Important and Rare Delftware Collection at TEFAF Maastricht 2017

AMSTERDAM February 21, 2017 - At TEFAF Maastricht 2017 Aronson Antiquairs will present a spectacularly rare and important collection of Dutch Delftware: The Nijstad Collection and highlights from the Morpurgo Collection.

The Nijstad family has been deeply wedded to art and antiques for as long as anyone can remember. They channeled this passion into a successful business, decades before Hartog ‘Harts’ and Kitty Nijstad developed a magnificent collection of Dutch Delftware in the twentieth century. Robert Aronson, fifth generation owner of the over 135 year old Dutch firm, has already a long history with the family. He has childhood memories of visiting Mr. and Mrs. Nijstad, who where his father’s colleagues and his grandparent’s dear friends. As Robert Aronson adds “No extravagance. Mr. Nijstad invited us to the study upstairs. There, a large vitrine running from floor to ceiling was remarkably filled entirely with Dutch Delftware”. The collection, which was started by his father Abraham Nijstad, include a pair of boys riding lions made around 1775, and a pair of candlesticks with deer marked for Jan van den Briel, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1768 to 1783, or his widow Petronella van der Laan from 1783 to 1796. An early polychrome money bank, which can be attributed to Jannetge Claesdr. van Straten, widow of Jacob Wemmersz. Hoppesteyn and the owner of Het Moriaenshooft (The Moor’s Head) factory from 1671 until 1686, is also part of this important collection. Robert Aronson, who is grateful to the Nijstad family for the long friendship, is proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to present the Nijstad collection in all its glory.

In addition to the outstanding objects from the Nijstad collection, Aronson Antiquairs will also bring several highlights from the Morpurgo collection. The Morpurgo family is a renowned Amsterdam dynasty in the antiques trade. Four successive generations have contributed their expertise, knowledge, and passion to the industry since the family business was started by Joseph M. Morpurgo in 1869. The Aronson family and the Morpurgo’s also go back several generations. One of their long treasured objects is a plaque attributed to Frederik van Frijtom - who is Holland’s most renowned painter of seventeenth century Delft faience and oils, which can now represented to a new generation of collectors and appreciators.

TEFAF Maastricht is widely regarded as the world's leading fair for art, antiques and design. Featuring 275 prestigious deals from some 20 countries, TEFAF Maastricht is a showcase for the finest art works currently on the market. TEFAF Maastricht's upcoming edition will  run from Thursday March 10 through Sunday March 19, 2017.

Dutch Delftware has been handmade in Holland for more than 400 years. It began when trade with Italy, Spain and Portugal brought earthenware to the Netherlands. By the seventeenth century the Dutch East India Company had introduced Europe to Chinese porcelain and exports flourished as the West strived to duplicate the Chinese formula for fine blue and white porcelain. When war in China interrupted the trade, potters in Delft expanded their businesses to create earthenware versions of ‘porcelain.’ At the height of production The Guild of Saint Luke counted almost 40 factories in the small city of Delft. They were innovative and adapted to fill the needs of clients all over Europe, with the elegant term ‘faience’ becoming synonymous with ‘delftware.’ The word “Delftware” has long been associated with a visit to Holland.

For over 135 years Aronson Antiquairs has sought to carry the very finest examples of Delft in the full range of forms and patterns, from the extremely rare black Delft to Japanese Imari designs and the instantly recognizable blue and white and Chinoiserie motifs in dishes, figures, vases, bowls and plaque forms. Robert Aronson is chairman of the Royal Dutch Antique Dealers Association and he recently provided sponsorship support to the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague to show a distinguished collection of antique Delft titled “Delftware Wonderware.”


TEFAF Maastricht

Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 45-B

Mail: P.O.Box 15556
NL-1001 NB Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Tel. +31 20 623 3103
Fax +31 20 638 3066

For interviews and high resolution images please contact:
Celine Ariaans
+31 20 623 3103


Today’s blog showcasing standout examples of Americana that will be offered at the Winter Antiques Show January 19–29 at New York City’s Park Avenue Armory proves that two are better than one with a rare pair of Americana tobacco jars.

Aronson Antiquairs of Amsterdam specializes in Dutch delftware of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries and has scored a coup by finding a rare example of Americana in Dutch delftware. This pair of tobacco jars was made circa 1790–1800 and each is painted on the front of its ovoid body in a design reminiscent of the Great Seal of the United States of America.

The seal here is represented by an eagle clasping in his beak a banner (banderole) reading Pluri Bednum, while its left talons hold three arrows and in its right, an olive branch. On the front of the eagle is a striped shield. The seal in encapsulated inside an oval garland with flowers. Under the eagle is an inscription reading No 8 on one jar and No 16 on the other jar, likely references to the tobacco the jars were to contain.

600px-US-GreatSeal-Obverse_svgThe decoration on these jars, meant to depict the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States, is rare and probably was a special commission. The design of the Great Seal was intended to represent the 13 original states, and on the actual seal, the American bald eagle held 13 arrows and an olive branch with 13 leaves and olives, while the shield contained 13 stripes. Above the eagle’s head were 13 stars, and the banderole was inscribed with the nation’s motto: “E Pluribus Unum” (“From Many, One”).

In this instance, however, the delft painter, unaware of the symbolism of the new republic, simplified the details, scrambling the motto, reducing the number of arrows and stripes, deleting the stars, and painting the images as mirrors of each other so that each eagle faces the arrows of war, rather than the olive branch of peace.

While the changes in the Great Seal may upset history purists, the tobacco jars are no less special. Americana themes among Dutch delftware are quite rare and only two other pairs and a set of three tobacco jars with an American coat of arms are known at this time. The set of three resides in an old Dutch collection, one pair is in a private Manhattan collection and the other pair was sold at auction in October 2003, advertised as “formerly the property of Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

An interesting aside is that US President John Adams (1735–1826), had close ties with the Netherlands. After securing a Treaty of Alliance in 1778, but unsuccessful in this cause in Great Britain, he moved to Amsterdam in January 1781, as minister to the Netherlands. And during 1781–1782, Adams lived only yards away from the present location of Aronson’s offices in Amsterdam. The Netherlands was the second country in Europe to recognize the United States as an independent government.

For more information, contact Aronson Antiquairs at” or 31 20 623 3103. Make sure to visit the dealer’s booth at the Winter Antiques Show to see the jars and other fine delftware.

For show information, or 212-987-0446.

-Andrea Valluzzo

Height: 31.8 cm. / 12 1/2 in.; overall: 37.1 cm. / 14 5/8 in.