Skip to content


•D2447. Polychrome Figure of a Putto

Delft, circa 1765

Attributed to Jacobus Halder, De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory, from 1764 to 1768

Large polychrome figure of a putto, embodying the allegory and personification of astrology, stands atop a marbled base featuring shades of green, yellow, and manganese, the figure leans against a celestial globe with a similar color palette, extending the right hand heavenwards, the body adorned with a clear blue and yellow sash, delicately embellished with floral details and manganese stripes, the head with manganese hair and facial features, while the wings exhibit a vibrant yellow exterior, transitioning towards the body in clear blue hues.

Height: 33 cm. (13 in.)

Stodel Antiquités, Antiekbeurs Delft, 1962;
Dutch Private Collection, Amsterdam and hence by family descent, 2022 (Provenance+)

An allegory serves as a symbolic representation expressing abstract concepts. In the art of the sixteenth century, allegories gained immensepopularity, featuring personifications embodied by male or female figures adorned with attributes indicative of their meanings. Gods and goddesses could also convey allegorical messages. The true significance often unfolded through engraved texts, typically composed in Latin, aligning with the fashion of the time. In the humanistic climate of the sixteenth century, people embraced imagery, metaphors, and complexity without objection.

While the use of allegories waned in popularity after 1600, it persisted, albeit less prominently. Delft potters occasionally drew inspiration from allegorical themes, with one of the most well-known being the allegory of the four seasons. While representations varied, the seasons were often depicted by putti figurines alongside specific seasonal vegetation, activities, and customs.

This Delft figure, distinctly portraying an allegory of astrology, stands out as exceptional. Its inspiration might trace back to a painting of the allegory of astrology by the Flemish painter Frans Floris (1515- 1570) or a similar scene engraved by the Dutch-born Cornelis Cort (1533-1578).

While unmarked, recent research supports the attribution of this figurine to Jacobus Halder, as detailed in the article ‘Jacobus Halder’ published in our newsletter of March 2024 and online on our website: Notably, a pair of polychrome putti candlesticks from the Museum Arnhem collection, marked with A/IH/12/110 and carrying inventory numbers AB 8709a and AB 8709b, exhibit striking similarities in decoration. This correlation is further underscored by their depiction in C.H. de Jonge’s ‘Delfter Keramiek,’ Tübingen, 1969, page 130.

For further information on manganese visit:


Back To Top