This exceptionally large silver ensemble was made as a single commission. The set consists of a coffeepot with tap, a kettle on stand with a burner, a tobacco jar, a pair of braziers and a small basket. All the pieces were made at the same time in 1779 by the Amsterdam silversmith Fredrik Manicus I. A pair of trays made in the same year and same city by Reynier Brandt belongs with the set, which has been in Groot Lammema, a Frisian estate in Minnertsga for generations.
The Hayo Tuinhout Service
Large ensembles like this one, made as a whole, are extremely rare in eighteenth-century Dutch silver. This service by Manicus weighs 7,451 grams, which means that in 1779 alone, 745 guilders was spent on silver at a time when the average annual income was around 300 guilders. Although we certainly cannot rule out the possibility that commissions like this were given to silversmiths more often at that time, these sets have generally been split up over the centuries or melted down. Another famous ensemble that has remained together is the Gogel service in the Rijksmuseum, which was made in 1803/1804 by François Simons. A set presented to Aert Johan Verstolk and Maria Hoffmann on their wedding in 1770 is also still intact. However, that one, which is in a private collection, was made by different silversmiths in The Hague and Rotterdam and in different years.
In Minnertsga, a small village in Friesland an hour away from Harlingen, was the Groot Lammema estate. This property was registered in 1544 and then lived in by Jelger Tziercks Lam(b)sma, from whom the name of the estate is derived. In the nineteenth century the estate was broken up and a large farmhouse, Groot Lammema Farm, was built in the silted-up canal. Descendants of Lamsma continued to live there until the nineteen-twenties, when the farmhouse was sold by its last occupant, Anneus Menalda.
Made in 1779 on the occasion of the first marriage of Hayo Wybes Tuinhout
Anneus Menalda (b. 1861) was the son of Gillis Menalda, a member of the wine merchants A. Menalda & Zoonen in Leeuwarden, and Rijkje Harmens. Rijkje’s parents were Anneus Harmens and Dina Lambsma Tuinhout (1806-1837). Dina Lambsma Tuinhout was born to the second marriage of Hayo Wybes Tuinhout (1757-1811) and Hendrika Taeckles Lambsma (1765-1823). It is highly likely that this silver service was made in 1779 on the occasion of the first marriage of Hayo Wybes Tuinhout, who married Jacomina Rosette van Rossum on 25 April that year.
Burgomaster of Franeker
Hayo Wybes Tuinhout was born in Sneek on 17 August 1757 and became a prominent figure in Friesland. He was commissioner general of the ‘convooien’ and ‘licenten’ – taxes and licences – in Harlingen, and took part in the Patriot Revolt headed by Court van Beyma, the leader of the Frisian patriots, in 1786. When Franeker was occupied by the Patriots in 1787, Hayo was elected burgomaster of the town. When the Prussian army arrived, he fled to France. In 1795 he returned to Friesland and was elected as a member of the new Friesche States, which met for the first time in Leeuwarden that year. Soon after that he was appointed commissioner general of the ‘convooien’ and ‘licenten’ for Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. In 1807, at his own request, he stepped down as commissioner and went to live at the Groot Lammema estate. Hayo died there on 28 July 1811, at the age of fifty-three, the silver went to his only daughter from his second marriage, Dina, and remained in the family over four generations until 1992.
All the parts of this service have the same ornaments. Each piece is elaborately decorated with beautifully pronounced garlands, fluting, bows, medallions with Roman portraits, engraved bands with draped ribbons and rosettes between them. Equally prominent are the highly detailed ram’s heads, the beaded borders and the finials in the shape of garden vases with garlands.
Louis XVI style
This service is a classic example of the Louis XVI style in the Netherlands – a style that developed in the years running up to the French revolution, in the period from 1770 to 1790. The style reflected a return to and interest in Classical style motifs, after the example of the excavations of Herculaneum (1738) and Pompei (1748). The style was a clear contrast to the Baroque forms of the Louis XV style and harked back to a more severe, geometric design idiom based on oval, round, square and rectangular shapes, very symmetrical, derived from Neoclassical architecture.
Silver, on the other hand, was beyond reach of most people
Every piece of this service was used to serve or use colonial goods. Coffee, tea, cocoa and tobacco had been luxury products since their introduction in Western countries since the start of the seventeenth century. At first it was only the elite who could afford to indulge in these pleasures, but when imports increased in the eighteenth century a considerable proportion of the population could enjoy coffee, tobacco and chocolate. Silver, on the other hand, was beyond the reach of most people, so the upper class could still set themselves apart in style by buying special silverware, showpieces, for their homes. On inventories, the coffeepot with tap and the kettle on stand were second only to the wine cooler and tureens as the largest, heaviest and consequently costliest objects in the household.
Fredrik Manicus I
Fredrik Manicus was born in Amsterdam around 1738, the son of Pieter Manicus and Helena Pieters. In 1763 he married Maria Krenteboll. After Maria’s death in 1779 he married his second wife, Alida van Heukelom. In 1763 Manicus became a burgher of Amsterdam, after which he most likely submitted his masterpiece and became an accredited master silversmith. On the notification of his marriage in 1763 he was living on Baangracht near the Bierkaay and in 1776 he bought a large house and land on Reguliersgracht. Manicus died in 1785. After his death his son, Hendrik Manicus Junior, who had trained in his father’s workshop, applied to the guild for permission to submit his masterpiece. He was entered in the guild register the same year. He continued to live in his father’s house and probably continued to run the business with his father’s widow.
All the pieces of the service are marked with the Amsterdam assay office mark, the Dutch lion, the date letter U for 1779 and the maker’s mark FM for Frederik Manicus and RB for Reynier Brandt on the trays.