland America Line started with a new concept “EXC in depth”, an innovative manner of taking a cruise to exotic destinations, whereby the local culture is included. The voyages are offered on the ms Maasdam V, which is fitted with eight Zodiac boats with which one can explore less accessible areas. Due to our upcoming stay on board the Maasdam the following update will be presented July 1, 2019.