• Important American Furniture,  auction at Christies

    Sale 2287

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver & Chinese Export

    21 - 25 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 475

    A RARE BOTANICAL THREE-PIECE GARNITURE

    CIRCA 1740

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A RARE BOTANICAL THREE-PIECE GARNITURE
    CIRCA 1740
    Likely based on designs of Cornelis Pronk, comprising a pair of beaker vases and a bottle vase of distinctive squared form, each side painted with butterflies and moths hovering beside flower stems with purple band borders
    12½ in. (31.7 cm.) high, the largest (3)


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    Both the lovely decoration and the eccentric shapes of this garniture, one of only a handful in this pattern known to exist, are closely associated with Cornelis Pronk's designs for the Dutch East India Company, and it must certainly have been a private order drawn by Pronk for a Company director or supercargo. The garniture's carefully rendered botanical detail and its European watercolor-like shading of the enamel colors relate closely to Pronk's four official commissions, particularly to the latter two, the 'Doctors' Visit' and the 'Arbour'. The trellis or 'grille' pattern on each foot is in fact identical to that of the 'Arbour', and is also found on the 'Plume' pattern attributed to Pronk. The 'Arbour' order, sent to Batavia by the Dutch East India Company on the Heeren XVII in 1738, was accompanied by two new forms to be copied: tapestry sconces and "wooden moulds of a mantelpiece (set)". See C.J.A. Jorg, Pronk Porcelain, for a complete discussion of the circumstances and documentation of the Pronk orders, and for numerous references to the practice of private orders outside the purview of official Dutch East India Company records. Other related garnitures of odd shape and with decoration attributed to Pronk include a five-piece garniture sold Sotheby's Monaco, June 22, 1987, lot 1445; a five-piece garniture sold Christie's, New York, 30 June 1993, lot 72; a five-piece garniture in the Andrew Crispo Collection sold Sotheby's, New York, 20-23 January 2005, lot 106; and a three-piece garniture illustrated by Jan Wirgin, Fran KINA till EUROPA, Stockholm, 1998, p. 175, no. 189.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LEO & DORIS HODROFF