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While we are in New York for the Winter Antiques Show (Jan. 19 thru 28) you may also reach us on cell 646-415-2561.

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.

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.

The Princessehof in Leeuwarden was formerly a small palace built in 1693. In 1731, Marie Louise van Hessen-Kassel, dowager of Orange, acquired the building. After the death of her husband, John William Friso, Prince of Orange, she acted as a regent for her son Willem IV who was still too young to govern. 

The Princess was passionate for ceramics and she displayed her large and diverse collection in her new home. Her collection resides today in the Naussaukamer, a period dining room in the museum designed in the baroque style. After her death, the palace was separated into three houses. The houses were acquired by the municipality of Leeuwarden and placed at the disposal of the art collectors Nanne Ottema (1874-1955) and his wife Grietje Kingma (1873-1950). The couple transformed the palace into a museum on the 31st of August 1917.

Today, the institution houses a splendid collection of more than 35,000 ceramics that include Chinese porcelain, art nouveau and also a superb range of Delftware objects from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Amongst the most impressive pieces of the museum is a magnificent blue and white flower vase marked for Lambertus Cleffius, the owner of De Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory from 1679 to 1691. This extremely rare shape was inspired by the French fashion of the time.

Blue and White Flower Vase, Lambertus Cleffius, De Metaale Pot

The Museum Paul Tetar van Elven is housed in a quaint sixteenth century canal house on the Koornmarkt (Corn Market) in the city center of Delft. The house was once the private residence of the famous artist Paul Tetar van Elven (1832 – 1896), who was a painter of historical scenes, portraits, and copies of Old Master works of art.

Tetar van Elven was also a passionate collector of porcelain, earthenware, antiques and curiosa (weapons, furniture, costumes), and he regularly bought work from contemporary artists. His diverse collection of ceramics include seventeenth century Chinese Ming porcelain, Japanese Imari porcelain, eighteenth century Famille Roseporcelain, Amsterdams bont and of course Dutch Delftware. His remarkable and unique collection is highlighted by the evocative interior design, largely unchanged since Tetar van Elven’s life.

After his death, he bequeathed the house and its contents to the city of Delft to transform it into a museum and maintain his collection. This carefully preserved nineteenth century home transports visitors with its lived-in feel, and is a hidden gem in the city of Delft.

This month we travel to France, to the Musée de la Céramique in Rouen. Housed in the former Hôtel d’Hocqueville since 1984, the museum provides a beautiful setting for its vast collection of French ceramics. With its sumptuous neoclassical decorations, the mansion offers the visitor an intimate frame in which one can admire the numerous objects that are on display.

Of the six thousand objects in the museum’s collection, a large portion includes faience from Rouen. Other remarkable objects come from various European faience centers, including some beautiful pieces of Delftware.

The museum projects an ambitious curatorial goal in its galleries: the history of European ceramics from the early fifteenth century to the 1930s is didactically organized throughout three floors of permanent exhibitions. Thus, the first room is dedicated to the process of ceramic fabrication along with masterpieces of Italian maiolica and other local objects. Next, visitors enter a room that exhibits exquisite Delftware objects from the Netherlands, as well as from Nevers, Lille and Moustiers.

One of the most striking Delftware objects is the blue and white plaque that is attributed to the painter Frederick van Frijtom. Painted with very delicate pointillist touches, the painting depicts a wild pig hunt. The museum also owns another plaque from the same series that features a fishing scene, which is currently on loan to the Musée National de la Céramique in Sèvres.

Plaque painted by Van Frijtom, Musee de la ceramique, Rouen

After visiting TEFAF, art admirers who would like to discover the area should look no further than the city of Aachen in Germany. This charming city hosts three beautiful museums that were created by famous art collectors, Irene and Peter Ludwig. The Ludwig family has amassed an eclectic art collection, ranging from antiquity to contemporary.

While the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst is dedicated to contemporary art, the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum has an impressive collection of Dutch paintings and German sculptures. Since 1958, the Couven Museum has presented middle class domestic culture and home decor from Rococo to Napoleonic Empire style. The museum has many remarkable pieces of Delftware, for example a beautiful pair of cashmere urns that are exhibited in the patio. A very similar pair, marked PAK for Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1701 to 1703, or his widow, the owner of the factory from 1703 to 1722 is today in our collection. Another absolute highlight is this magnificent pair of tulipieres, with a height of 1.10 meter (3.6 feet). On the photo the vases as we displayed them at TEFAF 1995. The two flower vases bear the mark of Adrianus Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A factory from 1686 to 1701.

 

In 1689, Queen Mary II and King William III moved from the Netherlands to England. Mary, who had a keen passion for Delftware, continued ordering beautiful objects and highly contributed to spread the fashion in her new homeland. Thus, after the Glorious Revolution, aspiring courtiers expressed their loyalty toward the Dutch Royal couple by collecting Delftware. This explains why today, many of the most delicate Delftware pieces can be found in Britain. For both connoisseurs and amateurs, Dyrham Park (Gloucestershire) and its magnificent seventeenth century mansion house is definitely worth a visit.

Dyrham Park was created in the late seventeenth century under the initiative of the court administrator William Blathwayt (1649-1717). His competences and ability to speak Dutch lead him at the head of the diplomatic service and the army under William III’s personal supervision. Owing to his royal connections, the mansion house became a showcase for sumptuous Dutch decorative objects. In this beautiful interior decorated with wood paneling and Dutch tiles an impressive collection of ceramics is displayed. A 1710 household inventory shows that William Blathway’ Delftware collection was certainly one of the most important in Britain.

Two magnificent pyramidal flower vases that are recorded in the inventory are today displayed in the Diogenes Room. In one of the adjoining rooms, a beautiful blue and white basket is also on view

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design. Founded on the following day of the Great Exhibition in 1851 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the museum is located in an area that has become known as “Albertopolis”, which gathers a group of museums and educative institutions.

For the greatest joy of amateurs and connoisseurs, the institution houses the most comprehensive and impressive collection of ceramics in the world, with over 80,000 objects from all around the planet that encompass the history of fine ceramic production from about 2500 BC to the present day.

Dutch Delftware is well represented, with about 300 magnificent pieces on view. The Delftware collection covers a wide spectrum of objects from the Dutch Golden Age. In 1909, the impressive ceramic collection of the Australian millionaire George Salting was donated to the museum. More than thirty Delftware pieces that previously belonged to the famous art collector can be contemplated by the museum visitors. Amongst them appears a very rare Imari box marked for Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1701 until 1703. The box was probably intended to serve as a receptacle for salt and pepper.

One of most admired piece of the museum is a magnificent pair of blue and white pyramidal tulipieres from 1695. Contrary to the general belief, vases with spouts were not only intended to display tulips but all kinds of flowers. They were highly decorative additions to palaces and country houses.

 

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