Skip to content


•D1699. Pair of Blue and White Pyramidal Flower Vases

Delft, circa 1695

The pedestals marked, one with an asterisk and dashed 7, the other with a six-pointed star and letter F 20, and both with numeral 120 in blue for De Witte Ster (The White Star) factory, attributed to Dirck Witsenburgh, partial owner of the factory from 1690-1704.

Each comprising seven segments: the top formed as a tall obelisk painted on each side with a lozenge- shaped floral patera between stylized sprigs, surmounted by a teardrop-shaped finial painted also with floral sprigs, and rising from three spreading square tiers, each with a grotesque mask at the four corners issuing a tubular spout painted with a lappet, the middle tier with a perched songbird painted between the spouts, the lower tier with a floral sprig between the spouts, and each tier separated by a dentil-patterned outset border below a slightly concave zone patterned with a lozenge-guilloche border, foliate scrolls or a herringbone design; the five graduated square segments below each similarly formed with a grotesque mask at each corner issuing a foliate-sprig-decorated tubular spout and painted between with a flowering branch, two of the branches with a perched songbird, above a floral lappet on the outward-canted area below, its underside and the concave ankle below with various borders of petals, C-scrolls and leaves, blossoms and foliate S-scrolls or a blue-ground foliate vine, all above a dentil-patterned outset border and an inner flange, the hollow interior enclosing a cylindrical tube (for a wood stick forming an interior support); the lower section with the largest tier, similarly shaped and decorated with a mask at each corner issuing a tubular spout, the canted area, however, painted on each side with two floral lappets above stiff-leaf, flowering vine and dentil borders, and raised on four scroll feet decorated with various floral borders and flanking on the center of each side the bust of a man wearing a floral-patterned blue doublet and forming extra supports; the bottom tier set on an architectural square base, its top painted with six floral and foliate-scroll sprigs, its four sides painted with either a peacock and a pheasant perched among peonies and a pierced rock, a songbird in flight and perched among roses and a pierced rock, a parrot in flight above a duck standing by a pierced rock and chrysanthemums, or a goose standing on a pierced rock amidst peonies, all between moldings at the top and bottom variously patterned with borders of C-scrolls and foliage, petal tips, leaves and ribbons, a flowering vine and C-scrolls at the upper edge, and a diamond-guilloche band, a flowering vine, ruyi- heads, and dashes-and-squares around the bottom, all raised on four squared ball feet painted on two sides with a floral sprig, one foot of one base painted on four sides.

104.6 and 105.8 cm. (41 3/16 and 41 5/8 in.)

A Belgian Private Collection, before 1913 and thence by family descent.

Comparing the marks of the flower pyramids, the home altar in the Gemeentemuseum, and the bottle vases in a private collection, it is plausible that the flower vases were indeed made by De Witte Ster under the leadership of Dirck Witsenburgh. Even with the 7 as an unknown mark, we can connect this signature to Witsenburgh when the similarities in decoration are so obvious. It is the armorial base of a flower pyramid combining the 7 with the mark of Dirck Witsenburgh and the star for De Witte Ster factory that can be seen as conclusive evidence.

Back To Top