I am a collector. I have been collecting things all my life. Strange collections. Bizarre collections. Sometimes I wasn’t even aware of collecting it until I had started a new collection. I think it is strange myself. I don’t want to be a stupid collector. But I am.
I was walking out of our supermarket and there were some kids begging for “superheroes”, Plastic puppets that look hideously indeed. Still the kids want them like they were lumps of gold. And I understand that drive, I really do. When I was a kid we were collecting different things of course. My grandfather that lived in Ede, a town in the Netherlands, but far, far away from us (I was 15 when my father first owned a car, until then we would travel by public transportation of biking). And my grandfather smoked cigars. A lot of them, by the way. Those really big ones. And on the big ones there were these huge cigar bands. The prettiest were Elisabeth Bas.
They were as special to me as those superheroes today. Little did I know Elisabeth Bas (1571 – 1649) was the wife of Jochem Hendrickszoon Swartenhont. I did not know Swartenhont was a captain in the navy of the Dutch Republic and a military hero. Nor did I know the cigar factory stopped in Boxtel, Netherlands at the end of the sixties in the last century. The only thing I knew they were big and had the picture of Ferdinand Bol on it (I never got them from my grandfather, he always picked out the pretty ones and said: : no those are for you nephew, you can choose from the rest. The rest were ordinary cigar bands I had collected already). I don’t have them anymore of course, but I still remember how glad I was to finally obtained a Elisabeth Bas.
|Elisabeth Bas cigar band|