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

1647 – Pair Of Blue And White Shoes

Pair of Blue and White Shoes

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this pair of blue and white shoes. This pair of shoes was made around 1780 in the city of Bolsward in the province of Friesland.

The center of the earthenware industry in Friesland was Harlingen, a town on the coast of the Wadden Sea with a long history of fishing and shipping. Here, there were three large factories established. In 1737 in Bolsward a factory was founded that was mostly famous for its tile picture depicting , a sectional drawing of a potter’s kiln. In addition to tiles, the first products of the Frisian factories were mostly majolica dishes, plates and porringers in a variety of sizes. In the second half of the seventeenth century, but mostly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the production was expanded and the repertoire was enlarged to include more luxurious tin-glazed wares and other earthenwares serving solely as ornaments.

Miniature ceramic shoes like these were sold at annual fairs and markets. Although most examples are undated, some are dated and bear initials, indicating that they were offered as gifts on special occasions. Further, an erotic connotation associated with shoes in the seventeenth century suggests the pair may have been exchanged between lovers as a symbol of good luck in marriage.

Various models of miniature shoes were produced in both Delftware as Frisian ceramics, ranging from blue and white, to polychrome and petit feu examples. The shoes, which were always designed according to the latest fashions, were produced in a range of types and sizes, attesting to their popularity. Often, the shoes were painted to suggest the original materials. This miniature pair was formed in a mold and there was no distinction made between left and right shoes, which explains why they are identical.


Pair of Blue and White Shoes
Bolsward, circa 1780

Each painted on the front with a large blossom amidst dashes repeated on the upper edge above a stylized blue buckle, each between a pierced hole on either side, the sides with pairs of smaller blossoms, the back with a plain vertical band, and the heel washed in blue.

Lengths: 13.7 and 14 cm. (5 3/8 and 5 1/2 in.)

Provenance: Collection of Minze van den Akker, Fries Aardewerk Museum, Harlingen, inv. no. 0283207

Literature: Illustrated by M. van den Akker, Fries Aardewerk, Majolica, Faience, Kerfsnee, Harlinger Aardewerk Museum, Collectie Minze van den Akker, Meppel 2007, p. 299; Illustrated by P.J. Tichelaar and S. ten Hoeve, Fries Aardewerk II Bolsward, Leiden 2001, p. 170

Price: € 3.750 (appr. GBP£ 3,350 or export US$ 4’000)