WA Maritime Museum: Dutch artefacts to go on display for 400th anniversary


John Day and exhibition curator Corioli Souter with the de Vlamingh plate.
John Day and exhibition curator Corioli Souter with the de Vlamingh plate.

WHEN Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog first arrived on WA soil in 1616, he noted the occasion by nailing a dinner plate to a post with an inscription .

The plate, considered the oldest known European object in Australia, will be returning to WA to mark the 400th anniversary of that landing.

It will join the 1697 Willem de Vlamingh plate on display at the Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum next month.

Culture and the Arts minister John Day said the dish was permanently housed at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, but would be loaned to the museum for the special commemorative exhibition.

“Given the fragility of the dish, this will probably be the last time it travels to Australia,” he said.

“This will be a unique opportunity for West Australians and visitors to WA to share in a precious piece of history that marks the beginning of our enduring connections with the Dutch people and their culture.

“Like those early mariners, Travellers and Traders will take visitors on a journey of discovery, introducing them to the rich heritage of the Indian Ocean and providing a unique understanding of WA’s part in that story.”

Replicas of both the Hartog and de Vlamingh plates will be unveiled at their original spot on Cape Inscription October 25.

The exhibition will be at the Maritime Museum from October 31 until April 2017.