Maladie de porcelaine
Museum Paulina Bisdom van Vliet
Paulina Bisdom van Vliet (1840–1923) was the last scion of the Bisdom family, who had been regents in the village of Haastrecht since the 17th century. When her husband was appointed mayor of Haastrecht in 1878, they moved to the house built in the years before by her late father, the former mayor. After Paulina died, having survived her husband by 42 years, the house became a museum. As stipulated in her will, it had to remain unchanged in every respect, and nowadays Museum Paulina Bisdom van Vliet in Haastrecht is a perfect 19th-century time capsule showing the house of an upper-class family & its eclectic interior. Renovation works are planned until the middle of 2021, and the museum will be closed after 22 December, so there are only three weeks left to visit the museum any time soon.
Located slightly off the beaten track, the museum houses Asian & European porcelain in extraordinary quantities. The Bisdoms, like many other affluent families of the regent class, vigorously tried to imitate the nobility, and contracting porcelain sickness was an easy way of doing so. And thanks to the VOC, the Dutch East India Company, access to china was considerably less difficult for them than for, say, porcelain collectors in Dresden. There is Ming & Qing porcelain from China and Chine de commande (Chinese porcelain made to order; plates with Dutch provinces’ coats of arms in this case), Imari ware from Japan, and massive amounts of tableware from Meissen. The once fashionable presentation featuring wall patterns of blue & white plates is of course of great interest, but, according to our youngest offspring, they cannot compete with the museum’s deputy keeper’s lively tales of times past, and his demonstration of Paulina’s cylinder music box & the table clock with the built-in pipe organ.bisdomvanvliet.nl