Espersen & Son has close ties to the Dutch Caribbean, especially the
islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten. Throughout the
colonial period, bricks were often used as ballast in Dutch trading
vessels en route to their Caribbean colonies. These bricks were often
"Ijsselsteen", a type of tan coloured brick with natural red stone
inclusions made with clay from the Ijssel River. Espersen & Son
salvages these from hearths and from archaeological excavations of sugar
plantations where it is impossible for local organizations to store
thousands of bricks from archaeological sites.
Those pictured are from the island of Saba at the Spring Bay sugar and indigo plantation, which dates from the mid 1650's to 1665. The plantation was destroyed in 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War by English privateers under Edward Morgan, the uncle of the more infamous Henry Morgan. These bricks are only available through a consultation and special order.
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