Wester-Amstel is getting more and more beautiful!

We’ve been proudly proclaiming, “Wester-Amstel is getting more and more beautiful” for years now... And while we usually focus on the estate’s outward beauty in this series, this time, we’ll be taking a look inward as well. It will give you an opportunity to decide whether you are more drawn towards Wester-Amstel’s outward or inner displays of beauty.

In the outward beauty category, two pieces of news:

After years of squeaking, creaking, and temporary repairs made with tape we have replaced the wooden gate leading to the back of the garden. It has been replaced with an ornate metal gate in the same style as the one at the entrance of the ornamental garden. They could be twins, albeit for one slight difference: this gate has an imperfection. We fondly refer to it as its “ beauty spot” and it is visible from both sides (public and volunteer) of the gate. You can ‘spot’ it as well, next time you visit Wester-Amstel.

Photo (R. Spoelstra): 'Beauty spot' from the volunteer side

Over the years, Wester-Amstel has gathered a great number of public signs. Each made unique by its own combination of materials, color-scheme, and typography. As the information on some of the signs was a bit out of date, we decided it was the perfect time to end the mishmash of signage. Now, all of the signs have been replaced by new boards in a uniform green colour and with up-to-date information.

Foto (S.L. Movig): Uniform Green (before & after)
Foto (S.L. Movig): Uniform Green (before & after)

Our news of Wester-Amstel’s inner beauty is largely guided by the old pieces of furniture returning to Wester-Amstel after many years of absence.

Items like the former hearth plate, which could once be found in the former library in the back of the house. We can only assume that in 1989, during the restoration of Wester-Amstel, the plate was put in a dumpster and then taken home by someone.

Fast forward thirty years to 2023 and the plate was handed over to the Historical Society Amstelveen. Deze zorgde ervoor dat de haardplaat weer op haar oude plek terechtkwam. In het achterhuis, in de huidige parkzaal. U kunt haar zien bij één van onze vele concerten.

Photo (RCE 1984): The hearth plate in the library's fireplace.

Also back in its old place is the "dragon mirror," a mystical-looking Venetian mirror bought during the Belle Époque by 'Uncle Louis' (Ludvig Emil Movig's uncle).

He purchased two mirrors during a Lissone trip to Venice. One still hangs in the family home just outside Sandefjord on the Oslo Fjord, and the other he donated to the family at Wester-Amstel.

In 1989, this mirror was taken to Den Helder by yet another Louis - this one the son of Ludvig Emil. (Are you keeping up?) But he recently brought it back to Wester-Amstel, and now it hangs in its old spot in the hall.

Photo (R. Spoelstra): Mirror, mirror on the wall...
Photo: Gold Standard

The list of items that have made their way back to our house is growing and includes beautiful dining chairs, various family portraits, and also classic early 1920s Delft Blue commemorative plates. For example, today the young employees of investor MKB Fonds can take inspiration from a 1936 plate that reads: 'The guilder apart from the gold standard'.

Unfortunately, we cannot show you every ‘returned item’, but we hope that through this article you will be able to appreciate Wester-Amstel’s inner-side a little bit more.

By: Søren Ludvig Movig