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D2428. Polychrome Figure of a Standing Cockerel

Delft, circa 1740

Polychrome figure of a cockerel with plumage delineated in blue, green, yellow, iron-red and manganese, the head and body covered with blue, yellow, orange and dark manganese striped plumage, his open yellow beak revealing an iron-red tongue, wattles and comb, the blue wing base from which yellow, manganese, iron-red and green feathers sprout, the yellow paws raised with subtle blue details and trimmed with manganese nails on a blue conformingly-shaped flat base.

Height: 21 cm. (8.3 in.)

This rare model must have been taken from either a late seventeenth-century Japanese Arita porcelain original, an example of which is in the Burghley House Collection, Stamford, England, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue of The Burghley Porcelains (Japan Society, New York 1986), p. 223, no. 90, or equally likely, a Dehua blanc-de-Chine figure of circa 1700, an example of which, in the Groninger Museum, Groningen (inv. no. 1948-147) is illustrated by Jörg 1983, p. 93, no. 50, who on p. 185, no. 140, also illustrates a Delft polychrome counterpart of that same early date in the Kunstmuseum, The Hague (inv. no. OCD204-04). Given the extensive trade by the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) with both Japan and China at this time, it is possible that either model served as the prototype for the present cockerel.

A cockerel of a similar model but different decoration is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (inv. no. BK-NM-12400-252).The collection of Kunstmuseum The Hague contains a similar model cockerel, illustrated in H.P. Fourest, ‘Delfts Aardewerk’, Amsterdam, 1980 p. 163 ill. 159. A blue and white example of similar shape and design, marked LVE 1 2 DW in blue for Lambertus van Eenhoorn, the owner of De Metaale Pot (The Metal Pot) factory from 1691 until 1721, depicted in Aronson 2015, pp. 62-63, shows that this model has been in use since 1721 at the latest.

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