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D2426. Pair of Blue and White Chargers

Delft, dated 1727

Attributed to De Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory

Both decorated in the center with a layered fountain, probably representing the fountain of life, the first layer flanked by two fish with facial spouts, the second layer with cherubic putti on either side, their hands adorned with spouts, seated in a basin beneath a winged facial spout with wings, the third layer cradled by two enchanting fish with spouting tails, below a standing putto with spouts emanating from its hands and head, the fountain embraced by cherubic figures nestled in floral scrolls at the heart, the wide lambrequin border encircling the rim with an intricate band of blossoms and foliate scrolls, and dated 1727 in the upper center, inscribed within a shield above the fountain.

Diameter: 31.2 and 31 cm. (12.3 and 12.2 in.)

Collection G. Lefebvre Antiquaire, Paris;
French Private Collection, Paris, 2023 (Provenance+)

Traditionally, putti were winged infants. The image of the putti can be seen as early as the second century on children’s stone caskets. Here, they are portrayed in action, battling, participating in bacchic rituals and playing sports. Putti have been used for centuries in religious and secular art, although the most prosperous period was during the Renaissance when they were famously depicted by Donattello and Raphael. Dutch artists followed the Italian style and used putti in works of art and models, including Delftware. The iconography of putti is intentionally unfixed, which makes it challenging to interpret them. Putti are commonly associated with love, heaven, peace and prosperity.

A similar charger, also dated 1727, attributed to ‘De Metaale Pot’, is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago with inventory number 1984.908.

One charger from this pair is depicted in Jan Boyazoglu, Les Faience de Delft, Paris, 1980, p. 108, ill. 119. The example from the collection of the Chicago Art Institute is depicted in Robert Aronson and Celine Ariaans, MA, Dated Delftware. Below The Glaze, Amsterdam 2023, p 141.

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