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A FAÇON-DE-VENISE GLASS CALLIGRAPHIC GOBLET BY WILLEM VAN HEEMSKERK
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more PROPERTY OF THE WUNSCH FOUNDATION
A FAÇON-DE-VENISE GLASS CALLIGRAPHIC GOBLET BY WILLEM VAN HEEMSKERK

1686, THE NETHERLANDS, SIGNED, INSCRIBED AND DATED TO THE FOOT

Details
A FAÇON-DE-VENISE GLASS CALLIGRAPHIC GOBLET BY WILLEM VAN HEEMSKERK
1686, THE NETHERLANDS, SIGNED, INSCRIBED AND DATED TO THE FOOT
The funnel bowl engraved in fine calligraphic script Tel don, tell Donneur (Like gift, like giver), supported by a hollow inverted baluster stem set between two mereses, on a folded conical foot inscribed Dees Stoffe, nocht de Kunst, toch niet naukeurig zift, Den Baes is als het Werk, Den Gever als de Gift. (This material, like art, does not exactly separate one thing from another, the workman is like his work, the giver is like the gift), signed Willem van Heemskerk. Aes. 73. 1686
8in. (20.4 cm.) high
Provenance
F. P. Bodenheim, Amsterdam.
Guépin Collection, Bussum; sale Christie's, Amsterdam, 5 July 1989, lot 76.
Joseph R. Ritman; sale Sotheby's, London, 14 November 1995, lot 61.
Literature
Anonymous, 'Catalogus van de tentoonstelling van oude kunst door de Vereeniging van Handelaren in Oude Kunst in Nederland, in het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam', Exhibition Catalogue, Amsterdam, 1929, no. 723.
Marie-Anne Heukensfeldt Jansen, 'Willen Jacobsz. van Heemskerk, glasgraveur', Oud-Hollasnd, 1943, Vol. 60, p. 30 (no. V).
W. C. Braat, 'Collections de verres des Pays-Bas', B.J.I.V. 1, p. 32.
A. von Saldern & H. Hilschenz, 'Meisterwerke der Glaskunst aus internationalem Privatbesitz', Exhibition Catalogue, Düsseldorf, p. 46, no. 119.
D. Bolten, 'Een Glasie van Vrienschap, De glazen van de collectie Guépin', Exhibition Catalogue, 1969, p. 22, no. 65.
F.G.A.M. Smit, Uniquely Dutch Seventeenth-Century Calligraphy on , Glass, A Preliminary Catalogue, Peterborough, 1989 (unpublished), pp. 116-117, T15.
Rachel Russell, 'Decorated Glass - The Dutch Connection', The International Ceramics Fair and Seminar, Exhibition Catalogue, 1991, p. 31, fig. 7.
Exhibited
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, 'Tentoonstelling van Oude Kunst door de Vereeniging van Handelaren in Oude Kunst Nederland', 1929.
Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle, 'Meisterwerke der Glaskunst', 22 November 1968 - 5 January 1969.
Delft, Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, 'Een Glasie van Vrienschap', 21 December 1969 - 17 February 1970.
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Caitlin Yates
Caitlin Yates

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Lot Essay

In his privately printed monograph on inscriptions in calligraphy on glass1, the late F.G.A.M. Smit ends his introduction with an invitation to the reader -- 'In order to appreciate fully the mastery of Dutch 17th-century calligraphy one might try, for instance, to write (without guidance) one's own name in calligraphy with embellishment of flourishes á la Willem van Heemskerk...'.

Willem Jacobszoon van Heemskerk is one of the best-known and most prolific Dutch engravers of the Golden Age2 . He spent his life in Leiden, born on 16 January 1613 (at 3 a.m.) the son of Jacob Willeszoon van Heemskerk, a carpenter and timber-merchant, and Trijntje Jansdichter Verbeeck. He was a cloth-merchant who was elected Deacon of the Cloth Shearer's Guild in 1645 and President in 1668 and 1669. In September 1636 he married Maria Isaacsdochter van Swanenburg, together they had fifteen children, at least eight of whom survived into adulthood. He devoted much of his spare time to poetry, and published several poems and a play, 'Hebreeusche Heldinne' (The Hebrew Heroine). It seems likely that he was inspired to take-up engraving calligraphy on glass by the well-educated embroiderer, engraver, song-writer and poet, Anna Roemers Visscher, who visited Leiden between 1646 and 1650. Van Heemskerk's earliest dated piece known to have survived, a presentation roemer for Herman and Margareta Paats, for their wedding on 31 January 1648, shows the influence of Anna Roemers. His mature style had developed by 1667 and the dated pieces executed between 1667 and 1691 show a remarkably consistent style and precision. The present goblet was executed when van Heemskerk was 73 years old. Of the 112 items signed by or attributed to van Heemskerk which Smit lists, the greatest proportion are wine-glasses of various types, the author lists the present example on pp. 116-117, T15.


1. F.G.A.M. Smit, Uniquely Dutch Seventeenth-Century Calligraphy on Glass, A Preliminary Catalogue, Peterborough, 1989.

2. F.G.A.M. Smit, op. cit., pp. 28-31.

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