D667. Pair of Polychrome Figures of Seated Ladies
Delft, circa 1770
Each wearing a black hat with a yellow bow, black shoes, a rose bodice and a voluminous skirt with a yellow back and a white front patterned with floral sprigs, one holding out her apron filled with yellow fruit shaded in iron-red: an apple, a peach and a pear; the other holding in her right hand a bouquet of five yellow and iron-red flowers, and each seated on an iron-red, green and yellow marbleized mound above a thin conformingly shaped and colored base.
Height: 14 cm. (5 1/2 in.)
This pair of petit feu figures of seated ladies is typical for the third quarter of the 18th century, when Delft potters found inspiration in European subjects. During the Seven Years War (1756 – 1763), there was a decline in imported German ceramics. Thus, there was a great demand for colorful decorative objects for the dinner table and figurative groups. Delftware factories filled this gap in the market by producing polychrome figures with great success. The interest in small Delft figures faded during the last quarter of the 18th century; the well-to-do clientele preferred German porcelain to the labor-intensive, and therefore more expensive Delftware in petit feu colors.