On March 10, 1966, the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus took place.
Such a Royal wedding naturally also includes a gift from the population.
For the national wedding gift, a special committee was composed of prominent people from the society of the time. The government, organisations and individuals organised collections and the proceeds were enormous. The money was used to pay for the gift – a specially designed table set of glassware, crockery, table linens and silverware – and the couple received a 1 million guilders check to spend as they saw fit. The amount was donated to, among other things, help for disabled children.
Royal Kempen and Begeer provided the silverware and made a silver cutlery cassette with a crowned ‘CB’ monogram in the handle, which also included fish cutlery. Glasfabriek Leerdam took care of the glassware. The glassware was made under the watchful eye of designer A.D. Copier.
Edmond Bellefroid who works at N.V Porselein en Tegelfabriek MOSA was given the honourable assignment to design the crockery.
Bellefroid (1893-1971) was a painter, ceramist and industrial designer born in Maastricht, he worked at MOSA from 1950-1968.
He had to follow certain guidelines. He got the assignment quite late. The design of the glass and silverware plus the furnishing of the dining room were already at an advanced stage. For example, Andries Copier had devised a cylindrical shape with a checkered pattern for the glassware. To reach a unity on the table, Bellefroid had to join it. The color, ‘deserted green’, came from the upholstery of the dining room chairs. It has not disturbed Bellefroid in the least.
The princess thought the motif looked Persian, according to Bellefroid it was more Arabic. The princess kept a close eye on the progress of her glassware and tableware. De Telegraaf of January 19th, 1960 tells us that Copier and Bellefroid would travel to Drakesteyn the next day with modified models. Apparently the previous ones were not entirely satisfactory. Stan Huygens: ‘Together we discussed and thought about small detail changes in the original designs that the artists had made, but there is good hope that the designs as they now look will be the definitive ones.’
Recently we were able to purchase a soup bowl from the service for our collection. This comes via via the estate of Mr. Bellefroid himself. This may be a test sample because the service itself is still privately owned and a small part has only been exhibited once, which was in 1966 in DeGalerij in Brunssum.
On March 7, 1966, the entire service was viewed by the Royal family in the Waterloo room of Soestdijk Palace. The princess was delighted with the result. Photos of this can be found on memory.delper.nl and in the National Photo Archive.
INFO for among others Serviesdomein.nl
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