Amsterdam and Porcelain Houses

One of my travel collections consists of KLM Delft Blue miniature houses. They come out with new house every year, and each one is numbered.   Some might say that the coolest thing about them is that they come filled with Bois Jenever (dutch gin).  What I find most cool is that they are replicas of houses that still stand today in Amsterdam or some other city in Holland.    This collection was building slowly, however, over the past year it’s grown quite a bit.  I’ve gone from less than 10 houses to close almost 40 houses.   Roland added eight to my collection this past July.  Eight!!  I don’t know how he got so many when he should have just come home with four, but I’m gonna guess he was scheming and asking people for theirs. (Thanks Baby!! :D)

About a year ago, I came up with the grand idea to search out these houses and photograph them.  I don’t know how I’m going to display the two together, but I thought it was a fun idea.  That is what motivated me to purchase some of the houses when an expat leaving Saudi Arabia advertised her collection for sale at 20 Riyals (about $5.30) per house.  So, I purchased 18 houses.

Well…I was in Amsterdam earlier this month for 4 days and I checked out some of the houses.   It was so cool!!  Based on the proximity to my hotel, I narrowed it down to 5 houses.  I mapped them and went on my search.   I was so excited when I found the first one.  I was surprised that they were so easy to find and I think I expected them to “stand out” in some way.  But, they look like the other surrounding canal houses, with the exception that this one has a porcelain replica reproduced by KLM.

I spent one afternoon walking a nice route that took me to five of the houses in my collection.  This is just the beginning.  The next time I’m in Amsterdam, I will select 5 – 6 more houses and do another walking tour of a new neighborhood. Following are the photos of the houses that I took.  The photos of the porcelain house is courtesy of KLM.

*To enlarge the photos, click to bring up its own page, then click again. :)*

Keizersgracht 140 – KLM House #45:
Unlike the facade of many old buildings in Amsterdam that lean slightly outward towards the street, the facade of the house at Keizersgracht 140 was erected in 1896 and stands straight up.  Until the first half of the 19th century the house was in uses as a meeting for English Quakers.

KLM House 45

Keizersgracht 140 – KLM House #45

Herengracht 203 – KLM House #53:
The house at Herengracht 203 was built during the early period in which the ring of canals was being constructed and is one of he original buildings.  It was build in 1618 following the allocation of the land.  A restoration was conducted in 1920.

KLM House 53

Herengracht 203 – KLM House #53

Herengracht 64 – KLM House #56:
Herengracht 64 was built by Jan van Alderwerelt (1585-1636).  This merchant’s house was rebuilt around 1700.  An historic drawing shows that the house was once crowned by a globe with a cross on top but this ornament has since disappeared.

KLM House 56

Herengracht 64 – KLM House #56

Herengracht 163 – KLM House #59:
A wine merchant named Jan Willemson commissioned the building of this house.  The beautiful neck gable crowning the building at Herengracht 163 dates from 1721.

KLM House 59

Herengracht 163 – KLM House #59

Singel 87 – KLM House #72:
This building dates back to 1730.  The top is crowned with a bust of mercury, the god of commerce.  This symbol was in common uses during the time when Amsterdam was one of the world’s most important centers of trade.

KLM House 72

Singel 87 – KLM House #72


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About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 30 countries, and counting.


  1. I am a collector also and happen to live in Amsterdam. My project is to make a video walking tour showing all the houses in Amsterdam. Lots of walking still to do.