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•D2425. Large Blue and White Sweetmeat Dish

Delft, circa 1730

Marked AIK for Jacob van der Kool, owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1722 until 1733, after his death his wife Cornelia van Willigen took over

Modeled with eight fan-shaped compartments encircling an oval compartment, painted with a fence, flowering branches and fluttering insects.

Height: 29.7 cm. (11.7 in)
Width: 35.6 cm. (14 in.)

Sweetmeat dishes were typically used during tea time when the delicacies were served. Delights such as sugared orange peels, sugar-coated nuts and seeds, pear and quince marmalade and preserved ginger, chestnuts and fennel were presented in these small delicate dishes. These delicacies were available in the seventeenth century due to the importation of large quantities of sugar from Brazil and the Caribbean. Sugar was a more refined sweetener than honey, which was previously used in the creation of numerous desserts.

This sweetmeat dish is marked for De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory, the factory that reached fame and popularity throughout the Golden Age of Dutch Delftware. For more than sixty years, the factory was managed by members of the same family. In 1722, Johanna van der Heul sold the factory to Jacob van der Kool, who was also the owner of the successful Het Oude Moriaanshooft, which he sold when he acquired De Grieksche A. Coming from a family of potters, he was very familiar with the Delftware milieu. His grandfather Jacobus Willemsz. and older brother had run De Drie Flessies (The Three Bottles) factory. When he died in 1733, his wife Cornelia van Willigen overtook the factory and continued to use her husband’s mark.

With Cornelia van Willigen at the helm, the factory enjoyed international popularity, with merchants coming from Hamburg, Cologne and Paris. Van Willigen died in 1757, and the inventory that was made shortly after her death reveals her extreme wealth. It also illustrated the breadth ofher production; the inventory lists “hundreds, even thousands of single pieces of decorative faience like East- Indian plates, animal figurines: roosters, cows and horses, and household objects such as 2133 dozen matching tea sets, back of clothes brushes, oil and vinegar cruets, strawberry dishes and saucers, 120 cuspidors, etc.”

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