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

1705 Polychrome Gadrooned Dish

Polychrome Gadrooned Dish

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this polychrome gadrooned dish, which was made in the Northern Netherlands around 1650. Decorated in the stile compendiario, this tin-glazed dish is inspired by the so-called Straetwerck, Italian tin-glazed earthenware which was transported through the Straits (‘straet’) of Gibraltar.

The gadrooned dish is painted in blue, yellow and ochre in the center with a seated angel leaning against a post on a small ground in a roundel. This color scheme and type of decoration is typical for Straetwerck, Italian tin-glazed earthenware, which is mainly from Liguria and is named after the Straits (straet) of Gibraltar through which it was transported. The objects are decorated in the stile compendiario, a style with simple, schematically painted, polychrome decorations, mainly in orange, yellow and blue. The central decoration, often a cupid on a bit of land, is usually framed by a stylized garland.

The Dutch producers of tin-glazed earthenware imitated this Straetwerck especially in majolica, as they did with Chinese porcelain. These objects are often attributed to the workshop of Willem Jansz. Verstraeten in Haarlem, but there were more workshops that produced these wares in the Republic. Therefore it is difficult to ascribe this type of majolica with certainty to a specific production center.[1]

The Dutch imitated Straetwerck in faience in the form of plates, as well as klapmutsen (wide-rimmed bowls) and gadrooned dishes. The gadrooned dishes seem to imitate the examples imported from Nevers and Rouen, although the decorations on the earliest examples closely resemble those on contemporary majolica. Gadrooned dishes with both single and double rows of pleats were imported from Nevers and Rouen, and possibly other French places as well.

Polychrome Gadrooned Dish
Northern Netherlands, circa 1650

Painted in blue, yellow and ochre in the center with a seated angel leaning against a post on a small ground in a roundel, the pleats decorated with stylized yellow flowers and blue foliage scrolls.

Diameter: 29 cm. (11.4 in.)

Provenance: The R.J. Bois Collection, North-Holland

Price: € 5.700 (appr. GBP£ 5,000 or export US$ 6’000)


[1]   S. Ostkamp, “Hollants Porceleyn en Straetwerck. De voorgeschiedenis van Delft als centrum van Nederlandse productie van faience en het ontstaan van Delfts wit”, in: Vormen uit Vuur (2014) 223/224, p. 22.