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Netherlands - Expo Paris 1878

Netherlands at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1878


Genre, landscape, seascapes, a few portraits, still lifes, that is what the exhibition of Dutch artists consists of. The archaeological paintings of Mr. Alma Tadéma, who has become an Englishman and is exhibiting in the English section, are missing; they would have cast a bright light on this exhibition, but we must not think of them any more: let us add, however, that despite this desertion, it is still very remarkable. The Dutch artists have preserved the traditions of the old masters; simple and true subjects, familiar scenes, interior paintings rendered with a soft colouring, sometimes even a little dark, dominate, and one recognises a sincerity of execution which sometimes overrides the faults of drawing.

At the head of the list is Mr. Josef Israëls, a decorator from 1867, with four charming paintings: Alone in the world, a poor woman crying at the bedside of her dead husband; the Poor of the village receiving alms, consisting of a few fish and the remains of bread, from a fishermen's boat returning to port; the Dinner of the Savoury Workers and Y Anniversary, the subjects chosen by Mr. Israels are not cheerful; but they make a strong impression, being treated with conscience, without any exaggeration and with a remarkable sureness of execution.

Mr. van Haanen exhibits two paintings which appeared at the 1876 Salon, the first of which, the Beadworkers in Venice, won a third medal; the other is a type of a young Venetian woman. The Corpus delicti of M. Boks is amusing, but very amusing; it is about a cook and a maid appearing before "Monsieur", to give explanations about the discovery he has just made of a shako! The cook is quiet; her attitude, as well as her ugliness, testifies to her innocence; it is not the same for the young red-haired maid, whose protests are too animated to be sincere. This scene is well treated; it shows the artist's fine sense of comedy and perfect understanding of the staging. The execution, moreover, is irreproachable. At the restaurant, by Mr. P. Oyens, presents a gentleman who is preparing to eat his soup and only wants to be looked at. Mr. van Seben's Combat in the Snow will not change the map of Europe; this fight is between mustards returning from school, all of them full of a warlike ardour full of promises that they may not keep.

A charming interior scene is the Sois sage! by M. Mélis. The grandmother is asleep in her armchair and, while the father is reading near a window, the mother, breast-feeding her youngest child, recommends with her eyes that the other children, seated at a low table, keep silent. This scene is very lively; silence speaks, so to speak; in this room where there are so many things, from the grandmother's armchair to the child's cradle, everything is exact, in the right tone, and lit with the right light. Let us mention the Enrôleur, the Pointe de l'épée, the Pointe du pinceau, by Mr Herman ten Kate; the Marauders, by Mr M. ten Kate; the Enfant sauvé (1421), by Mr J. ten Kate jeune; the two Poissardes de Scheveningue, by M. Verveer; the Retour du marché, by Mr M. ten Kate; and the Verveer; the Return from the Fish Market, by Mr Sadée; the Flautist, by Mr Steeling; the Interior of a House in Hindeloopen, by Mr Sebes; the Antiquities Room of the Haarlem Municipal Museum, by Mr S. Altmann; the Choir of the Main Church of Breda and the Poet J. Van den Vondel, employee of the pawnshop, retired by the burgomaster of Amsterdam, by Mr. J. Stroebel; the Complacent Audience and the Friends of the House, by Mr. David Blés; the Preparations for the Journey, by Mr. Scholten; the Cavalry Fight and the Bohemians, by Mr. Bombled; the Interior of the House, by Mr. M. Bombled; the Interior in Holland, the Faquin, On the banks of the Zuyderzee, During the war, by Mr. Burgers; In memoriam, young girl sitting on a grave, a bouquet in her hand, by Miss Schwartre; a Door in Sneck and a Street in Delft, by Mr. Klinkenberg.

Let us now mention the seascapes by Mr. Mesdag, a regular visitor to our Salons: first the Departure and Return of the rescue boat from Schéveningue, rescuing an English schooner, in November 1869, two paintings that appeared at the 1876 Salon, then the Weighing of the anchor, at Schéveningue; those of Messrs. Artz, Gruyter, Storm van S'Gravesande, Rust, Maris, Hilverdinck, Ivoster; the landscapes of Messrs. de Bock, van de Sande Backhuysen, Apol, van Starkenborgh, de Vogel, Roelofs, Greive, Bilders, van Borselen, Mrao van Houten Mesdag, etc.; the flowers and fruits of Miss A. Haanen (grapes), MUe Rosenboom (Camellias), Miss A. Stolk (flowers), Miss Vos (oranges), Miss Molyn (azaleas), Miss van de Sande Bakhuysen (flowers and fruit) and, in terms of still life, the lobster of Mr. P. Haaxman.

The portraits of Messrs Bisshop and Hendricks are about the only ones to be mentioned. Finally, there are a few animals: Cattle in the Meadow, by Mr. Savri, Sheep, by Mr. Lebret, Horses, by Mr. Nakken, which it would be unfair not to mention.


The Royal Dutch Commission for the Exhibition of 1878 is entitled to the thanks of all for the intelligent zeal and devoted assistance it has shown in the performance of its duties.

This Commission consisted of thirty members, the names of the dignitaries being as follows:
S. A. HRH Prince Henry of the Netherlands, Honorary President.
Knight G. J. G. Klerck, in The Hague, President.
Knight C. Hartsen, doctor of law, vice-president.
Mr. W. J. A. Jonckbloet, doctor of letters, secretary.
Mr. L. Mulder, Doctor of Science, Treasurer.
Mr. Martin Coster, Deputy Commissioner.
The Executive Committee, composed of nine members, had Knight G. J. G. Klerck as President and Knight C. Hartsen as Vice-President.


The Dutch exhibition is not the least attractive of all those on the Champ de Mars.

The two blind men of the Figaro have paid tribute to it, and we cannot help reproducing their witty and humorous account.

"Next to its formidable and formidable neighbours, France and England, the small kingdom of the Netherlands was in great danger of going unnoticed at our great Exhibition. However, an ingenious idea on the part of the commissioners of the Dutch section was enough to attract a constant stream of visitors.

"These gentlemen must know human nature inside out. They know that the child is never completely dead in man.

"Look at the crowd that is constantly choking in the French toy group. The older children shout in ecstasy at a doll that says mummy and daddy. The Dutch curators have counted on everyone's love of children's displays, so the main attraction of their section is a collection of wax figures.

"These figures, very skilfully made and wonderfully dressed, have many fans. It is difficult to reproduce with more accuracy and spirit, or with a better understanding of the staging, the very picturesque costumes and special customs of the Netherlands. We do not presume to describe the curiously grouped dolls, nor the complete interiors with their furniture, earthenware, expensive weapons and objets d'art, nor the peasant's room, reminiscent of the magnificent realistic paintings of Israëls, in which all the accessories - though absolutely accurate and brought from the country itself - seem to come from another era or at least from some distant and bizarre country. The bed made in a cupboard provokes a lot of smiles. Let us hasten to say that such beds are to be found not only among all Dutch peasants, but also in some houses in Amsterdam, although the Dutch capital is only twelve hours by express train from Paris. The Dutch do not give up their customs overnight. Their forefathers slept in wardrobes; why shouldn't they sleep there anymore?

What was impossible to transport to the Champ de Mars, and to exhibit to international walkers, was the excessive cleanliness that reigned in these peasant interiors. The employees of the Dutch section may be conscientiously dusting dolls' furniture, but they cannot give visitors an idea of the shiny parquet floors, the shiny chests, the tiled walls that could easily be used as mirrors. It is known that there are Dutch villages where it is forbidden - on pain of a fine - to spit in the street!

"But if - in front of this exhibition of wax dolls - one has no idea of the cleanliness of the country, one must form a perfectly false idea of its morality when seeing the group representing a young man and a young girl from the island of Walcheren (Zeeland).

"The young girl leans back slightly on the young man's chest. Her lips bend towards the forehead of her companion, while their hands clasp tenderly. Well, you can trust us, there is nothing immoral going on on this little bridge in Zeeland. This young man and girl are simply lovers - nothing more. In love, they are in love in full view of everyone. They never miss an opportunity to be together on the bridges. Then - as in the wax museum at the Exhibition - the young man places a gentle kiss on the forehead of his beloved, he shakes her hand until it crushes, and that is all. This can go on for years. However, at the end of that time,
at the end of this period of time, parents say to themselves:
"Our children seem to like each other, what do you think, companion?
"I don't think they see eye to eye!
"Well, we could marry them?
"Why not?
"So from lovers they become engaged. They continue, more than ever, to cross the small bridges together and to kiss each other ardently. A few more years pass, after which, the parents having consulted each other again, the marriage is consummated, to the great surprise of a few gossips who feel that it has been too fast.

All these life-size figures form a veritable museum, representing numerous scenes of local customs.

Here is the list of these scenes:
1° A well-to-do lady from the town of Leuwarde. (Friesland) (regent of an orphanage) with an orphan from The Hague.
2° Well-to-do lady from the town of Hindeloopen (Friesland) with a young girl and child, in a Hindeloopen interior, going to the church to have a newborn child baptised (old-fashioned costume).
3° Bride and groom from the village of Nunspect (Gelderland).
4° Young girl from the vicinity of the town of Breda (North Brabant) and young girl from the vicinity of Dordrecht (South Holland).
5° Young men and women from the island of Walcheren (Zeeland): the right of passage.
6° Young man and girl from the island of Zuid Beveland (Zeeland): winter pleasure.
7° Household from the island of Marken: fisherman, his wife and child.
8° Fishmonger from the village of Huizen and fishmonger from the village of Zandvoort (North Holland).
9° Mother and son from the village of Volendam in the Zuiderzee.
10° Father and daughter from the village of Scheveningen near The Hague (South Holland).
11. Evangelical Lutheran orphan from Amsterdam (old costume, changed since 1870) and orphan from Amsterdam.

All these scenes are rendered with great accuracy; the naivety of the physiognomies is notably captured in life.


Education is very advanced in the Netherlands; the school exhibition in this country consists mainly of very complete documents, it is true, and which admirably indicate the pedagogical organisation; but, unfortunately, apart from a few works by pupils exhibited by the Institute for the Blind and the Professional School, nothing speaks sufficiently to the visitor.

The book trade and the printing industry are worthily represented, and it is clear that Holland would like to regain the position it occupied in the days when the world was snapping up its elzevirs.

Among the main publications on display is the Journal of Entomology, published by the Entomological Society of The Hague, 20 volumes with 240 coloured plates, edited by Mr. Alberda, S. C. Snellen van Vollenhoven and F. W. van der Wulp, in The Hague. The Entomological Society, which, following the example of the Paris and London societies, was founded in 1845, took as its special aim the knowledge of the entomological fauna of the Netherlands. At first it was content to publish the minutes of its meetings, but in 1858 it decreed the publication of memoirs under the name of Tijdschrift.

As these Memoirs are written in Dutch as well as in French, German and Latin, they are very easy to study in neighbouring countries.

Each volume contains 12 to 14 plates, most of them beautifully coloured, giving almost vivid pictures of the objects they represent. The principal draughtsmen are Messrs Snellen van Vollenhoven, van der Wulp, A. Brants and A. J. Wendel. The latter is also the engraver.

We shall also mention a work by the printer Langenhuijsen; it is a volume in-4°, containing the bull Ineffabilis in various idioms and dialects of the Netherlands and its colonies, printed on vellum in type no longer in commerce. The binding is in gilt metal, enhanced with enamel and precious stones.

As far as music is concerned, there are hardly any pianos, and, frankly, the nuance that distinguishes a foreign piano from another foreign piano, both copied more or less on French or Viennese models, seems to us rather difficult to grasp.

The music is, on the other hand, represented in an infinitely more picturesque way in the section reserved for the Dutch Indies.

The only Indian instruments I have seen in the Champ de Mars Palace," says M. Weber in Le Temps, "come from the Dutch Indies and are in the Galerie du Travail, near the École Militaire. There are only percussion instruments, which can be classified into two clashes: drums, tamtams and bells, and then a fairly large number of instruments with blades or sound basins, a sort of large harmonicas made of wood or metal. The sound bodies in these instruments are either wooden blades (as in the xylophone), or large metal blades, or metal basins, varying in size according to the sound that the blades or basins are to produce. According to Fétis (Histoire générale de la musique, tome II, page 308), instruments of this kind originated on the Indian continent, from where they spread to Java, Batavia, Indo-China and among the peoples of the yellow race. Most of these instruments," says Fétis, "have fifteen, sixteen or seventeen blades. However, in the instruments at the Universal Exhibition, the number of blades or basins is eight, eleven or fourteen notes, except for the wooden kinnery, which has twenty blades.


The Royal Commission again exhibits the most furniture; in fact, in all the groups and classes, this commission is to be found, which shows how much care has been taken in high places to make the Dutch exhibition attractive, useful and flattering for the country.

Most of the pieces are historical souvenirs, such as a pocket knife of William the Silent, a cup of William III, a crystal wine glass bearing the dotted portraits of William V and his wife, and a chiselled ivory box with a portrait of Peter the Great on the lid.

We will say nothing of the other pieces of furniture, their quality is unquestionable; but they resemble lux furniture from all countries.

The Royal Manufacture at Deventer has Turkish carpets made by them which are of the finest quality.

The goldsmiths have two masterpieces exhibited by Mr. Van Kempen father and son.

These are: 1° The nautilus vase, representing the symbolic arms of Zeeland, designed and made by order of the provincial assembly, and offered to the king of the Netherlands on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his reign, in commemoration of the great works carried out, under his protection, in Zeeland.
2° A heraldic tray, decorated with the arms of the kingdom and the provinces and a war trophy, etc., presented to the king by the officers of the Dutch civic guards, on the same occasion as the nautilus.

These two monumental pieces were exhibited by permission of the king, who placed them at the disposal of the chairman of the royal commission for the Exhibition.

We have now arrived at the fabrics, where Holland triumphs; it is here, in fact, that we find these fabrics whose reputation is and will never cease to be universal.


This industry is represented in the first line by Billiton Island:
The island of Billiton is part of the Dutch possessions in the Indian Archipelago; it is situated at 3 degrees north latitude and 106 degrees east longitude from Paris; its extent is 119 geographical leagues.

For about ten years, Billiton Island has been producing considerable quantities of tin of the highest quality.

In 1852, the Dutch government ceded the exploitation of Billiton Island to His Royal Highness Prince Henry of the Netherlands and to Baron V. G. van Tuyll van Serooskerken for a period of forty years.

At that time the island was in a state of barbarism and sterility; its population was very small, its agriculture and commerce in the most primitive condition, and its industry perfectly insignificant. The inhabitants of the coasts (especially the Secca's, who are born, live and die on board their dugouts) only practised piracy; there were only a few roads and very few bridges; in a word, there were many obstacles to be overcome before thinking of any kind of lucrative exploitation. But, despite these difficulties, they set to work and pursued their goal with the greatest and most commendable activity.

Eight years later, in 1860, the limited company for the exploitation of Billiton Island was founded, which continued the above-mentioned concession and is currently exploiting it under the high protection of Prince Henry of the Netherlands.

The territory, where the mines are located, is divided into four districts, named Tandjong-Pandan, Mangar, Boeding and Dindang.

The influence that the exploitation has had on the condition of the island and its inhabitants has been most favourable.

The native population has doubled; the cultivation of rice has increased; trade with the neighbouring islands, and especially with Singapore, has expanded considerably; the coastal inhabitants and the Secca's lead an orderly and industrious life, and are employed in loading and unloading ships, as well as in the transportation of tin and all kinds of goods.

Nowhere is the slightest trace of piracy to be found; the island is intersected by roads of varying widths; bridges have been built over the rivers and streams, and the utmost care is taken in the maintenance of all the works.

Billiton Island, which some thirty years ago was an onerous burden, now yields considerable benefits.

The public works exhibition has a special attraction for special men. They find there a quantity of plans and drawings representing bridges, dikes, dams and canals, the use of which is necessarily widespread in Holland, and the execution of which, perfected by long and continuous practice, leaves nothing to be desired.

The drawings representing the draining of the Harlem lake seemed to us particularly interesting.

The Harlem Lake, with a surface of 18,154 hectares, was dried out in the period between 1840 and 1852.

In order to overcome the difficulties resulting from this drying up for the drainage of a large number of surrounding polders, it was necessary to build three steam engines and to improve the outlet canal near Katwijk.

These steam engines are used to set in motion lift wheels with a diameter of 6.60 to 5.80 metres and a width of 2.50 to 1.80 metres, raising the water to a height of 1 metre with 7 to 10 piston strokes per minute.

The enclosure dam, comprising the entire lake, is about 60,000 metres long.

The dewatering was carried out by means of three steam engines with pumps for draining the water.

One of these machines has eleven cast iron pumps of 1.60m diameter and 2.85m piston stroke.

The pistons make six strokes per minute and raise the water to a height of 4.5 metres; each pump delivers 6 metres of water per stroke.

The other two machines each have eight pumps of im.85 diameter with the same piston course and the same capacity as the first mentioned machine.

The number of strokes per minute is 6 to 6 1/2; and the volume of water per stroke, for each pump, is 6 1/2.

The volume of water that has been depleted amounts to 832 million metres.

The draining was carried out at the expense of the State for the sum of about 14 million guilders, of which 9 million were returned by the sale of land and other income, so that the draining cost only 4 million 1 /2 guilders.


We find little to say about the machines; we will, however, mention the manometers of Mr. Schottking.

These manometers are of a very different construction from the others.

The steel spring intended to be pushed by the steam is covered with a white metal spring, preserving the former from oxidation, which is often the cause of an inaccurate reading.

This system therefore has a great advantage over those whose steel spring is pushed directly by steam. In the middle of the spring a piece of copper with a polished steel surface is applied, which also moves with the spring by the push of the steam. On the steel surface is a steel punch attached to a copper lever, moving freely on one side around a steel pin, while at the other end of the lever is another steel punch, running along a screw thread, attached to the indicator.

At the slightest change in the steam pressure the spring pushes the lever and makes it run along the thread.

By this movement the needle moves and indicates on the scale the degree of extension.

This system of manometers is used in salammoniac factories where manometers of another system can only be used for a very short time.

We would also like to mention the locomobiles of Stork Brothers and Co, manufacturers in Hengelo.

The horizontal locomobile is the form generally approved as the best; these locomobiles are manufactured in Holland on a large scale by the Stork company.

The half-fixed locomotive is preferable to any other system because the boiler is in a horizontal position; because of the absolute isolation of the boiler; because of the way in which the locomotive has been constructed, especially with regard to the disc-shaped crank that greases the knob automatically and the regulator; and finally because of the construction of the boiler, which, being provided with a large number of horizontal tubes, can produce a lot of steam with a small amount of coal, making it suitable for competition with the Cornwall system of in-house furnaces.

The horizontal steam engine is of very solid construction and low cost.

The machine is equipped with two slides, one for distribution and one for expansion; the latter, of very small dimensions, can be easily set in motion, while the regulator regulates the position of the connecting rod which couples the slide to the eccentric slide. The position of the spool is adjusted in such a way as to make the machine work with the admission of steam from one twentieth to half the stroke of the piston.


The Dutch are naturally great builders; they have included among the curiosities of their maritime exhibition plans and drawings of various boats.

Here is the description of a herring lugger; we will limit ourselves to the description of the interior, which is the most interesting:
Starting with the bow, there is a bolster called a bitt, to which a cleat is made for attaching the anchor cables.

Then we come to the platform which serves as an entrance to the crew's accommodation, then to the holds.

The holds are separated by bulkheads, and each one is covered with two hatches; salt, water, barrels, ballast and provisions are crammed in, to be replaced later by herring.

Near the seventh hatch are the oysters, one to starboard and one to port.

When the nets are removed, the herring falls into these oysters, whose capacity is sufficient for mediocre fishing. However, if there is a lot of fishing, the hatches open and the excess herring is squeezed into hold no. 6 by opening the small square hatches in this hold.

The two groins, called Dinsdagen, which are located across the ship between the hatchways, are placed there to prevent the herring from spilling onto the deck. The groove between the two Dinsdagen, called meeuw (seagull), which can be moved by means of the cleats on it, is used to take the herring to the hold, where the fisherman wants to hold it.

Each hutch is divided into two parts by means of two struts placed one on top of the other to prevent the herring from being shaken too much.

Outside the ship, in front of each hutch, there is a roller on which the nets are passed as they are taken up.

Then there is the net room. This room is immediately behind the hutches and is covered by two hatches.

Behind this chamber is the one used to tighten the net ropes; in this chamber there is also a separation beyond which the sails are tightened.

Then we come to the capstan, in front of which there is a roller for driving the ropes.

On the port side is the cockpit, the purpose of which is generally known, and after which immediately follows the platform which is the entrance to the cabin, serving as the skipper's accommodation.

On the stern edge there is a cleat called Kram (crest) on both sides to lead the ropes; on the deck there is a movable hutch called Warboek (stirring hutch) with a braille to stir the herring after it has been quailed and to mix salt in.

The herring fishing crew consists of fifteen men.

Herring fishing on such a vessel is done with nets 140 fathoms long, attached to ropes with corks and held afloat by 70 lines 1,085 fathoms long.

The following is a description of a cod fishing boat.

Starting from the bow, there is a davit on the port side to support the anchor; inside the bow there is a bolster, called a bitt, which has a cleat (bolder) in the middle to hold the ink rope. Behind this is a wooden ladder to prevent the cables from rubbing.

Below the bolder is a wedge with a hatch to tighten the cable. Behind this hold is the crew's accommodation, which is covered by a roof (vooronder-huisje). On the starboard side there is a hutch for the lamprae, like the two attached models. Behind the foremast there is a hatch and behind this hatch there is the upper part covered with a grate.

The livewell is divided into three parts: it is 7.64m long and 1.13m deep and receives water through about 800 holes in the planking. Inside the livewell, a little above the water, there is a cleat with openings for catching smelt and hake with a rope at the tail, while the hake swims freely in the livewell.

The two hatches on either side of the grate cover the places where the fish are caught in the livewell; passage to the livewell is obtained by removing the slides placed in the livewell.

The next hatch is opposite the passage to the hold and to other places. The two hatches on either side of the main mast cover the holds where the fish are kept. In these holds, wooded with zinc, are placed boards to hide the dead fish, which are put in ground ice to keep them from spoiling.

The last hatch is used to cover the hold where the ice is kept for the fish. Then we see the platform which gives access to the cabin, used as accommodation for the skipper and the pilot.


Flowers could not fail to occupy the place of honour in the Dutch exhibition, and from the very first days of the Exhibition the public hastened to contemplate those splendid tulips which are the national flower of the Netherlands, and of which the Dutch are at least as proud as of their historical past and their fine arts.

Seventeen exhibitors sent in their products.

Among them was the Horticultural and Grain Merchants Society, Bloemisten vereeniging, from Harlem. Here is a description of their exhibition, which everyone admired:
A mosaic tulip bed, 17 m. by 15 m. in diameter, with the coat of arms of the city of Harlem and the inscription Haarlem-Holland.

The bed contained about 40,000 tulips of the double varieties: Rex rubrorum, red; La Candeur, white; Princess Alexandrine, brown.
All these tulips were planted in November 1877.

Unfortunately, the tulips did not live long and only the first visitors to the Exhibition were able to admire them in the full bloom of their beauty and magnificence.


Military art is better represented here than in most other exhibitions.

The Ministry of War in The Hague has sent a remarkable tent ambulance, designed by Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers J.-H. Kromhout.
This car contains :
1° An ambulance tent, which the car supports when the tent is deployed;
2° A field ambulance equipment. The car is hitched to four horses.

Before the tent is erected, the two flags, that of the nation and that of the Geneva Convention, are fixed to the roof of the car.

Then the four sides of the tent are unrolled; they are buttoned with the tourniquets provided and the tent is stretched by means of ropes and pegs, supporting the roof part of the tent with banners in various places.

Inside the car are two dressing tables, stretcher-beds, lanterns, utensils, etc.

Under the body of the car is a stretcher carrying a barrel, which can hold 50 litres of water. Some tools are attached to the sides of the body by straps: a spade, a shovel, a pick and an axe.

The car is topped by a false roof which must serve to ventilate the ambulance tent when it is deployed.

Underneath the body is a cupboard that can hold surgical instruments, bandages, linen, lint, drinks, etc.

In order to reduce the weight of the car to a minimum, the tent has only a single wall; experience has shown that, except in the case where temporary hospitals are to be established in winter, a single wall is preferable to a double one.

Ventilation is sufficiently provided by the tilt windows in the false roof.

The weight of the tent-ambulance car, with tent, poles, tools, etc., etc., is 1,500 kilos. A four-horsepower car can easily
A four-horsepower car can easily have a weight of 1,900 to 2,000 kilos, so that in case of need it can be loaded with 400 to 500 kilos.
The height of the tent is 1m. The height of the unfolded tent is 1.90 m.; the width is 1.75 m.; the height of the vertical wall is 1.20 m. The tent measures 8 m. 40 by 6 m. The tent measures 8.40 m. by 6.40 m., from which the extent of the carriage must be subtracted, which is 3 m. by 1.95 m.

The maximum height of the tent is 2.75 m. without the false roof.

The ambulance tent car must be accompanied by the field ambulance tank, containing instruments, medicines, etc., which do not fit in this car. The tank serves to complete the equipment of the tent-ambulance.

From a military point of view, the Dutch West Indies did not send anything. The same cannot be said of the Dutch East Indies.
Their exhibition of arms was very numerous, very complete and very interesting.

It would take too long to describe it in its entirety, so we will limit ourselves to mentioning the splendid collection that Mr. van den Broek d'Obrenon, who lives in Paris, was kind enough to have displayed at the Champ de Mars:
It comprises eight panels of weapons and instruments from the islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, the Moluccas, etc. Many of these finely crafted weapons are of a very high quality.

Many of these finely damascened weapons are very old, notably: a Kris, whose iron handle, representing a figure of a man, is integral with the blade and was forged from the same piece; a Santrie (priest) knife. Many other weapons are remarkable for the fineness of their damascene and the rich ornamentation, either of their handle or of their scabbard.

Among the separate weapons are spears, blowpipes, sabres, rifles, bows, shields, etc.

One of the latter, a ceremonial shield of a chief, is made of painted and gilded wood, with an excessively rich design. The iron-handled straight sword, inlaid with silver lotus flowers, was found in the ruins of the Boeroe-boedoer temple and is therefore much earlier than the 13th century.
The weapons department contains other curiosities to which we owe at least a mention.

First of all, there is a statuette of Siva riding a dragon. This magnificent piece of painted and gilded wood measures, with the column that supports the group, a height of 1 m. 30. 30. Its proportions are of the greatest elegance and its ornamentation is of the richest.

Next come the Rechas or Kris guardian geniuses, then statuettes in painted and gilded wood, richly dressed, with their right hand hollowed out to receive the Kris that the chief entrusts to them on his way home. They were found in the palace of the Sultan of Bali in Boeleleng.

Another statuette, made of painted and gilded wood, comes from Bali and represents the abduction of Sita, the wife of Rama, by the giant Ravana, king of Ceylon.

The last one we shall mention is a painted and gilded wooden statuette, having wings and a bird's tail and the end of her face in the form of a beak; in one hand she holds a sword and in the other a golden fruit.

This idol is said to be very venerated in Bali and represents the Guardian of the temple.

Before ending this chapter, we shall say a few words about the Delft Arms Factory:
This factory, founded in 1846, operates with a 12-horsepower locomobile and 190 workers; it is set up for an annual production of 3,000 guns.

Repairs to firearms in use in the army corps are carried out here, while the stock of spare parts, tools and measurements is kept in full supply.

A precision workshop and a school for master gunmakers are part of the factory.

The exhibition contains a small-calibre rifle, cavalry, marshal and sapper muskets; revolvers, cavalry, artillery and sapper sabres, sabre-cutters, saws, etc., etc.


This part of the Dutch exhibition attracted and charmed the visitors enormously.

One of our colleagues, M. Le Reboullet, gave some interesting details about the Dutch exhibition:
"The Malays are bold fishermen who spend their lives in pursuit of fish and are at least as clever as they are.

"The model of their water houses, built on stilts, can be seen at their exhibition.

"An observatory allows them to spend long hours on the surface of the water to watch for the arrival of flocks of fish, just as hunters, buried in the reeds, watch for the arrival of wild ducks.

"When the fish are signalled, they jump into their boat, a sort of Venetian gondola, and pounce on their prey.

"The glogol, their main victim, is a dry plant that provides an abundance of a blackish liquid from which sepia is extracted.

"In this truly picturesque exhibition, one can study at one's ease each of the elements of this trade, and with a little imagination, it seems that one sees the natives, their houses, the fishy waters and the abundant harvest of the nets.

Before going into the details of the Dutch exhibition, we ask the reader's permission to draw his attention first to the betel boxes.

What is betel? A substance whose usefulness is at least as questionable as that of tobacco, but whose use is just as widespread.

In Batavia, betel has its letters of great naturalization and it is fashionable, says our fellow-member, to invite every visitor to a Malay house to use it. I have often discussed this strange tendency which leads people of different nationalities to seek out excitants of this kind. People who do not smoke can hardly understand the taste of tobacco. However, people smoke, take and chew in all countries of the world, in the north as well as in the south, in the east as well as in the west. Where tobacco does not exist, it is betel that replaces it, a bitter substance, causing abundant salivation, which blackens the teeth and lips. A strange abuse!

And let it not be said that these are accidental, purely temporary vices. Delegorgue, one of the most intrepid explorers of southern Africa, who died about fifteen years ago, said that the greatest pleasure he could give to the Cafres was to give them a handful of wet tobacco leaves. These unfortunate people would take clay, roughly shape a stove, fit a piece of reed to it, and then, squatting on themselves, they would inhale the acrid smoke, so as to make it penetrate into their lungs. They would then suffer atrocious coughing fits, prodigious sneezing; foam would come into their mouths; torrents of tears would flow from their eyes, which did not prevent them from taking a singular pleasure in this torment.

If the Europeans have tobacco, the Malays have betel: each to his own taste. Explain who can the phenomenon; it seems that it is an invincible instinct, special to the human species.


A well-understood exhibition must show a country, show it in all its aspects, in a word reveal it.

The Dutch East Indies exhibition achieved this goal completely.

All the riches of the country are shown so completely that the visitor remains seized with admiration before the magnificent collection offered to his sight.

First there are the woods, the Djati Kemboog and the Djati Kopour, then the bamboos, the iron woods of Beukomlen.

Then we find the tin mines of Bangka, and those of Bilivou, which His Royal Highness the Prince of the Netherlands took over in 1852 with Baron de Tuyll de Se-rooskerken, as we have said in the previous pages.

In 1874, Billeton Island produced 400,000 kilograms of tin.

The Dutch East Indies also produce a great deal of tobacco, sugar, coffee, various spices, as well as tea and cinchona.


The West Indies are also rich; but their wealth is mainly food and industrial.

We find a great quantity of samples of rice, corn, flours and starches of all kinds; vanilla, rum, pineapple and cocoa essences, sugar, coffee, tobacco, present to the visitor specimens of all the various species.

Mr. Stalting exhibits thirty-seven samples of the various species of Surinamese wood; the Royal Commission of the Dutch Indies has sent eighteen wax specimens of Surinamese fish.

Finally, let us mention a collection of Surinamese fruits, in syrup, brandy, etc. Here is the nomenclature, which we give only to make the mouths of gourmets water:
Ripe bananas in syrup; Cytherean apples in syrup; papaya in syrup; limes in syrup; lemon in syrup; tamarind in syrup; sapodilla in brandy; pineapple with crown in syrup; pineapple in syrup; punch in rum; vanilla extract; crystallised green bananas; vanilla punch; tamarind syrup; sliced guavas, crystallised; guavas in syrup; orange in syrup; orange with branch in syrup; heart of cabbage palm in vinegar.

What an appetizing dessert!

©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878