Blue and White Charger

On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. However, Holland was simultaneously undergoing a great deal of tumult with the Prussian invasion. This blue and white charger, dated September 16, 1787 is a poignant reminder of the event. The text on the charger reads “September 16 was elk in lij, 3…

The Poisonous Manufacture of Delftware

‘Do not ingest, do not breath dust’ warns Ralph Mayer in The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques in the white lead section, and indeed, since 1994, the material has been banned from sale within the European Union except under special conditions.[1] Today many traditional potters use non-lead glazes, but in the seventeenth and eighteenth…

The ‘Cashmire’ Palette

A widespread interest in exoticism and eclecticism took hold in the late nineteenth century during a period known as the Aesthetic Movement. There was a rediscovery of the Golden Age of Delftware as collectors and intellectuals sought out objects designed in an orientalist style. This marked the first serious attempt to assemble, classify and study…

Garniture of Three Polychrome Vases and One Cover

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this polychrome three-piece garniture that demonstrates the use of cold-painted bright red. It was made around 1700 by De Paauw (The Peacock) Factory in the city of Delft. Although many factories used cold painted decoration,…

Windmills

The windmills that dot the landscape of the Netherlands are as familiar as the local tulips, wooden shoes, and cheese. While they are visually charming and recall a past era, the invention of windmills shaped the Netherlands and its inhabitants. Windmills have existed in many different shapes in Europe since 1050. Structural mills with horizontal…

Cold Painting in Red

The range of colors seen on 18th century Delftware were achieved through various techniques, using skills honed throughout many years. Not every paint color could be realized in a single firing process, and there were often several rounds in the kiln. Ceramics painted with grand feu colors of blue, green, and yellow were fired at…

Blue and White Figure of Atlas

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this remarkable blue and white figure of Atlas (circa 1710). The god, depicted as an older, bearded man, kneels on a pedestal and gazes upward. Although many people think Atlas is carrying the globe, or the world,…

VOC and the Asian Trading Routes

The Dutch East India Company, or the VOC for short (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) was established by charter in 1602. The VOC was first organized to profit from the East Asian spice trade in which the Portuguese already had a stronghold. During the 16th century, the Portuguese established a wide network with settlements in Sri…

Delft Plaques, a Window Open onto the World

Dutch Delftware plaques stand out amongst the many examples produced during the 17th century for their extreme delicacy and meticulousness. The "porcelain paintings,” as they were referred to in household inventories, were intended to be admired as if they were paintings on panel, canvas or copper. Unfortunately, because of their similarity in appearance to prints…

Blue and White Chinoiserie Plate

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this lovely blue and white plate that is decorated with figures playing the ancient Chinese game of “Go.” The timeless subject echoes with the news when a computer recently outsmarted its human opponent in the strategic match.…