Friday, March 15, 2013

Netherlands Antilles: Fort Church, Curacao

Netherlands Antilles issued this stamp in 1980 as part of a set of three stamps that included one stamp for regular postage and two with a surcharge (the Scott catalog does not state the designation for the surcharge). The 100c regular postage stamp (Scott 448) featured the cupola of the Fort Church in Curacao. The two semi-postals feature a brass chandelier and the church's organ (Scott B172-173). The stamp design does not include the whole faced of the instrument, but only the portion that sits on the gallery railing, most likely the Ruckpositiv division. A photo below shows the whole front aspect of the instrument.

The present-day Fort Church in historic Fort Amsterdam is the oldest church still in daily use on CuraƧao. Construction took place between 1767 and 1771 and the facade bears the date 1769. It is known that the construction cost 5,500 pesos (approximately 11,000 guilders), but nothing is known of the architect (although both Hendrik de Hamer and Frederik Staal were closely involved in the work). The vicarage stood next to the church on the spot that is currently the seat of the Government.

The Precentor-Sexton Hendrik van Hulst originally designed an organ with ten registers, but in 1785 - at least in the eyes of Ds. Rudolf Widrik - this was too small and he enlarged it by a further four registers. The organ now in use dates from 1963 and was totally restored in 2000. This organ has breastwork, backwork and two manuals, a foot pedal and 17 registers. It was built by Flentrop Orgelbouw N.V. Zaandam, in the Netherlands.

No comments: