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sprucing up the commute

Debora Beijerbacht

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Occasionally I commute between where I live and Zaandam. That means a ride with the option to take the short and straight, but exposed and boring route along the provincial road. Or I can opt for the longer but more sheltered and scenic version. 


Usually I take the longer one because the beautiful old houses alongside the winding road make for a far more enjoyable ride. And sometimes I pick out an architectural detail, and focus on that during the ride, just to have a bit of fun while my legs peddle away the miles. 


The other day was just such a day. I picked out the sky light or transoms (the windows above front doors) and because time was on my side I decided to photograph them for you. It's amazing to see how many variations there are.


you can read the full story here;



ps, sorry for the tilted pics. I've no idea why they are turned around in this post, and can't seem to fix it :( 





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I just love those Dutch Doorways and I love cycling through the little narrow streets where you can stumble across so many treasures for the eye. To me the cycling thing so so cool and what a wonderful way to get around, keep in mind this is really just theory in my mind since I never have to cycle in the rain or cold. Here in the US almost everyone sits in traffic for hours in their car. I as a miniaturist for the last 37 years have gotten to forgo all this and just wander down a few flights of steps or walk out the building behind my house…. people are always asking where I get my patience to do what I do?, maybe it is that I don't have to fight the commute to work?


Anyway back to doorways in Holland. Last year while riding around the back streets of Haarlem I saw this house. I always take note when I see tools on a building, Wether it be a school, Guildhall, residence or whatever. Anyway this was odd….. it was a falcon and the symbol above which had a pair of dividers (or compass) sideways? That I have never seen, do you have any idea what trade that might represent? The same symbol is also in the cartoche above the right window…. so this person was a Falconer and What?


I took over a thousand pictures while riding my bike around last year in Holland, and I could have taken so many more but my mind was hitting overload with beautiful things. 





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Interesting find. The eagle is relatively simple, in the sense that's a rather common symbol.

Check out this site that has a special page on symbols in tresoms.

this one is on eagles;


It's in Dutch but non the less.


The sideways compass is another thing... 

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I think if you look closely that is not a eagle but a falcon with a hood over it's head. The hood was to keep the bird from seeing and hence it would stay calm until it was ready to hunt. Royalty and the rich used to keep falcons. These hoods were tied at the back and you see sort of a little bow or tassel.

Niels Jalling in Copenhagen who opened a miniature shop last year did it in the shadows of the Fredricksburg Town Hall, if you look up on the tower of that building it was where the King kept his falcons and the town symbol is three of them as I recall. The local weekend flea market is in the parking lot behind the the Town Hall and Niels is shop is right across the street from it.

So back to this house, I am guessing the original owner in the late 17 th century, as I believed the house dates from had something to do with falcons, maybe he sold them? Was a hunter? Or maybe he was a builder of falcon houses?.... I don't know, he just have had something to do with these birds and building something?

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Yes, I'd mistaken the falcon for an eagle cos I was not paying attention and got distracted by the list of symbols on site. Definitely a different bird with a different background of hunting! Anyway, I was wondering... a shot in the dark, but could you perhaps recall the street name?Or just indicate what side of town you were? If so I might be able to look it up and find out more about the building, and it's origin. Dutch archives are pretty accessible online so wo knows.... The side way compass has me riddled too now. Could be derived from free masonry but not sure why it's sideways. The symbol it's interwoven with, the long vertical line splitting into three as it goes down is a (folkloric) family sign representing 'the fallen'. 

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This is all very interesting, I hope you can find out more Debora.

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You probably don't know this but one of my strange talents is geography, i kind of have photographic memory for maps, if I have been somewhere I can almost fine my way straight back there.... Sometimes decades later. This works great a huge antique shows, I have been to some with 5,000 dealers... I'll see something and want to go back and get it and will go right back to it.

Anyway I went to the map of Haarlem and set googles little man down within a block.....


I think the address might be #84 Bakenessergracht.... It was a couple blocks behind the Teyler's Museum which I will do a thread on someday.... It is amazing!

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Mmh, my problem with going back for things at antique fairs...often they are gone...now if something really calls my name loudly...I buy it immediately, even if it is at the first table and my complete budget.

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Thank You Debora, this is amazing, here on this new forum there is already enough expertise to answer a question about a building in a back street of a old city in which no members of the forum even live.


  Location: Description :
Material: Size : Quality: Features: Refurbished in : History :
1st floor main building facade
1st stone falcon looking right over the word ANNO ornamented carved in a cartouche .
2nd stone ornamented cartouche same but with a compass to a tripod spread it, above the year 1726
± 900 high x 1200 mm wide
Fair / good color only way
Polychrome ( been )
Here flourished once one of Haarlem's most famous breweries THE COMPASS AND FALCON . The old stone in the gate , with the presentation of a falcon , is from the time that the brewery is still in the backyard was.
The Brandenburg Gate in the Damstraat , was connected to the Bakenessergracht and coming out at this point , the Passer Gate was called a name that comes from the beer brewery , the compass and the falcon . "
Foundation Facade Characters Society of Haarlem dated 12 July 2004 - 07 11 2007 - GJvdW & MJB - Bakenessergracht 84-1 -
Of this brewery - already mentioned in 1594 - . , The foundation year at this location ( Bakenessergracht 84) 1726 From this grand , simple but tasteful façade beautifully geormenteerde cornice falls as well as the ornate stained wood . .
The porch has pilasters with consoles and the door is captivating with fine carving motifs .
Above the gate ( Passer Port) is an open alcove with a representation of a pair of compasses and other drawing attributes in iron relief . Below is a brick bricked with the image of a falcon . Between the windows of both floors are also two such stones . Left a stone cartouche with a falcon and right with a compass .
( Seven centuries Haarlem - Hoeben ) & ( Facing Haarlem - Theo Thiel / Peter Earl Island)
The two stones on the main building , a Falcon and Passer , made ​​during a renovation of the company in 1726. Brewery was probably founded by Cornelis Garbrants Chest . He was here brewer from 1590 to 1645, in which year he property sold on April 26 at Matthew Steyn as one buys and brouwerye , mouteiye income inheritance gestaen and located on the Baeckenessergragt genaempt the Passer surrounding the Vaick , with ygendomrne Brandenburger Poorte " for the sum of 33,000 carolus guilder . That the brewery was doing good business is evident from the figures for the year 1687 ; production had increased to no less than 15,150 barrels of beer . Who has been the renovation carried out in 1726 and the installation of two new bricks responsibility is not entirely clear . Perhaps this was Willem van Heyningen , who practiced the art of brewing from here since 1704.
In the pictures is any symbolism to read. Thus was the falcon for the desire and search for the spiritual man . This bird was also known as a symbol of nobility or high birth . The compass was to govern or control and was used as a defensive character of evil . When the compass is another sign depicted a kind of pillar on a tripod . This mark allows humans , but is shown here on its head . In this way , death is symbolized and so evil, and evil would be repelled .
( Facing Haarlem - Theo Thiel / Peter Earl Island)
Type :
Plot: Original facade : Removed:
The replica reinstated :
Facing brick and ironwork THE COMPASS AND FALCON
Monument - RM/18960 - Port Yes
October 8, 2007
December 14, 2007
Facade ( Passer Gate ) with the plaque Falcon
Place : Material: Size : Quality: Features:
replica :
Frontage gate Sandstone
H ± 600 x 550 br Very bad
Falcon in its entirety is no longer almost gone to maintain
Renewed by Tobias Candy Candy and Vermeer in Amsterdam in October 2007 .
 Foundation Facade Marks Society of Haarlem dated 12 July 2004 - 07 11 2007 - GJvdW & MJB - Bakenessergracht 84-2 -
Is the first correspondence developed between the Teyler Foundation and Facade Marks Haerlemsche Foundation Association ( SGVH ) with respect to the property Bakenessergracht 84 and 84 red ( The Compass Gate ) which is on the National List under number RM/18960 . On August 30, 1999 This change was a letter from my predecessor .
On April 14, 2004 I wrote the first letter and was negotiated and explored how the stone Falcon must come look. In September 2007 Olga van der Klooster was assigned a color to investigate and make a proposal. The proposal was sent to the Teyler Foundation in October.
In September, Tobias Candy been commissioned to make a replica. Falcon On October 8 , he removed the existing stone
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  • 3 weeks later...

Most impressed with the results of this international detective work! Tamra/Indiana

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