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


Dave Aronson was Europe’s leading expert on Delft earthenware. With its blue-and-white pattern it is reckoned to be the oldest in Europe, going back to the 16th century and predating Sèvres, Meissen and Wedgwood porcelain.

Aronson did not undergo any formal training to acquire his world-class expertise, but imbibed it from his parents, Ab and Noen, who rebuilt the family’s Amsterdam antiques firm, Aronson Antiquairs, from scratch after the war. With energy and enthusiasm they rapidly regained its world reputation in the field of Delft earthenware, and l7th and l8th century European furniture.

Given its importance, the firm is remarkably small, having only three full-time employees. It was started in l881 by Leon Aronson in Arnhem. It then moved to Amsterdam and soon established a national and then an international reputation in its specialised field.

During the Second World War the Nazi occupiers stripped Aronson’s grand- parents of their ownership and sent them to Auschwitz where they were killed. An “administrator” was put in to sell off the stock and close down the business. Aronson’s parents fled to a village near Amsterdam and, helped by non-Jewish “angels” who risked their lives to hide them, survived the occupation.

Once the German Army was driven out of the Netherlands by the Allies, the Aronsons returned to rebuild the family firm and gave it a motto: “Profit is fine, but a love of antiques has more shine.”

Their son Dave, named after his murdered grandfather, was born a year after the war and from childhood not merely accepted his destiny but revelled in it. He spent a year’s apprenticeship in London with a Knightsbridge antiques dealer and at the age of 21 was back in Amsterdam to enter the family firm.

He rapidly developed a wider vision and became active in the European Fine Art Foundation, which runs the important European antiques fair in Maastricht in March each year. For the past eight years he was its chairman, and took a leading management role also in pAn Amsterdam, an annual fair in the Dutch capital.

In a crowded and fiercely competitive trade, Aronson was not only respected but also trusted and widely liked for his knack of combining fairness and a decisive, no-nonsense manner with charm and personal warmth.

Aronson is survived by his wife, Irene, their daughter and son Robert, who now runs the business.

Dave Aronson, antiques dealer, was born on May 16, 1946. He died of heart failure on January 5, 2007, aged 60

The Times

January 22nd, 2007