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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Uniform Lord High Chamberlain in Her Majesty's Civil Household of the Netherlands/Opperkamerheer, Grootofficier

Uniform Opperkamerheer
In an enormous hangar with thousands of pieces second-hand clothing, there was a a strange  piece. A torn and full with moth holes uniform with epaulets. Only the embroidery was well. Weeks and weeks I was busy to restore the uniform entirely. Then it was time to search what kind of uniform it was. Standard one starts with the button. On the button there is a W with a crown. The back NLG ENTRA. According to a leading button expert it was without doubt a button of around 1850, Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Striking of the uniform are the epaulets. On a civil uniform epaulets are virtually never carried. On the epaulets there was a large crown. That could mean that it has something to do with the royal house of the Netherlands.
After a long search I found this painting of André Baron of Bogaerde of Terbrugge (1787-1855). The uniform seem to be simular to the uniform I  had. Of the Baron not much can be found on the Internet. But it was mentioned he was a chamberlain of King Willem I (1772-1842). I had a small indication: chamberlain. I found some pictures of a uniform of a chamberlain and indeed It looked like mine. It got also the epaulets but only five strings where on the the chest and the sleeves and the back were different. So the Baron was not an ordinary chamberlain. There had to be more. 
The next picture was not sharp but there I saw the uniform in the back. The person walked behind queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962).
Than I found a drawing but I still needed a better picture in sevice.
left: Chamberlain, right: Lord High Chamberlain

I mailed a wellknown collector from the Netherlands. He told me that it was the uniform of the Lord High Chamberlain in Her Majesty's Civil Household. It was a rare uniform and he never had seen it on the market for over 45 years. According to what he knew only three had such a uniform. He himself, museum Palace the Loo and now me. He send me a picture of Willem Frederik Hendrik Lord Poll (1843-1918). A very nice picture of the late 1800s of the uniform in full service.
The uniform (and we do not know how many there are ever made) was established in 1820, and was last worn in 1948. When I was restoring the uniform there where two strange little holes on the back next beside the center embroidry. I closed the holes till the collector from Holland said that they must be made open again fore those holes should be there to fasten the High Chamberlains key :) What is the value of the uniform? Well in 2014 a Chamberlain was sold at auction in the Netherlands for € 1.950,--. It was 90 years old but as good as new, with epaulets, bicorn and pants. So I quess this higher never seen grade will do for about € 1.000,-- Two more pictures of the uniform. Enjoy!

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