Let’s swap KLM-houses

Posted by at 10:59

Over the years KLM’s Delftware miniature houses have become something of an institution. At least in the Netherlands, but also far beyond the borders of our country, the houses have become must-have collectors’ items. In all honesty, I didn’t get this hype. Until I flew to San Francisco for work last autumn. During my very first intercontinental flight, I received my very first complimentary KLM Delftware miniature. There and then I understood the magic of these miniatures. And it wasn’t in the Dutch gin they contain.

 

I’m now well on my way to becoming an official hoarder and belonging to the KLM miniatures collectors club. My first house, number 97 to be precise, still stands somewhat lonely on my bookshelf. But I know that one day I’ll also be admiring a row of miniatures on my mantelpiece. And for genuine collectors, whose windowsills are jam-packed with rows of KLM houses and whose collections miss only a few of the porcelain showpieces, KLM now offers a unique opportunity.

Finders keepers, losers …

Since the start of the year and up to and including 30 March, true collectors can obtain missing pieces by swapping their doubles. But only on condition that the exchange piece is undamaged and still filled with Dutch gin. So whatever you do, don’t drink the contents! To date, loads of people have swapped so there’s a chance that the specific piece you want may have already found a home. However, as my grandfather always says: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

The more, the merrier

By the way, that’s the same grandfather who owns the first KLM miniatures I ever spotted. And who told me about the “status” of such a house; the more, the merrier. As I said, these words fell on deaf ears back then. Now of course, I’m keen to expand my collection of one. I would have loved to have a few doubles right now, if only to take advantage of the exceptional offer to swap some KLM miniatures.

Stay exclusive

Bear in mind, those of you wanting to join this huge human endeavour will need authorisation for lounge access. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enter the KLM Crown Lounge 52, where the exchange will be held. Unfair? Maybe a bit. But at the same time, this does mean the KLM houses will maintain their exclusive status.

This is what makes our mini’s special

Volumes have been written about what makes the Delftware miniatures so special. For example that the houses have been prized collectors’ items for more than 60 years and that no less than 97 houses have been produced thus far. Or that the first house was dished out in 1952 and that the typical Dutch houses have been filled with Dutch Bols Jenever gin since the 1980s.

Visit the original in Amsterdam

Each year, as many as 800,000 houses are handed out to passengers travelling in KLM’s World Business Class. And with the exception of the very first mini houses, they’re replicas of landmark buildings in the Netherlands. The Palace on Dam Square, Rembrandt house and Anne Frank’s house continue to be hot favourites and are also genuine collectors’ items. Most of the houses are located in Amsterdam.

A while ago, my colleague Valerie even organised a comprehensive tour of all the original KLM houses. As a resident of Amsterdam, that’s certainly something I’ll be doing more often. At least until I’ve succeeded in bagging all the miniatures and made myself (and my dear grandfather) proud!

29 Responses to Let’s swap KLM-houses

  1. Pieter v Groenewoud

    Waar kunnen wij dubbele huisjes ruilen? Is er een site?

    • Feetje

      In de KLM ICA Crown Lounge, 52 Pieter!

      • Robbert Van der Mije

        Kun je die huisjes door de security krijgen?

  2. Kor Goedendorp

    goed nieuws dat dubbele huisjes geruild kunnen worden. Kan dit in de business class lounge? is er verder informatie beschikbaar hoe dit het beste te doen, ook voor mensen in het buitenland woonachtig (zoals ik..)? bvd

  3. Ton Nijboer

    Ik heb een aantal dubbele huisjes en zoek er nog drie.

    • Ben Lucke

      Welke mis je nog? Welke heb hè dubbel?

  4. Carolina Sepulveda

    Our family has many houses, we all love the collection! I think we dont have any double. There was an earthquake in 2010 that broke some, it was sad, but we still have some house that look beautiful!

  5. Annette McKenzie

    Currently almost finished collecting our third set. It was my suggestion for a method of guaranteeing folk like myself the house they were hunting during a flight that has lead to this house-swap. I will be in lounge 52 before the end of March and shall be mightily disappointed if I cannot get what I am after. Certain folk, within KLM, have worked hard with my suggestion, sadly we are left with this house-swap. Nice to read about it though, thanks for the blog.

    • Rob Pelle

      Hi Annette, I don’t know where you’re from but there’s thriving business to be done on http://www.marktplaats.nl (similar to eBay). The site is Dutch but most of us do speak a little/lot of English if you decide to give it a try.

  6. Hans verhulst

    I have 2 x no. 12, looking for 95, 96, 97.
    I ll be in the lounge on March 20. So how does this work?
    Hans

  7. bianca

    op sommige vluchten krijg je huisjes zonder drank, dus ook geen lakzegel.
    Er moet dan wel een sticker op staan met de tekst : Empty due to cuztums regulations on this route .
    Ook een mooie aanvulling is het boek waar alle huizen in staan.

  8. Gijsbert. van Weijen

    Ik heb de volgend huisjes dubbel 23, 32, 40, 43, 46, 49, 51, en 54
    Ik zoek 1, 2, 3, 8, 74, 83, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, en 96
    Wie Will ruilen

  9. Jane green

    I’ve got duplicate 48,49,52,58 and looking for 92,93,94,95 sadly my flying days have come to an end so swap or buy is my only way now

  10. Hun

    I think I have more than 70 at this point and I have a lots of duplicated number. How does swapping work?

  11. Wies Welmers

    A great addition to the KLM houses is the book ” Sterke Verhalen” made by Mark Zegeling.
    See http://www.markmedia.nl

    Kind regards
    Wies Welmers

  12. Hilly

    What about a Swap Group on Facebook?

  13. Igor Costa

    I read this text 3 times and I still don’t know if I understand well… :-/
    What shall I do to swap my duplicated houses?
    I have 5 duplicated houses under perfect conditions.

    Thanks.

  14. P. Zoon

    Ik heb veel dubbele huisjes.

    Graag mij contacten om te ruilen!

    p.zoon@yahoo.com

  15. Keona thrasher

    How do I be authorized to be able to come swap my doubles. as I have a few doubles from over the years I will be back in the Netherlands in March. Whom do I write to and where do I go! Seriously excited

  16. El

    I am looking for a place where I can buy some to add to my collection. I have no doubles to swap. Great idea though!

  17. Boo

    Great idea. However there is somewhat of a logistical problem. KLM on flights to/from Middle East did not fill their houses with gin. Nothing… empty.

  18. Jitske Bergman

    I have early doublesbetween # 1 and 17. Afterwards we flew more convenient United, for which I have a lifelong lounge pass that KLM doesn’t honor, so no trading for me in March. I did buy the book because one of the Heerengracht houses is identical to my grandparents ‘ Heerengracht house.. I actually don’t want anymore…So, to a good home…No gin either.

  19. A cleton

    Please clarify how the exchange works, I will bring the houses to the lounge or?

    Thanks

  20. René Korevaar

    Ben op zoek naar nr 95 en 97

    Dubbel heb ik …17 21 25 31 36 39 40 42 43 44 45 46 47 55 58 63 66 67 71 83 en 88.

  21. Dave Barham

    Hi

    I have a miniature I was given on a first class flight to Nairobi in the late 1970’s.
    It is a standard 3 floor design

    Front door bottom left with 2 Windows on right
    Then 3 Windows above and finally 2 triangle Windows either side of a square one. It has the date of 1687 below this window.

    It still has Geneva inside and label on back says it from Simon Ryanbende and sons

    Is this a run of the mill standard. Model or is it worth anything?

    Thanks

    Dave Barham

  22. Julievanhout

    Dear all people who want to swap their KLM houses,

    You can swap your house at KLM’s Non-Schengen Crown Lounge (Lounge 52). So yes, this is behind security check. There is no maximum to the number of exchanges, but houses need to be in good condition and still filled with Bols genever. Be aware that you can take only 1 liter of alcoholic drinks in your luggage and that each KLM house contains 40ml of Bols genever. Returned houses are kept behind the desk and can be swapped for other collector’s’ houses.

    I hope this information will solve the questions you had!

  23. Ronald Verkroost

    So it is a trial project for 3 months that has started in January and that you are issuing end of February leaving just 30 days to trade houses? Being a platinum for life member I was not made aware of this earlier unfortunately

  24. Susan Holmquist

    I will let you know if I find any KLM buildings in Payson, Arizona

  25. rivotram bula

    Também possuo um blog de nicho parecido ao seu e você
    me serve de inspiração permaneça com este excelente trabalho.
    abraços .

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