A large Dutch-painted wine bottle with portrait of Maarten Harpertz. Tromp
The Netherlands, early 18th century
To one side decorated with a portrait and a text reading Maarten Harpertsz Tromp, Luit. Admiraal van Holland within a wreath of laurel and three Dutch 17th-century warships on both sides of the portrait, the other side with a shield with a lion salient surrounded by scrolling leaves and flowers.
H. 30 cm
Content 5.5 litre
Maarten Harpertsz Tromp (1598 -1653) was the most important sea hero’s of Holland in the first half of the 17th century; the final years of the Eighty Year War against Spain and the first of the several Anglo-Dutch sea wars. Tromp went to sea at the age of nine and in the end, became the best Dutch naval captain of his days. He didn’t have an easy life, experiencing many setbacks in his career due to professional envies and political unwillingness to spent money on the fleet, and also misfortunes in his personal life.
Three times he left the navy frustrated but each time, after pleading by the Admiralty. he returned to take command over the fleet again In his personal life he twice lost his wife, married three times and in the end had twelve children. His major success and greatest tactical victory was the Battle of The Downs in 1639 when he destroyed a Spanish fleet of 67 ships with just 17 ships of his own. In 1646 he gained the final victory over the pirates of Duinkerken and in 1653, during the first Anglo-Dutch war he was victorious in the Battle of Dungeness. However in the next two battles, the Three Day Battle and the Battle at Nieuwpoort, the English had the upper hand and subsequently blockaded the Dutch coast.
In the Battle of Ter Heijde, the blockade was broken but Tromp was killed by an English sharpshooter. He had a hero’s funeral and in the Oude Kerk in Delft, there still is an impressive monument to commemorate Tromp.