• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 294

    A DUTCH DELFT 'SAMPLE' PLAQUE

    CIRCA 1750-1775

    Price Realised  

    A DUTCH DELFT 'SAMPLE' PLAQUE
    CIRCA 1750-1775
    Painted in three registers in blue and white reserved on a yellow ground, the upper and lower each of teapots flanking either a lady's spittoon or a two-handled vase, the central tier a garniture of five landscape vases, the lozenge shaped panel edged with rocaille molded scrolls and shells as an integral frame
    9½ in. (24.1 cm.) wide


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    It is generally believed that plaques or dishes with 'sample' (monster) decoration were used by workshops as advertisements for the goods they manufactured or wished to sell. Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to back this up with evidence from workshop archives. Another source for these 'sample' plaques and dishes could be Chinese porcelain with 'Hundred Antiquities' decoration, where various stylised objects are painted on a plain background.

    A dish in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (inv.no. BK-NM-12400-194), a canted square plaque and plate formerly in the collection of Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann and attributed to De Grieksche A factory (Christie's, Amsterdam, 16 April 2002, lots 1292, 1293), and the present rocaille plaque are all decorated with the same central three-tier arrangement of teapots and vases centering a 5-vase garniture. On the Rijksmuseum plaque, this 'sample' decoration is surrounded by a variety of objects which could not have been produced by a Delft potter: a mirror, a chair, a dog and a cat, a wooden basket, a cradle etc. but all typical of 'Hundred Antiquities' decoration found on imported Chinese porcelains. The Dreesmann plate is reserved on the border with five medallions enclosing Oriental figures, again, not what one would describe as 'sample' decoration but found on contemporary Chinese porcelains.

    Another link to a Chinese source is the yellow ground, which reminds us of Kangxi examples. Cf. M.S. van Aken-Fehmers, Delfts Aardewerk, Geschiedenis van een nationaal product, Zwolle, 1999, p. 148-149, no. 55 and figs. 1, 2 and the front cover.

    Provenance

    With Aronson Antiquairs, Amsterdam.


    Literature

    Dave and Robert Aronson, Dutch Delftware: The Dr. Günther Grethe Collection and Other Recent Acquisitions, Amsterdam, 2004, p. 132, no. 152.