One of my favorite Art Nouveau objects in Dordrecht is distillery Rutte, located at Vriesestraat 130. Even though the building itself dates further back, the shop front has a beautiful Art Nouveau design from around 1903/1905. I have visited the city archives at Erfgoedcentrum DIEP to find out more about the origins of the building that is a listed monument (RM522344) but no information was filed about the architect, nor about the designer of the facade.
The beautiful shop front is built in stone and white glazed facing-bricks. The wood and glass shop window is closed in by a horizontal ellipse shaped arch between two piers. The stone frame around the window is decorated with floral motifs that are colored black. However, a photograph from 1905 shows that they were not colored originally.
As I explained in my earlier post about the butchery at Prinsenstraat 67, around 1900 shops were a new phenomenon and shop owners tried to attract customers with modern (read: fashionable) shop fronts. They did so by simply replacing the old facade with a new one, making it unnecessary to move to a new, more fashionable building! And as Art Nouveau was the most fashionable style around 1900, many older buildings have an Art Nouveau shop front that doesn’t match the rest of the building’s style. Personally, I find this Art Nouveau shop front lovely, and I am really sorry that I could not find out who designed it.
In order to find out more details about the shop, I did a lot of research on the internet, but there is really not much to be found. The only information I could find was information about the numerous generations of distillers who owned the Rutte Distillery. From what I discovered, Antonius Joannes Rutte (1806-1881) must be the Rutte that moved from Rotterdam to Dordrecht in 1830. He married Johanna Maria Vogel in 1840. Their son must be the famous Simon Antonius Rutte (1844-1920) after whom the Jenever distillery and liqueur shop, that were established in 1872 at Vriesestraat 130, was named. And whether you believe it or not: the distillery and shop are still located at Vriesestraat 130, and the interior of the shop and the distillery have not changed much since then. Upstairs, above the distillery, the former living room of Simon Rutte is now a museum where six generations of distilling come together in a collection of distillers’ and coopers tools and related attributes, and where tastings are regularly organised.
I have gathered the information about many generations of Rutte distillers in a PDF for those who are interested. You can download the PDF Rutte Family here.
There was a short movie on YouTube about the distillery, unfortunately only in Dutch: