1358. ‘Petit Feu’ Polychrome and Gilded Bakery Plate
Delft, circa 1740
Diameter: 22 cm. (8.7 in.)
Delivered in its custom box
Plate hanger and stand included
Delft, circa 1740
Painted with a scene of a baker transferring loaves of bread from a table beneath a gilt scale to his stone and brick oven while his assistant tramples ingredients on a table to the right, the rim with an elaborate Chinese export-style border of iron-red peony blossoms and green foliate scrolls against iron-red stippled panels alternating with gilt scroll-edged panels of iron-red whorls interrupted by gilt-centered manganese blossoms, all issuing smaller floral sprigs and buds.
Diameter: 22 cm. (8.7 in.)
Sold at Mak van Waay in Amsterdam on October 15, 1963, lot 871;
Aronson Antiquairs, Amsterdam, 1994;
A distinguished Manhattan private collection
The scene on this dish is painted after the drawing of the ‘Backer’ (‘Baker’, fig. 1) by Leonaert Bramer (1596- 1674) from his ‘Straatwerken’ (‘Street Works’) series of circa 1650-55, comprising 66 drawings illustrating a variety of peddlers and artisans. The complete series is illustrated and discussed by D.R. Barnes and J. ten Brink Goldsmith, Street scenes: Leonard Bramer’s drawings of 17th-century Dutch daily life, Hempstead (New York, Hofstra Museum), 1991. Leonaert Bramer was a successful painter and draughtsman, who after a period in Italy (1616-27), returned to the Netherlands and worked in his home town of Delft from 1628 onwards. One of the high points in his career was a commission in 1661 for the ceiling paintings of the new St. Luke’s Guild Hall in Delft. The majority of his drawings belong to illustrative sets based on the Old and New Testament, on classical literature such as Virgil’s Aeneid, Plutarch’s Life of Alexander the Great, Livy’s History of Rome, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, or on popular contemporary works such as Till Eulenspiegel or the Spanish novel Lazarillo de Tormes (Barnes and Ten Brink Goldsmith, op. cit., pp. 5, 7). The ‘Straatwerken’ series, however, is not based on a literary source, but “seems related to the artistic tradition of a book of trades” (ibid., p. 8), of which the Ständebuch (Book of Trades) of 1568 with woodcuts by Jost Amman was one of the most influential. Some of Bramer’s drawings, including the ‘Baker’, were directly inspired by a series of eighteen etchings of craftsmen dating to 1635 by Jan Gillisz. van Vliet (1600/10-1668).
It is remarkable to find the image of a Bramer drawing on Delftware since “none of Bramer’s sets of illustrative drawings were ever translated into the print medium…” (Barnes and Ten Brink Goldsmith, op. cit., p. 5). Nevertheless, about fifteen other pieces of Delftware decorated after Bramer have been identified by Michiel Plomp in his article “Leonaert Bramer (1596-1674) als ontwerper van decoratie op Delfts aardewerk” (“Leonaert Bramer as a designer of decorations on Delft ceramics”) in Oud Holland, 113 (1999) 4, pp. 197-216. These mainly consist of early blue and white dishes with religious scenes, dating from circa 1630 to 1660, but one polychrome dish in the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (inv. no. 23373), is dated 1783. Both Plomp (p. 198) and Ten Brink Goldsmith (p. 5) have noted that the inscription, “voor ADCooge” (“for AD Cooge”) on the title page of the Lazarillo de Tormes drawings could provide a link to the Bramer scenes found on Delftware. Besides being a painter, engraver and art dealer, Abraham de Cooge was the co-owner of De Dissel (The Pole) Factory in Delft from 1645, and master potter and full owner from 1666 to 1683. It is possible that De Cooge and other faience-makers in Delft commissioned Bramer, who also made tapestry designs, to supply them with drawings to be turned into stencils. However, of the 66 drawings of the ‘Straatwerken’, the ‘Baker’ is the only one currently known to have been used on Delftware. So nearly a century after the ‘Baker’ design was drawn originally, how or why it alone appeared on a Delft dish without an intermediate print, remains puzzling.
A ‘petit feu’ polychrome and gilded plate painted with the identical ‘Baker’ scene but with a different border on the rim and with a blue fret mark is illustrated in Aronson 2006, p. 55, no. 40. Another similar dish from the collection of E. Verveer, Paris, was sold at Frederik Muller & Cie in Amsterdam on May 13, 1924, lot 475.
- Minor rim abrasions
- One chip to rim of 8 x 3 mm. to reverse
- Overall in good condition
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 10 cm|