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⚠️ Please note that TEFAF Maastricht has been shortened from it usual duration, after private previews on March 7 & 8, the show will run from the 9th through Thursday 14th

OBJECT

•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.

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

PROVENANCE
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.

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