Farewell to the Muratti glass plate

For over a century this beautiful antique glass advertisement by Muratti Cigarettes adorned the facade of the cigar shop on Fred 152. Since the construction of the building block in 1906, the cigar shop was located on the corner with Statenlaan. Originally it was a branch of A. Hillen from Delft, the oldest cigar factory in the Netherlands dating from 1770. You can still see, above the shop door, the year 1770 prominently displayed in the authentic lettering. Hillen went bankrupt in 1937, but the place has remained a luxury cigar shop ever since. The last 30 years it housed the well-known Cigarros Adelante. However, this summer Adelante closed the store and the classic wooden interior has gone to make way for the new tenant, a barber shop. The barbershop owner wants to attach its own bill board in the place of the Muratti advertisement and had the antique glass plate removed.

The advertisement, in Jugendstil, is a so-called veined glass plate. The letters and images are first sandblasted in black polished veined glass. Then the roughened and recessed surfaces are inlaid with gold leaf. This glass plate is even more special because of the inlays of blue and red glass.

Only a handful of these veined glass advertisements have survived in their original sites, but unfortunately, advertisements, however old and valuable, are not protected as a monument.

The Muratti glass plate at Fred 152, until recently © Marja Langenberg

Fortunately, the glass plate was safely removed by the owner of the building. What will happen next is still uncertain. If the glass plate can’t be maintained in place it should be preserved for the public. Fortunately, the National Glass Museum in Leerdam expressed the wish to include the plate in its collection. The Hague heritage organizations SHIE, Friends of The Hague, The Hague Historical Museum and BAS also hope for Leerdam as the final destination.

1925. A market stall in front of the shop of cigar factory A. Hillen with the name and the founding year 1770 above the shop windows. © Haags Gemeente Archief

Architect by education and management consultant by profession. She lived in the beautiful Statenkwartier for the best half of her life.

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