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Dutch Royal Silver: Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix
April 30, 2005–July 4, 2005
April 30, 2005–July 4, 2005
The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Royal Netherlands Embassy present Dutch Royal Silver: Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. This special exhibition, held in the Corcoran’s Salon Doré, features a selection of rarely seen decorative works from the private collection of the Royal House of Orange-Nassau, many of which have never before been displayed in the United States. Dutch Royal Silver: Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix is on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from April 30 through July 4, 2005.
The exhibition includes decorative works from the early nineteenth century such as a diamond-encrusted silver and gold jewelry box created to honor the Silver Jubilee of King Willem III in 1874 and a magnificent table decoration crowned with a nautilus shell. This shell, frequently represented in Dutch still life paintings, suggests the importance of the sea for the Dutch, an appropriate theme for the piece which was a gift to King Willem III from the province of Zeeland, a group of islands in southwest Holland.
Other pieces on view celebrating Dutch maritime culture include a table decoration presented by the Royal Dutch Navy and ship pilot organization to King Willem III and Queen Emma in 1870. This intricate piece features an elaborate model of the ship Queen Emma of the Netherlands in silver and vermeil (gilded silver). The model features banners that stream from the tip of the tallest mast and a delicate network of lines and billowing golden sails and tiny silver life boats dangling from the ship’s sides.
Most of the pieces in the exhibition, while created for use, are also tour-de-force examples of Dutch craftsmanship. A candelabra and matching bowl, for example, are pieces from an extensive table service that includes complete and exquisitely detailed silverware settings for a multitude of diners. Like many other pieces in the exhibition, this table setting still graces formal dinners hosted by Queen Beatrix and other members of the royal family.
Dutch Royal Silver: Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and made possible by the Royal Netherlands Embassy with generous funding from AEGON, Philips Electronics, and Shell Oil Company.
Additional support has been provided by Sotheby's Institute of Art - London, a division of Cambridge Information Group, and Jo Ann and John Mason.