Maritime History 12
v Bird’s eye view of Netherlands’ whaling, 1612-1964.
Whaling has been an important driving force for the Dutch economy for centuries. Not only were thousands of seamen employed directly in this industry every year. Concomittant industries (tanneries, soap boiling, roperies, try-houses), but also suppliers and firms involved in the distribution of the products did well from the success of whale hunting. During the 17th and a large part of the 18th century our country was, without a doubt, the largest whaling nation. This changed in the latter half of the 18th century.
This is a story which links to the exhibition about Dutch whaling in the recently re-opened Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
v From whale hunter to whale protector. Almost everyone knows the media controversy which resumes every year when the whaling season starts. The picture emanating from that is that there are two sides, the proponents of whale hunting with the main players being Japan, Norway and Iceland, and the opponents of the hunt, the whale saving countries among which is The Netherlands. The first group mostly gets a bad press and the others mostly sympathy. This article is meant to give some nuance to this picture and to show how these arguments embroider on a long history.
v Arctic swell. The flourishing time of whaling in the Republic has left many traces in literature, art and applied and industrial art. Clocks with a whaling motive have not been dealt with earlier as part of that rich maritime culture. The whaling clocks, in their entirely own way, throw light on this fascinating part of national history, and are worthy of being brought to the attention of a wider public.
- The model of the whaling fluyt ‘Paerel’. Antique ships models are beginning to demand respectable prices at auctions. For a long time interest was small and no wonder. Although they can contain a treasure of historical information and often are, in shape and detail, of great beauty, they are objects that are difficult to maintain especially as they collect dust in interiors. The report that follows below had been written at the request of someone who purchased a model of the seventeenth century whaling ‘fluyt’, de Paerel, a seventeenth century ship of which a model was made in the eighteenth century.