Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dutch window glass

The photograph on the left shows one of the windows in the Great Hall at Montacute House. Four of the panes in the lower middle of the window are decorated with colourful images. These panes originated in the Netherlands in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, around the time Montacute House was built. They were installed in the house at the beginning of the 20th century, when Lord Curzon was in residence. He originally placed them in the door of the Parlour Passage, to replace what he described as “ a most hideous modern stained glass panel with a coat of arms upon it”. When the National Trust took over the property, they restored the “hideous” panel to its original place, and moved Lord Curzon’s Dutch glass to the Great Hall!

Perhaps the most striking of the four panels is the one on the lower left, which shows a Dutch merchant ship known as a “fluyt”. Under this is an inscription in archaic High Dutch, which translated into modern English reads: “No amount of close sailing or quiet tacking will further a voyage if God's will prevents it.”


  1. Stunning!

  2. Thank you for the translation. High Dutch was never my strongest subject at school and I always wondered what the inscription said.

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