Blue and White Figure of Atlas

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this remarkable blue and white figure of Atlas (circa 1710). The god, depicted as an older, bearded man, kneels on a pedestal and gazes upward. Although many people think Atlas is carrying the globe, or the world,…

VOC and the Asian Trading Routes

The Dutch East India Company, or the VOC for short (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) was established by charter in 1602. The VOC was first organized to profit from the East Asian spice trade in which the Portuguese already had a stronghold. During the 16th century, the Portuguese established a wide network with settlements in Sri…

Delft Plaques, a Window Open onto the World

Dutch Delftware plaques stand out amongst the many examples produced during the 17th century for their extreme delicacy and meticulousness. The "porcelain paintings,” as they were referred to in household inventories, were intended to be admired as if they were paintings on panel, canvas or copper. Unfortunately, because of their similarity in appearance to prints…

Blue and White Chinoiserie Plate

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. This month we would like to show you this lovely blue and white plate that is decorated with figures playing the ancient Chinese game of “Go.” The timeless subject echoes with the news when a computer recently outsmarted its human opponent in the strategic match.…

Trompe l’oeil Amusements

Trompe l’oeil, or deceive the eye, was a technique used in both modeling and painting Delftware to captivate and fool the viewer. One of the predominant centers of production of these naturalistic forms was Delft, where the city’s potteries quickly accommodated the new taste of the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie for adorning their tables…

The Joke of the Puzzle Jug

The puzzle jug is one of the oldest jokes in the Delft potters’ continually playful repertoire. Puzzle jugs were intended as an amusing tavern game or a conversation piece during a dinner party. One can only imagine the popularity of these objects in homes and taverns as drinkers attempted to consume the contents without causing…

Blue and White Wine Pot

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. The object of this month is a beautiful blue and white wine pot, from circa 1725. This very unusual wine pot functions by filling it through the opening beneath the ankle. The liquid is funneled into the body through a tube that forms a central…

The Feast of Delft Cows

Cows are the most famous and beloved subjects depicted in Dutch Delftware. Since the eighteenth century they have adorned mantelpieces, furniture and window sills. They were always produced in pairs, with their heads turned towards each other and tongues lapping. Remarkably, these cows are almost always painted with lavish swags of floral garland draped around their…

Shades of Blue in Dutch Delftware

While Dutch Delftware comprises many different colors and styles, it is most commonly known for its characteristic blue and white decoration. Many variations within the simple scheme of blue and white can help date an object and place it within an historical context. While fashion largely dictated the color changes, the varieties of blue in…

Pair of Leaf-Shaped Salt Cellars

Every month we present a special object from the Aronson Antiquairs’ collection. Since this month's newsletter is dedicated to all kinds of objects on the dinner table, we would like to present a wonderful pair of blue and white leaf-shaped salt cellars, from circa 1765. There is perhaps no natural substance upon which mankind has depended more…