The Frederik Hoek Collection
"A real treasure of Dutch cultural heritage", says Mr. Richard Hessink.
The Collection, which includes one of the finest collections of traditional Dutch gold and silver jewellery, from the province of Zeeland, is very rare and unique indeed and holds items that can only be found in books today. Frederik Hoek was a true collector, a man dedicated to his collection, who would handle each item with the upmost care and one that believed each item should remain original. It is for that reason you will not find a single restored item in his collection.
The Frederik Hoek collection, offered at Hessink's International Fine Art Auctioneers, under the name of "the Zeelandia Collection"Sold on the 29th of January 2022, is one of the finest collections of Zeeland folk art, traditional Dutch gold and silver jewellery from the 18th and 19th century, Dutch silver, Zeeland paintings, 17th and 18th century maps from Zeeland, and Art Nouveau & Art Deco. A collectors dream, and a once in a life-time chance to obtain items so rare, that they can only be seen in books today.
The Story of the Golden Forehead Needle.
Scissors, blades and tubes with various needles have dangled from their skirts for centuries. It is a (sewing) tool. The basting needle is inserted under the hat band after use. It is a flat blunt needle with which a cord or a lace is threaded through a straight or lacing body and tightened.
From practical to showpiece Over the course of hundreds of years, the beading needle changes into a beautiful silver or gold headpiece. The needle is connected to a flat, engraved part that partially covers the forehead. The forehead needle is worn in Zeeland regional dress until the end of the 19th century.
Married or single The married woman carries the forehead needle on the right. The nubile lady wears the forehead needle on the left. The more extravagant and intricate in the decoration and engraving, the wealthier the wearer and her family were.
The Ear-Iron, a Dutch Traditional Head Brace.
Ear irons are worn in Staphorst, Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, Urk and in Zeeland. An ear iron is a typical Dutch "accessory". A brace that clamps around the head to which you could attach a lace hat. An undercap (usually black) was worn under the ear iron and the lace cap. This way the lace cap stayed clean for longer.
Ear irons have been worn since the 16th century. Originally, the ear iron was a bent iron wire that ran under the hair at the back of the head and pressed against the cheeks. The ear iron worn on Urk are the ones that most closely resembles the original ear iron. The ear iron had studs at the ends so that the sharp iron did not sting the face. The iron rusted in damp weather, which is why materials were later used that were better able to withstand the Dutch climate, like copper, silver and gold.
The clamp was not only used as a functional tool, but also as a showpiece. The buttons became ornaments in the form of bird heads or snakes. Behind the decorated end were holes through which pins could be inserted to secure the hat. Those pins were also used to show off, as they became larger and more elaborate.
In the north of the country, the hoop of the ear iron grew so wide that it encompassed almost the entire head. Of course, such a valuable ear iron was only worn by wealthy people who could afford it. Jewelry and earrings were status symbols to show off. Farm workers and poor people wore at most a narrow copper or silver ear iron or even just a headscarf.
The King of Holland Lodewijk Napoleon issued the following decree in 1809: Married women can wear a gold square on the left and unmarried girls on the right. Married women who nurse their own children are allowed to carry two gold squares.
A History Rich in the Wearing Red Coral.
The Netherlands has a rich history of wearing red coral. This is mainly reflected in traditional clothing. Traditional costumes were often embellished with wide necklaces made entirely of red coral. You saw this especially a lot in Zeeland and Volendam. When a young woman reaches the age of eighteen she is presented with a coral choker which becomes an important part of her wardrobe all of her life. A necklace of red coral would protect the wearer from evil influences.
Button up your Breeches.
A flap button is a very large button that is worn by men as part of his breeches in some regions of The Netherlands as part of their Dutch regional costumes, including in Zeeland. The flap buttons are worn in pairs, and are usually made of silver. A cheaper version could be made of silver-plated brass or even wood.
Silver flap buttons were often richly decorated and can be seen as a form of jewellery for men. The Flap Buttons were put through the large buttonholes in the waistband and front flap of the breeches, and were attached to each other at the back, so that the front flap was kept closed. The fastening is similar to cufflinks. The flap buttons are often quite large, with dimensions up to 9.5 cm have been known to occur. Breeches were richly decorated, with flap buttons that had fine filigree work. Sometimes these buttons were made from a silver coin, so that, for example, the coat of arms of the Netherlands remained visible. In a few cases French coins were used. In the regional dress of Axel, but also that of Volendam, the trousers were traditionally decorated with a rider on horseback. Flap buttons were also decorated with Biblical representations, for example Christ with the Samaritan woman or Joseph with Potiphar's wife.