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The Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library is an American estate and museum in Winterthur, Delaware. In the early twentieth century, collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969) and his father designed Winterthur in the spirit of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European country houses. Almost 60 years ago, H.F. du Pont opened his childhood home to the public.

 Du Pont was initially a collector of European art and decorative art. Subsequently, he became a highly prominent collector of American decorative arts, building on the Winterthur estate to house his collection, conservation laboratories, and administrative offices. He formed the original collection and added to it until his death in 1969. Winterthur curators continue to fill gaps in the collection and build upon its strengths.

A beautiful tureen marked Justus Brouwer of De Porceleyne Byl factory

 The museum houses nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the Du Pont family lived there, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries. The collection is organized in several main categories, such as ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, paintings and prints, and textiles and needlework. Famous for its American artwork, the collection is amplified with objects from other regions of the world, illustrating the active role America played in the international market. Winterthur’s ceramics collection includes some 19,000 objects of types made in or imported into America from the 1600s through the mid-1800s. The earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain in the collection represent an unusually broad range of manufacturing and design types and have special strengths among American, English, and Chinese wares. The collection houses several early Dutch Delftware objects, such as dishes and chargers, vases and a kendi. An eighteenth century highlight is a tureen marked for Justus Brouwer, the owner of De Porceleyne Bijl (The Porcelain Axe) factory, from circa 1755 (in the Campbell collection of Soup Tureens). Tureens are not commonly found in Dutch Delftware and this example is a rare survival. 

A beautiful pair of polychrome vases produced by Het Moriaanshooft factory

The has recently redisplayed its permanent collection, showcasing the exciting juxtapositions between its collection of old masters and modern art. Opened in 1849, the institution is one of the most visited in the Netherlands. The museum has a diverse collection ranging from medieval to contemporary art, with a focus on Dutch art. As its name indicates much of the collection originated from two private collections: Frans Jacob Otto Boijmans and Daniël George van Beuningen. While Boijmans’s private collection consisted chiefly of seventeenth century Dutch paintings, drawings, prints and porcelain, Van Beuningen collected fifteenth and sixteenth-century art from the Northern and Southern parts of the Netherlands.

 

The museum has a distinctive Delftware collection of exceptional pieces made by the Moriaanshooft factory when the factory was led by the members of the Hoppesteyn family. The objects made by Het Moriaanshooft in this period are amongst the most rare and remarkable of all Delftware production. Jannetge van Straten and her son Rochus Hoppesteyn were amongst the first to experiment with polychrome decoration, and this remarkable pair of polychrome vases demonstrates their skill. The three medallions of these vases illustrate the Niobe legends. These illustrations are taken from a 1528 freeze by Polidoro Caldara (named Da Caravaggio) on the façade of the palace of Giovanni Antonio Milesi in Rome.  

 

At the end of the year, Delftware amateurs will have access to the entire collection. Objects previously in storage will be on view at the museum’s public art depot.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge owes its foundation to Richard, VII Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion who, in 1816, bequeathed his works of art and library to the University of Cambridge. His contribution, together with funds to house them, was intended to further “the Increase of Learning and other great Objects of that Noble Foundation”. His bequest included 144 pictures, among them Dutch paintings and masterpieces by Titian and Veronese. He also collected engravings, and his library included 130 medieval manuscripts and a collection of autographed music by Handel and other composers. Since the opening of the Founder’s Building in 1848, the collection has grown with gifts, bequests and purchases.

The Fitzwilliam Museum houses an enormous variety and depth of collections, from the antiquities and fine printed books to paintings, furniture and silver. Moreover, the Fitzwilliam Museum is home to one of the most importantcollections of European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern ceramics. Entirely absent in the Founder’s Bequest, ceramics from all periods and geographic locations were actively collected under the directorship of Sir Sydney Cockerell (1908-37) and continue to be acquired today. Both earthenware and porcelain are represented in the collection in myriad forms, from tableware and tiles to vases and sculptu

Brown-glazed teapot, circa 1710

res.

In 1928, a large bequest of around 3,000 objects was given to the museum by Dr. James Whitbread Glaisher (1848-1928), a mathematician at Trinity College, Cambridge. Glaisher assembled a notable collection of Delftware and English earthenware via emulations of Delft items. Many of the objects in this bequest form a large portion of the Delft collect

ion at the Fitzwilliam Museum. The varied collection of Delftware that the Fitzwilliam houses includes several outstanding objects: a bowl and cover flower vase and a large flower vase with handles marked for Adrianus Kocx, blue and white and polychrome flower vases marked for Lambertus van Eenhoorn, a brown-glazed teapot, several trompe l’oeil tureens, a figural cistern, a yellow-ground sample plaque, a group of a lady and a lad in a boat and a black teapot marked for Lambertus van Eenhoorn.

Duivenvoorde is a unique thirteenth-century castle and estate located in the town of Voorschoten in the Netherlands. The estate and castle have been in the same family for centuries and continues to be inhabited today. For eight centuries, Duivenvoorde was inherited by the families Van Wassenaer (thirteenth-eighteenth century), Steengracht (nineteenth century) and Schimmelpenninck van der Oye (twentieth century). In 1960, Duivenvoorde was entrusted to an estate by Baroness Ludolphine Henriette Schimmelpenninck van der Oye.

The castle has fourteen historic interiors, spanning the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Each room has its own distinct character; one can admire a Marot hall, a Cuir de Cordoue cabinet, a porcelain room and a library. While the fourteen rooms vary in period decoration, the front house retains its seventeenth-century state. It is decorated with several beautiful portraits of the former residents of the castle to honor the rich and storied history. Delftware is also represented; an early blue and white Delft garniture decorates a cabinet, as well as many other blue and white seventeenth-century vases. The castle also houses beautiful eighteenth-century polychrome plaques and dishes.

The Château de Saumur in France (Maine-et-Loire département) houses a beautiful museum on its first floor, displaying more than 1500 pieces of ceramics. The collection mostly contains French faience from Nevers and Rouen, but also includes examples from all over the world. Many of these objects were given by the Count Lair in 1919. Charles Lair was a lawyer and chamberlain of the Pope, and was among the second generation of Delftware collectors.

The Delft collection is small, yet diverse, comprising approximately thirty pieces. It includes some blue and white chinoiserie and Imari palette Delftware, such as a beautiful glass cooler marked PAK for Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1701 to 1703, or his widow Johanna van der Heul from 1703 until 1722.  

‘Delft-Imari’ Glass-Cooler and Plate, Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, circa 1710, Château de Saumur, France

The collection also includes European subjects such as Dutch landscapes and biblical scenes. An elegant teapot from circa 1700, marked for De Witte Ster (The White Star) factory also deserves mention. The shape of the spout and the cover recalls the red stoneware Yixing teapots imported by the VOC in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

For more information about the ceramic collection of the Château, please consult the newly published catalogue written by C. Lahaussois and A. Faÿ-Hallé, Une collection d’exception, les céramiques du château-musée de Saumur, Saumur, 2017

Blue and White Candlesticks, circa 1710, Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, Historic Deerfield Museum

The outdoor museum Historic Deerfield, founded in 1952 in Deerfield, MA, U.S.A., interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Although the twelve authentic period houses, dating from 1730 to 1850, give a wonderful insight into regional furniture, silver, textiles and other decorative arts, most of the Delftware is on view in the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. 

Although the initial interest of Henry and Helen Flynt, the founders of Historic Deerfield, involved the restoration and preservation of old houses, their attention soon turned to furnishing those interiors with suitable decorative arts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They enjoyed success acquiring locally made pieces of furniture, but locating ceramics with local histories of ownership proved more difficult. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Flynts amassed a large collection of English Delftware, and were especially attracted to colorful pieces of English and Dutch Delftware, many of which had historical significance. Eventually the Flynts hired professional staff who refined and augmented the collection through the addition of hundreds of objects. 

Since ceramics were an essential part of domestic life in early New England, the Historic Deerfield houses a collection of several thousands objects. Although the emphasis lies on Chinese export porcelain, English ceramics and Whately pottery, also pieces of Dutch Delftware can be admired. From tobacco jars with the depiction of a pipe smoking Amerindian (symbolizing the Americas) and wares for the tea service such as a late seventeenth-century tea canister marked for Adrianus Kocx, to an early eighteenth-century pair of blue and white candlesticks marked PAK for Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx or his widow Johanna van der Heul. The decoration of outlined scrolls and floral reserves on these candlesticks is typical of the factory’s output in this time. As with many Delftware candlesticks, the little holes in the sides of the candle cups enabled the removal of melted stubs. The design of many Delftware candlesticks made it impossible to insert a fresh candle in the socket until the old stub had been extracted. The recovered piece would then be melted to reduce wasting expensive wax.

Rijksmuseum Twenthe is located in the city of Enschede, in the east of the Netherlands. It was founded through the initiative of the textile baron Jan Bernard van Heek, who wished that his painting collection was housed in a new state museum in Enschede. Thanks to the persistence of his family the museum was built after his death and openend in 1930. Although the basis of the museum was formed by some 140 artworks, the collection was considerably expanded and has now about 8000 objects from the thirteenth century to the present day. Private benefactors have played an important role in this growth. In the 1960s the collections of paintings from the seventeenth and nineteenth century of textile manufacturers J.B. Scholten and M.G. van Heel were added to the museum collection. The Van Heel collection also contained a few hundred pieces of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Dutch Delftware.

 

The museum collection consists of several blue and white seventeenth-century Delft objects, such as vases, salt cellars, a ‘Persian blue’ jug and a pyramidal flower vase. The majority of the objects were produced in the eighteenth century, such as vases with the cashmere palette, Imari-style plates, trompe l’ceil tureens and many colorful figures and animals. An interesting object is this blue and white money box, which is dated May 15, 1743. Money banks rarely survive, because they were either shaken or broken to remove the contents. Since the banks were usually gifts on special occasions, some of them are dated. The decoration of this bank is a nice combination of both Western and Oriental influences.

Antique Delftware Money Bank

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia. Situated over two buildings – NGV International and NGV Australia – the Gallery hosts a wide range of international and local artists, exhibitions, programs and events; from contemporary art to major international historic exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound and dance.

Founded in 1861, today the NGV holds the most significant collection of art in the region. The museum houses a collection of more than 70,000 works that span thousands of years, many disciplines and styles. From art from Australian to Asian arts and international fine and decorative arts.

The international decorative arts collection includes several Delftware objects, the most important pieces dating from the seventeenth century. For example a pair of blue and white lidded baluster vases marked for Lambertus van Eenhoorn. These exceptionally large lidded vases would have stretched the technical and artistic abilities of the factory to their limit. The vases were made for display, as symbols of wealth and prestige, and would most likely have sat on a table, on top of a cupboard or on columns flanking a doorway. Such vases were produced for export to other European courts, particularly that of William III and Queen Mary II, under whose patronage the Delft factories flourished. Another highlight, which was also produced for the great courts of Europe as a symbol of wealth and prestige, is a beautifully decorated pyramidal flower vase marked for Adrianus Kocx.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the United States entirely dedicated to historical and contemporary design. Located on the Upper East Side of New York, the museum was originally named the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration and was founded by three sisters, Eleanor Garnier Hewitt, Amy Hewitt Green and Sarah Cooper Hewitt in 1897. The sisters wanted to open a museum for decoration within the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a privately funded college established by their grandfather, the industrialist Peter Cooper.  

The museum drew strong inspiration from the remarkable collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The collection was conceived as “a practical working laboratory,” where students, designers, and the public could be inspired directly by objects.

The Cooper Hewitt has an impressive collection of over 250,000 objects that span twenty-four centuries of history. One of the most appealing objects in the collection is a blue and white bird cage, which is one of the most rare Delftware objects to exist. The earthenware object, possibly inspired by a wooden or wire birdcage, was a technical tour-de-force that would have been extremely difficult to successfully execute. The birdcage was acquired by the Hewitt sisters in 1916, when they were traveling throughout Europe in search for the most remarkable objects to display in the museum.

Rastatt Favorite Palace (Schloss Favorite Rastatt) is the oldest German “porcelain palace” and the only one to survive almost unchanged to this day. The enchanting Baroque summer residence and hunting palace was built from 1710 to 1727 for Margravine Sibyl Augusta of Baden-Baden. Favorite Palace was just a short carriage ride from Rastatt Residential Palace, and hosted the court for hunting, concerts and banquets.

 No expense was spared on the palace interiors, which are replete with all forms of eighteenth century craftsmanship: colorful scagliola floors made from imitation marble, walls with faience tiles, ceilings adorned with plasterwork and frescoes, sumptuous embroidered tapestries and priceless furniture. To accompany the magnificent interior Sibylla Augusta amassed an unparalleled collection of Asian and European porcelain, glass and faience. Not only is it now the world’s largest collection of early Meissen porcelain, it also houses several wonderful pieces of Dutch Delftware. A pair of blue and white flower holders marked for Adrianus Kocx of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory was probably given by William and Mary to margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden in memory of their successful encounter in London in the winter of 1693/1694. This gift also featured two Delft jardinieres which are painted with the crowned WM monogram and heraldic ornaments. These magnificent gifts of Delftware probably represent their shared passion for gardening and oriental porcelain.

Birdcage, Tin-glazed earthenware, Dutch, Delft

Birdcage, Tin-glazed earthenware, Delft, First half 18th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 94.4.103

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, with over two million works of art spanning five thousand years of world culture.

The museum was founded in 1870 by a group of American businessmen, financiers, and leading artists and thinkers who wanted to create a museum to bring art and education to the American people. After amassing a small collection of Old Master paintings, the museum opened its first exhibition space in the Dodworth Building, a former dance academy and private residence in midtown Manhattan.

The first artworks collected by the museum were largely gifted and donated by its founders and notable collectors. Henry G. Marquand was a prominent businessman who made his fortune in real estate, banking, and railroads. He was an important financier for the museum, serving as trustee and treasurer before becoming the museum’s second president from 1889-1902. Marquand had an impressive collection of European paintings and Delftware objects that he generously gifted to the museum. His donation of Delftware makes a substantial proportion of the museum’s collection.

One of the most outstanding objects donated by Marquand is an extremely rare bird cage, donated in 1894. Another museum highlight, acquired in 1994, is a magnificent tulip vase that measures 72.4 cm high. It is marked for Adrianus Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1686 to 1701, and was designed by Daniel Marot, the architect of the Dutch stadtholder William of Orange and his wife Princess Mary Stuart.

Albrecht von Wallenstein, Portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 1629; in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich

The baroque castle of Mnichovo Hradiště in Czech Republic has a long and storied past. In 1621, Václav Budovec, the founder of the castle, was executed for his role in the Czech revolt against the emperor. The domain was then offered to Albrecht von Wallenstein, the imperial military commander of the Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II as a reward for his service in the army. The property remained in the noble family until 1946, the date of its nationalization.  

This vast estate includes a French garden, stables that are located on the two wings, and a small baroque theatre. After having visited the private apartments, the music room and the pinacoteca, we arrive in one of the most beautiful rooms of the castle: the dining room. Displayed throughout the room is an impressive collection of blue and white Delftware objects. European noble families were influenced by Queen Mary II, who had a passion for Delftware. The beautiful tulip vases, garnitures and plates that decorate every surface of the room were probably ordered by the family of Albrecht von Wallenstein. 

One highlight is a pair of flower vases marked AK for Adrianus Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1686 to 1701. De Griekche A was the Delftware supplier of the Dutch court, as well as many European noble families such as the Von Wallensteins.

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