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

1751 – Blue And White Commedia Dell’Arte Figure

Blue and White Commedia dell’Arte Figure

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this blue and white Commedia dell’ Arte figure. Marked with an asterisk and JB in blue for Justus de Berg, who was recorded as a potter at De Witte Ster (The White Star) factory, the figure was made around 1750. The costume worn by the blue and white figure identifies him as a character in the Italian Commedia dell’ Arte, although his specific identity is unknown.

For centuries the Commedia dell’ Arte (Italian Comedy) has been a source of inspiration for painters, printmakers and porcelain manufacturers throughout Europe. The subject has appeared in almost every medium of the fine and decorative arts. The Commedia dell’ Arte began in Italy in the sixteenth century, possibly as a reaction to the political and economics crisis of that century. The genre was a form of comedic theater, with masked actors performing improvised scenes. Recognizable by their mask and costume, characters included the typical jester and merchant, as well as the more obscure figures of Colombine, a female servant, and the brave Capitano. The Italian performers traveled throughout Europe, and many characters’ names changed according to the region. The visiting troupes had a considerable influence on the local theatre traditions, as well as the fine and decorative arts. In response to the rising popularity of the Commedia dell’ Arte in Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands in the first half of the eighteenth century, Delft potters produced plates and figures using the theatre as its subject.


Blue and White Commedia dell’Arte Figure
Delft, circa 1750

Marked with an asterisk and JB in blue for Justus de Berg, recorded as a potter at De Witte Ster (The White Star) factory

Modeled as a figure from the Commedia dell’ Arte with exaggerated large hands, wearing a voluminous beret and patterned costume with a ruffled collar and cuffs and concealed at the back under a cape, standing on the circular base decorated with scrolls, the sides with trellis work reserved with panels of scrolls.

Height: 18.7 cm. (7.4 in.)

Provenance: Belgian Private Collection

Price: € 7.800 (appr. GBP£ 6,700  or export US$ 8’000)