The Queen’s Passion for Flowers

In 1677, Mary Stuart, daughter of James, Duke of York and future James II, arrived in Holland after a treacherous journey from England. She was fifteen years old, and had just married her cousin, William III, stadholder of Holland. With her animated and personable demeanor, the Dutch people quickly developed an adoration for Queen Mary.…

Qilin, a Mythical Beast

Chinese and other East Asian cultures placed great importance on the mythology of fantastical creatures such as the dragon, phoenix and black tortoise. Perhaps the most popular of the mythical beasts was the qilin, a creature that bestowed prosperity and serenity. Naturally, the qilin was portrayed on many porcelain wares in China and Japan, and…

Polychrome Fluted Oval Barber’s Bowl

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this polychrome fluted barber’s bowl. It was made around 1765 in the city of Delft or Schiedam. Other than often assumed, the round or oval depression at the side of a barber's bowl was not intended…

Blue and White Chinoiserie Deep Bowl

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this blue and white chinoiserie deep bowl. The bowl, which was made around 1670, is painted around the exterior with a continuous chinoiserie scene. Two pairs of Chinese men are seated before shrubbery and rocks, and in…

Trades & Crafts

Genre painting enjoyed enormous popularity in Northern Europe, particularly in the seventeenth century, and especially in the Netherlands. Many of the Dutch practitioners elevated what was once considered a humble art form into a desirable subject, which even rivalled classically esteemed subjects such as history paintings. Genre painting depicts aspects of everyday life. Although subjects…

The Hoppesteyn Family

Het Moriaenshooft (The Moor’s Head) factory was located in the Gasthuislaan in Zuidkant, an area in Delft with a large concentration of potteries. Although the founding date of the factory is unknown, the first owner was probably Jan Aelbrechtsz. Groenland, who acquired half of the company’s shares in 1658. There are three main phases that…

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…

The Creation of the Exotic Black Delft

The newly formed Dutch East India Company (VOC) made its first trades with Japan during the beginning of the seventeenth century. Lacquerware was amongst the many curiosities that were imported to the Netherlands. The very delicate wooden objects were painted in dark brown or black, coated in highly glossed lacquer, and were usually richly decorated…

Silver Inspirations

By the late seventeenth century, the French court of Louis XIV (1638-1715) was the model of splendor and taste for all of Europe. Every court envied his display of wealth in silver, the exalted material that signified wealth and status. Silver is a precious metal, which distinguishes it from wood, glass and porcelain which do…

The Display of Flowers

The study of botany and natural sciences was a growing interest in the Netherlands during the seventeenth century. The VOC imported rare and exotic flowers to the region and helped develop their fascination amongst wealthy patrons. A few of the most beloved and expensive floral varieties were the yellow rose, the passion flower and the…