If you’re a fan of airline collectibles, you may already have a handful – or perhaps dozens – of the gin-filled miniature Delftware houses KLM Royal Dutch Airlines gifts to passengers flying in the carrier’s long-haul business class cabins.
KLM has been handing out these charming and, now, highly sought-after, souvenirs since the 1950s. And each one is a miniature version of a historically or architecturally significant building in the Netherlands or in a location abroad that has a KLM connection.
There are more than 100 buildings, plus some bonus editions, in the series. And a new one is unveiled each year on October 7 to mark the anniversary of KLM’s founding in 1919.
This year KLM turns 103. So, on October 7, KLM unveiled house #103 – a miniature Delftware replica of the Ecury House in Aruba. This is only the second time a KLM Delftware miniature has been based on a building outside the Netherlands. (A building in Curaçao got that honor on KLM’s 85th birthday).
The significance of the Ecury home
The Ecury home was chosen this year because Aruba will celebrate its centenary of aviation in 2023 and Aruba’s Nicasio “Dundun” Ecury played a significant role in the development of aviation on the island. His son, Boy Ecury, studied in the Netherlands and was a resistance hero during WWII who was betrayed and executed in 1944.
Built in 1929, the Ecury home is now part of the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba and sits near the site where the first aircraft to Aruba landed.
KLM’s connection to Aruba reaches back almost 90 years
A KLM Fokker-XVIII christened “the Snip,” first touched down in Aruba on December 23, 1934, as part of KLM’s first transatlantic flight. Scheduled service between Aruba and Curaçao began on January 19, 1935 and was the first flight operated by KLM’s West-Indian Branch (WIB). Scheduled service between Amsterdam and Aruba began in 1974, almost 50 years ago. And there are now daily flights between the two destinations.