This Even More Dutch Window

We witness here in the Netherlands the cultural slaughterhouse since these last 30 years  and the most grotesque aspect is the gouging out of the eyes of  buildings replacing them with artificial ones. Not different from  Duitsland but they never had such nice windows there to begin with and the same can be said for France. There is no compromise room in this question, which makes it really a simple matter: Old windows have to be saved to the fullest extent.

Windows, or the eyes of a building. A repair and the glass and a replacement using hand-laid glass with details visible only in true-life.


The  distinction of a Dutch window from a certain period is they had been conceived of as bringing the inside out for public inspection or at least providing for the evidence that the inhabitants surely had no secrets, nothing that could not bear scrutiny in other words a port into the souls of the house’s occupants, their righteousness and purity, the windows open to the street and stretching practically to the eaves they pressed the passer-by to look in and see for themselves  the orderliness of the household and by extension the people living there who had had great confidence in there complete exhibitionism. Even to this day a stray glance at a passer-by will likely lead to a defiant yet ever so defensive  invitation for open inquiry into the observed persons piety. They have nothing to hide and dare you to question this fact.

More positively, leaving the Calvinistic oppressiveness eating our dust, the windows have developed remarkable proportion and give the gables a sense of openness and lightness, just as windows should. All the more cause to reject the disproportion and heaviness of thermopane replacements.

Wavy glass
Wavy glass

I manage to somehow capture some of the character of the old glass as I took this shot looking out which you can see as the angle steepens when you look at the upper left corner of the window.

Because the window frame had rotted,  and would twist when lifting it open I once broke the pane so after I fixed the wood I took the glass to have it fused back with a strip of lead in the way normal leaded glass gets done and flipped it bottom to top before resetting.

Fixed glass pane
Fixed glass pane


There probably is a trick for making photos of glass because mine sure don’t give a very adequate image of the old pane on the left with its wavy surface that distorts any image on the opposite side and its green tint that comes from adding lead to the pre-molten sand mix, and the trapped air bubbles. I did manage to catch one prominent bubble though, sorry for you that you can’t get the in-person effect.

Despite the messy residue from the glass putty a bubble in line with the radiator valve is just to be made out.
Despite the messy residue from the glass putty a bubble in line with the radiator valve is just to be made out.







6 thoughts on “This Even More Dutch Window

  1. Hi Ernest, My house (apparently) had very tall windows originally, I found some of the old frames out in the woods and traces of them on the frame and sheathing boards when I did work on it. Can’t quite picture how it would have looked. Wood framed thermopanes will have to do now. At least I got rid of the aluminum sliding frame windows.

  2. Hi John,

    From the energy saving point of view I’m relying on actual functioning inside blinds which I close up nightly in the winter which similarly to you had been taken down at on point, then I found them stashed out in the chicken coop. Yes the aluminum windows, the forbearers to the even worse pvc – which itself is a euphemism for plastic – ones, these have to go.


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