In February 1978 the cutter suction dredger “Oranje” was christened by Princess Beatrix at the shipyard “Merwede” in Hardinxveld-Giessendam.
A cutter suction dredger is a stationary dredger that grinds hard soil into pieces with a rotating cutter head. This is sucked up by dredging pumps and discharged via pipes to a landfill.
However, the cutter suction dredger Oranje slid off the slope too early. The tiny axe with which the Princess was supposed to remove the last obstacles was left unused in her hand. The bottle of champagne missed the bow of the ship and the princess wished the ship a safe voyage!
One of the attendees commented, “that doesn’t bode well for the ship” and the “Orange” sank in 2003 in Dubai.
The “Oranje” is the first self-propelled, fully seaworthy cutter suction dredger of the dredging company Boskalis.
A beautiful glass has been made to mark this special occasion.
It is a garland foot glass from the Leerdam Colonial Williamsburg series.
Williamsburg is a city in West Virginia named after Stadtholder King William III and the design can be traced back to the discovery there of an antique glass from about 1730.
In Williamsburg is the Williamsburg Foundation that makes many of these types of replica glasses, the shape of the glass is ideal for engraving or etching.
A garland can be seen in the stem of the glass, hence the name garland foot glass, a technique that requires a lot of craftsmanship.
On that day, this glass was gifted to a member of staff who contributed to the design of the cutter suction dredger and it has now been added to our collection via his daughter.
Not many will have been made as it was only gifted to certain invitees.
Thanks to glass expert Johan Soetens for information about this glass.
Information about the launch: Reformatorisch Dagblad publication date 8 -2-1978.
Newspaper from 1978 with article on the launch of the cutter