When Holland America Line dedicates a new ship, it commissions Royal Goedewaagen to create a plate as a gift to attendees at the dedication and guests on special cruises. Koningsdam’s introduction was no exception. The plates for Koningsdam are painted in Blue and Red Delft, which relates to the kind of painting technique that is used.
In addition to the ones given out to guests, two special plates were created for Koningsdam’s dedication: one for Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, the ship’s godmother, and one for the ship. These two plates are slightly larger than the standard plates and each took 10 hours to create. Making them all the more special are golf-leaf details that were applied by hand.
Yvonne Kooi from Royal Goedewaagen shared that two of the company’s painters were asked to make two plates each. In total they needed three plates, as one plate goes into the museum collection, and the fourth is a spare to make sure they get enough perfect plates.
Once the plates came out of the oven, Yvonne chose the two best without looking on the back of the plate that has the initials of the painter. This ensures that there is no pressure on the artist and they keep the decision open until the very end.
Royal Goedewaagen has made thousands of plates and tiles for Holland America Line over the past several decades. Their database and archives show that there are approximately 200 different plate designs, made from 1960 until now. How many they exactly produced per design is unknown. Yvonne said that the number could even be as many as 500,000 pieces. “Sometimes an unknown design just appears on e-bay,” she said.
In addition to the plates, Royal Goedewaagen created a miniature Koningsdam for the ship launch.
Anyone who has been onboard and visited the Grand Dutch Cafe certainly noticed the amazing tables with Royal Goedewaagen buildings inside. Handmade and painted, the pieces in the tables show a little bit of Dutch history, with canal houses, mills, palaces and Zaanse Schans houses (typical green houses from a part of Holland).
In addition to the plates Royal Goedewaagen has done many other different gifts for Holland America Line — from vases to Christmas balls … and of course tiles. The Mariner tile program began in 1995, and millions of tiles have been given as gifts to Mariners over the years. Many of our guests even use them in kitchens and bathrooms to tile these areas. Some even make tables!
This is the way we have used the HAL tiles. My husband and son assembled this table, and we get SO many comments on it. From ardent Holland America Line four-star Mariners! — Kay and Jerry Roberts
Guest Ton Rijppaert of Rotterdam collects the tiles, and he has nearly 300 in his possession. He has them processed in a photobook and he always takes the album with him on his cruises. During his voyage on ms Rotterdam in January 2015 he had the opportunity to exhibit his tiles onboard.
About Royal Goedewaagen
In 1610, the basis of the current pottery factory was founded in Gouda. It originally started with the production of clay pipes, which in the early 17th and 18th centuries were exported all over the world. The heads of these clay pipes are still found in the soil, even in the New York area where the first traders came into the U.S.
Nowadays Royal Goedewaagen manufactures handcrafted ceramics, and they are the only pottery factory that still does all facets of the making of ceramics in-house in the Netherlands — from making the molds for all of the products to the hand-painting of a gift plate like that for the Queen.
“We are proud that we still can say ‘Handmade in the Netherlands!’” — Yvonne Kooi.
For more information about Royal Goedewaagen visit www.goedewaagen.nl.
Do you have any Holland America Line mementos by Royal Goedewaagen? Tell us about them below!