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

1247 – Polychrome Figure Of A Seated Lady

Polychrome Figure of a Seated Lady

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this polychrome figure of a seated lady, from circa 1750. The figure is marked with a claw and numeral 3 in manganese for De Klaauw (The Claw) factory. Wearing a blue broad-brimmed hat, leaning against a sheaf of yellow wheat, and holding three fruits in her hand and eating a carrot, she possibly represents the allegorical figure of ‘Summer’.

In the Delft factories not only ‘Summer’ was produced, but the whole set of ‘The Four Seasons’. The Four Seasons are an ancient decorative motif in the arts. Usually each season is represented as an allegorical figure bearing traditional iconographic symbols. The Delft figures of ‘Spring’, ‘Autumn’ and ‘Winter’ all seasons were modeled in the same way as the present figure of ‘Summer’: as men and women holding specific attributes of the season. As can be seen in this figure ‘Summer’ is often shown with sheafs of wheat to illustrate the labor and product of the wheat harvest, which is done in the summer. Wheat can either be planted in the winter or the spring, to be harvested at the beginning or the very end of summer. Another figure of ‘Summer’ in the Lavino collection is modeled as a lady wearing a broad-brimmed hat, a décolleté dark rose bodice with a yellow stomacher, and a dotted and blossom-patterned white skirt. Instead of fruits, she is holding a sickle and a sheaf of yellow wheat.[1] ‘Spring’ on the other hand is possibly represented by a gentleman holding a basket of flowers and a trowel.[2] A gentleman wearing also a broad-brimmed hat and holding a yellow wicker basket of blue grapes and green leaves on his lap, represents ‘Autumn’. The allegory of ‘Winter’ is often modeled as a lady holding a flaming blue, iron-red and yellow brazier on her lap.

Because of the relatively unrefined nature of the clay and the thickness of the tin glaze that tended to obscure finely sculpted details, the production of figures in Delftware was somewhat limited. The earliest figures, appearing at the end of the seventeenth century, were based largely on Chinese blanc de Chine porcelain or famille verte biscuit prototypes, but occasionally also on small bronzes, which continued to serve as models throughout the eighteenth century. By the early 1740s, sufficient numbers of elegant German porcelain figures, primarily from Meissen, were being imported to the Netherlands that the Delft factories had little call for their own less sophisticated versions. However, when the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) erupted, causing interruptions in the production of many of the German porcelain factories, resulting in a severe reduction of the porcelains available in Holland, the Delft factories rose to meet the demand. Many of the resulting figure, animal and bird models produced in Delft during the prolific third quarter of the eighteenth century were based on slightly earlier Meissen models, and while they embrace the spirit of the Rococo Period, they equally exude an underlying earthiness and a characteristic Dutch charm and insouciance.


Polychrome Figure of a Seated Lady
Delft, circa 1755

Marked with a claw and numeral 3 in manganese for De Klaauw (The Claw) factory

Possibly allegorical of ‘Summer’ from a set of ‘The Four Seasons,’ wearing a blue broad-brimmed hat on her manganese hair, a green bodice with a blue stomacher above an aubergine skirt revealing one yellow shoe, modeled seated on a blue, iron-red and yellow marbleized rock, leaning against a sheaf of yellow wheat, and holding a carrot in her right hand and three fruits her left hand, on a green stepped oval base.

Height: 13.4 cm. (5 1/4 in.)

Provenance: The Ivan B. Hart Collection, Monte Carlo, number 219

Price: € 3.800 (appr. GBP£ 3,200 or export US$ 4’000)


[1]   M. Lavino, The Lavino Collection, Lokeren (no date), p 92.

[2]   M. Lavino, The Lavino Collection, Lokeren (no date), p 92.