A hat-trick against Hungary in their penultimate World Cup qualification match allowed him to overtake Patrick Kluivert as the top scorer of all time
The Manchester United striker, 30, went into the penultimate World Cup 2014 qualifier with 38 goals in 78 games for the Oranje, and the pressure was off for the hosts, who had secured a spot in Brazil next summer in September.
Van Persie scored after 16 minutes to prove that the Dutch were not resting on their laurels with a looped header to open the scoring, before Kevin Strootman and Jeremain Lens added to the lead.
The Oranje skipper drew level with Patrick Kluivert's 40-goal tally on the stroke of half-time with another header and he celebrated by hugging the joint-record-holder, who is Louis van Gaal's assistant coaches in the international set-up.
Hungary pulled a goal back after half-time, but Van Persie ensured he would steal the headlines by knocking in from close range to complete his hat-trick and seal the new record.
The former Arsenal man also became joint-top goalscorer in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers with 11 goals in Netherlands' nine qualifiers.