For its annual gallery show, May 13 - 20, and its launch of its new ‘TIMELESS ELEGANCE” catalogue, fifth generation dealer ROBERT ARONSON of ARONSON ANTIQUAIRS of Amsterdam (www.aronson.com), is showcasing “The finest array of important Dutch Delftware, as well as select examples of beautiful 17th and 18th furniture from two young Amsterdam dealers, - all of which is sure to please visitors to the gallery.”
Aronson says, “We are thrilled to have acquired several early and important examples of Dutch Delftware that have not previously been available. In our gallery you can find the earliest objects made by Delft factories in the 17th century, and a superb collection of polychrome animals, figures, plaques and chargers from the 18th century, too. I never lose the thrill of showing a truly rare or previously unknown object to a true Delft connoisseur,” he says.
One is a Rare and Important Pair of c1735-45 Dutch Delftware ʻPetit Feuʼ Polychrome and Gilded Royal Portrait Plaques. “One depicts Princess Anne elaborately coifed and wearing an ermine-lined cloak over a lavish gown and the other depicts Prince William IV wearing a voluminous periwig, a blue sash and the Order of the Garter on his embroidered and tasseled uniform,” Robert Aronson says. “The portrait of William IV on this plaque was taken directly from a mezzotint dated 1735 by John Faber (c1695-1756) after the 1734 painting by Philip van Dijk (1683-1753), a portrait artist who was favored by William’s mother and eventually became the court painter.”
“The best Dutch Delftware is rarer than Rembrandts, and much better bargains too. While many pieces I have sold to collectors and museums reach six or seven figures, there are a lot of very important examples still to be had for far far less. We are delighted to work with a new collector to start them on their own collection.”
“Too often people think Delft stands just for the Blue and White motifs that have defined Delft for more than 400 years. In reality, there are a rainbow of colors displayed in the playful cows, figures, vases, bowls and chargers and plaques we show. I am particularly thrilled when I get a very rare piece of Black Delft to offer my clients. It was the Moor's Head Factory that started experimenting with colors between 1680 and 1685. A highlight of our 2011 show was a rare pair of Black Delft vases from this factory -- actually belonging to a select group of four items, decorated with Chinoiserie.”
Among top examples of Dutch Delftware in this year’s show is a Unique Pair of Massive Cashmire Palette Flower Vases that Aronson and his Father, Dave, first tried to acquire in the 1990s. Dave Aronson died in 2007 and his son is “Happy that I was able to finally acquire this unrivaled example of Dutch Delftware as it was high on the ‘wish list’ of my Father.”
Another important example on offer is a Monumental Flower Vase with Tiered Bowls and Covers that Robert Aronson says, “Is currently the only known example of this shape. This Oval Flower Vase is extraordinary not only for its size but for its unusual stag-head spouts, which suggest it must have been a special commission. It is strikingly similar to the decoration of a similarly serpent-handled vase in the collection of Hampton Court.” The pattern itself is a Chinese export porcelain design from the Kangxi period and it was made by the De Grieksche A Factory, owned by Adrianus Kocx.”
“This year we have also invited two of Holland’s rising antique dealers to show furniture that clearly demonstrates the fine craftsmanship of top makers of the 15th through 18th century. These perfectly complement the “Timeless Elegance” theme of both our show and our new catalogue.”
“Mischo van Kollenburg has made a name for himself showing high quality Dutch and European furniture and applied arts from the late 17th and 18th centuries. His items often represent the pinnacle of craftsmanship of the period. Alongside these pieces we have invited Rob Bruil and Marieke Brandsma, of Bruil and Brandsma, to show furniture from the Dutch Renaissance from the 15th to 18th centuries. They are recognized also as specialist restorers and have gained commissions from museums and private collectors. I like their keen eye for finding the best historical examples coming on the market.”
“We have a delightful group of Delft Egg Cups whose design emulates Chinese objects made for the Emperor and an equally playful collection of Polychrome Cows and a Pair of Milking Groups. These circa 1750 works are ideal to display on their own or as a group. We also are showing a Pair of Petit-Feu Delft cows, a Figural Fountain, a collection of Delft Flower Vases, including magnificent Tiered Pyramidal ones, Imari-pattern dishes, a rare Delft figure of a Madonna and Child dating to 1720, a pair of Prancing Horses and Seated Chinese Figures.”
Also showcased is a collection of Six “Haarlem Yellow” Plates attributed to Willem Jansz Verstraeten, circa 1650-60. “Haarlem wares were seen even before Delft existed. This type of decoration traditionally has been called ‘Grotesques à la Patanazzi’, referring to the similar maiolica dishes made in Urbino by the Patanazzi family of potters, circa 1515. These are attributed to the Haarlem workshop of Willem Jansz Verstraeten. In a lawsuit Willem brought against his son, Gerrit, regarding the production of earthenware, mention is made in 1650 of ‘new inventions’, by which may be meant these grotesque dishes.”
“The Netherlands introduced the production of earthenware in the first half of the 15th century as trade with Italy, Spain and Portugal brought fine pieces of earthenware to the Netherlands. By the 17th century the Dutch East India Company had introduced Europe to Chinese porcelain and exports flourished as the West strived to duplicate the Chinese formula for fine blue and white porcelain. When war in China interrupted the trade, potters in Delft expanded their businesses to create earthenware versions of ‘porcelain.’ The word “Delftware” only came to describe items made after 1650. At the height of production The Guild of Saint Luke counted almost 40 factories in the small city of Delft. They were innovative and adapted to fill the needs of clients all over Europe, with the term ‘Delft’ becoming synonymous with 'Faience.”
Robert Aronson has added a modern twist to the business by embracing 21st century technology and e-commerce in ways his forebears could never have imagined. “I’ve given Aronson Antiquairs a contemporary outlook that best serves both new collectors and old, using the latest tools, from Facebook and Twitter to You Tube video. Now, in whatever way that is most convenient for them, people interested in learning about Dutch Delft may examine our unrivaled collections, and come to understand the unique qualities of Delftware -- more easily than at any time in our company’s 130 year history.”
Aronson Antiquairs numbers among its clients the world’s leading connoisseurs as well as major museums including The Wadsworth Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and Holland’s own Rijksmuseum.
“Regardless of whether you visit us at fairs, come to our galleries in Amsterdam or shop at our web sites at www.aronson.com and shop.aronson.com there is truly no greater way to learn about and enjoy Dutch Delftware. No one has greater access to the best pieces entering the market. And it is always our pleasure to help new collectors gain the knowledge and confidence they need to build a truly satisfying collection.”