In 1957, when the SS STATENDAM debuted, she became an instant hit on North Atlantic crossings from Rotterdam to New York and in seasonal cruising. She was mainly a tourist class vessel, but one of the keys to her success was the quality of her accommodation, which aspired to first class standards. For a predominantly tourist class ship, she was miles ahead of the competition and a vastly improved version of the pioneering, mainly tourist twins RYNDAM and MAASDAM that came before her.
On stormy Atlantic crossings or in the cold weather that inevitably greeted the working liners of yesteryear, outdoor lidos and swimming pools were often unusable. Any Atlantic liner worth her salt had a dedicated indoor pool, most often located on the lowest passenger deck. On STATENDAM, the pool, which would be shared by both classes, had to suit the small number of first class passengers the ship carried. Thus, its decoration would need to be of the highest standard.
Former Holland American Line Captain Leo van Lanschot Hubrecht was kind enough to forward the builder's information on the pool area: "...An entire wall has been decorated in glass mosaic, designed by Willem Akkermans, depicting marine life in abstract style. The work was executed by Van Tetterode." The work, located aft of the pool, was similar in style and execution to the Akkermans' glass stairtower panels on the ROTTERDAM of 1959. The individual pieces were hand-blown and feature numerous details, such as bubbles, texturing and, in many cases, silver and other layers of differently colored glass, as found on the ROTTERDAM.
When STATENDAM was rebuilt for permanent cruise service in 1972, the pool area was wisely spared modernization. In 1982, the ship became Paquet Cruises RHAPSODY and in 1986, she became Regency Cruise Lines REGENT STAR. Both companies left the few original areas of the ship as is. REGENT STAR was laid up in 1995, following the collapse of Regency Cruises. She lay at anchor in Eleusis, Greece (technically renamed SEA HARMONY) looking very forlorn until being sold for scrap as the HARMONY in 2004. When the ship arrived at Alang, I went through great effort and expense to purchase these panels. Unfortunately, the entire ensemble could not be safely removed, leaving large gaps and resulting in some damaged pieces (most of which have all components in tact but require careful regluing).
Even though not complete, each subset is absolutely stunning. The quality of the craftsmanship and artistry is a marvel, and, unfortunately, a lost art. Whether displayed in incomplete sections or individually framed, these glass panels are marvels of their era and a wonderful remnant of the lamented STATENDAM of 1957.
These individual glass panes were located, for the most part along the outer edges of the ensemble. Several are broken but with all components carefully saved for restoration and others are broken and missing components, as shown.
Condition: clean break across top third.
All components can be reglued.
Akkermann's Blue Glass
A close up of the ensemble as seen on the ship when she was laid up as HARMONY in 1998.
Magnificent Blue Glass from the SS STATENDAM
Indoor Pool Panel.
Designed by Willem Akkermans. Executed by Van Tetterode
9.75 inches wide by 18.5 inches tall
Eight of twelve individually priced components remaining.
See below for images, prices and condition of each piece.