Terug naar mijn glas. Het bestuur van Culemborg heeft Anna van Hannover die dag met alle egards onthaald en kosten noch moeite gespaard om er een heuglijke dag van te maken. Ongetwijfeld zijn vele Oranjegezinden uit de wijde omtrek naar Culemborg getrokken om erbij te zijn. Later moet iemand, die mogelijk al zo’n glas met z’n Oranjegezinde tekst en afbeelding in z’n bezit had er, als herinnering, de lijngegraveerde tekst bij hebben gezet of doen zetten. Ik kan me niet goed voorstellen dat er een aantal glazen om reden van publiciteit zijn gemaakt en aan belangrijke partijgangers werden uitgereikt. Dan zouden er toch zeker meer exemplaren bewaard moeten zijn gebleven. Ik houd het dus op die ene Oranjeklant, maar zou er wel wat voor over hebben om te weten wie dat geweest is.
In Dutch politics, the second half of the 18th century was a period of heated debates and partisanship between the adherents of the House of Orange and the ‘Patriots’, who stood for a more democratic government. The Orange party did use portraits of the Stadholders, their spouses, children or coats of arms. The Patriots preferred images like a free galloping horse, an open birdcage with its bird outside or the ‘Dutch Virgin’ brandishing the hat of Freedom on a lance. But also goblets and glasses engraved with a Pomeranian dog, which the Dutch called a ‘Kees-hond’ are considered Patriot’s glasses. Kees being the nickname of one of the leaders of the Patriots, this dog became an abusive image for the Orangists and at the same time a proud symbol for the Patriots. In the ’70’s and ‘80’s the political situation became acute and the Netherlands saw armed militia, exercising and giving battle to the regular army, the expulsion of the Stadholder, a Prussian invasion to restore him and finally in 1794 an invasion of a French republican army to install the new ‘Batavian’ Republic, which was later incorporated in France by Napoleon and finally became the present Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1814.
At auction I acquired a mid 18th century glass, professionally engraved with an Orange tree on the front and “Vivat Oranien” on the back. In addition to that, a non-professional hand had added a text on the reverse side referring to ‘a joyful day and happy hours in (the city of) Kuilenburg on July 8th 1758’. Research in the historical archives of that city (now named Culemborg) proved that Princess Anna of Hannover (widow of Stadholder Willem IV, mother of the then very young Stadholder-to-be Willem V, daughter of King George II of England and by marriage Countess of Kuilenburg), actually did visit the town on the date mentioned on this glass. Also the archives produced three original folders, the first being a document totalling the costs to 677 Dutch Guilders (now € 13.000), the second containing the original accounts and actual payments to a number of persons, including a wine merchant, musicians, trumpeters, the local organ-player and to the local orphanage, whose dining room and kitchens were the biggest in town. Finally, the third folder contained a city ordinance, dictating the cleaning of the streets (and forbidding the transport of manure thereafter!), the erection of arcs of honour and forbidding gunshots and fireworks by any other but the officials, which seems like a good precaution in those turbu-lent times. Further research unfortunately did not result in finding the person who did engrave the above mentioned text on the glass, but she or he undoubtedly must have been an adherent to the Orange party.