D2344. Blue and White Compartmented Sweetmeat Dish
Delft, circa 1785
Marked with an asterisk / DB / 2 in blue for Dirck van den Bergh, the owner of De Witte Starre (The White Star) factory from 1776 to 1793
The central circular well painted with a bird perched on a fence of bamboo flanked by budding sprigs and beneath a flitting insect, and surrounded by four compartments painted with a bird perched on a flowering plant or a flowering plant, the raised compartment edges and the lobed rim with a flowering scroll border.
Diameter: 14.4 cm. (5.7 in.)
Sweetmeat dishes were often used during tea time when sweetmeats were served. Delights such as sugared orange peels, sugar-coated nuts and seeds, sometimes even colored, pear and quince marmalade and preserved ginger, chestnuts and fennel were presented in these small delicate dishes. In the seventeenth century, the creation of such delicacies was facilitated thanks to the importation of large quantities of sugar from Brazil and Caribbean. Honey was increasingly replaced by a more refined sweetener, which enhanced the creation of numerous desserts.