In terms of space, Holland is poorly represented at the Universal Exhibition. Only a narrow aisle has been given to this power, so commercial, so colonizing, to the queen of the Indian archipelago, to the former maritime rival of England, which still seems jealous of the past greatness of the country from which it took the Cape of Good Hope and which it would like to be able to supplant in Java.
Mr. Hope, the rich Dutch banker, exhibited, at the entrance to his nation's little compartment, a magnificent collection of gems which
of precious stones which compete with the Koh-i nor for the admiration of the public.
Alongside this splendid display are some fine samples of Dutch silverware. These are four silver vases of different styles.
The special industries of Holland are represented by beautiful damask cloths, but in too small a number; by some velvets, some samples of cloths, cross-stitched stockings, and by magnificent blankets. We would have liked to have been able to study here the various articles which form the basis of the great exports of Dutch trade.
We notice a rather curious exhibition of bells; some beautiful bronze and crystal candelabra; a screen and a lacquer table, imitation of China; samples of esparto work, a sugar wheel and some other small appliances.
Chemicals, gelatins and a few raw materials are insignificant.
In one of the northern galleries, Holland has exhibited some beautiful and curious models of viaducts, locomotives, crane and roller bridges. There are also crystals, models of boats and a Leiden dynamometer, used to measure the strength of ploughs.
There is also a clock regulator, an astronomical clock, an equatorial sundial and a levelling machine.
It is clear that Dutch products play a very small role in the Crystal Palace. Belgian industry is still lacking, and will be lacking for a long time to come, in this small kingdom, which is so commercial and which occupies, thanks to the activity and energy of its inhabitants, as well as to its colonies and its navy, such an honourable position in Europe. Belgian trade, for its part, has good reason to regret that it no longer takes part in the maritime movement of a country whose colony of Java alone has an annual figure of nearly two hundred million in imports and exports.
© Palais de Cristal – Journal Illustré de L’Exposition de 1851