King William III and Queen Mary II began alterations to the east front of Hampton Court shortly after their arrival in England in 1688. The Water Gallery was refurbished in the contemporary manner for the Queen's use as temporary accommodation at the palace. The Water Gallery was originally the Tudor Water Gate (illustrated on page 40) at the foot of the Privy Garden. It was decorated very much in the Het Loo manner, and a contemporary account of the interior, written by Celia Fiennes, survives '...there was the Water Gallery that opened into a balcony on to the water and was decked with China and the fine pictures of the Court Ladyes drawn by Nellor; beyond this came severall roomes and one was pretty large, at the corners were little roomes the closets or drawing-roomes are panelled all with Jappan another with Looking Glass and two with fine work under pannels of Glass'.
Queen Mary was obsessed with the display of ceramics in the interior, and her already sizeable collection of porcelain was increased by pieces formerly owned by her father, King James II, and also supplemented by Delftware pieces supplied by Adrianus Kock's factory in Holland. Amongst the closets listed in the building accounts of the Water Gallery is a 'Delft-Ware Closett', and Daniel Defoe, writing about the Water Gallery in his Journey from London to Land's End recorded that the 'Queen had here also...a dairy, with all its conveniences, in which the Queen took great delight'. It is for this ornamental dairy that the present lot was made.
The drinking and preparing of milk was a fashionable pursuit for Courtly ladies, along with the preserving of fruits. Dairies had to be kept both cool and clean, and the walls of the Water Gallery dairy were clad with unusually large Delft tiles. Colvin, describing the building, points out that 'Internally, the queen's bathing room and dairy (with accommodation for the dairy woman) were in the lower storey', and it is interesting to note that Queen Mary had already had a tiled cellar dairy built at Het Loo Palace in Holland. Although small in comparison with other Royal interiors of the time, the ceramic furnishings in the Water Gallery were of remarkable quality for temporary accommodation.
Although the works at Hampton Court were supervised by Sir Christopher Wren, Daniel Marot, the French huguenot designer who had worked with Queen Mary at Het Loo, appears to have been involved with the design of the interiors at the Water Gallery. Marot's published designs had contributed much to the popularisation of the display of ceramics in the interior. This was a fashion that was much frowned upon by Sir Christopher Wren as his comment on Versailles reveals...'Not an inch within but is crowded with little curiosities of Ornaments; the Women as they make here the Language and Fashions, and meddle with Politics and Philosophy, so they sway also in Architecture; works of Filigrand, and little Knacks are in great Vogue' (published Parentalia 1750).
As Joan Wilson points out, an existing 1689 bill from William Emmett for the work carried out in the Water Gallery would appear to link Daniel Marot with the design of its interior. The delftware furnishings in the Water Gallery also appear to be derived from designs by Marot. Two related milk-pans have been recently acquired by Hampton Court Palace and a further two of the same type are in the Victoria and Albert Museum (one of which corresponds very closely indeed with the present lot). (The V & A also has a further milk-pan with a slight variation of this pattern featuring Oriental figures). All the milk-pans are decorated in the antique manner as popularised by Marot in his various pattern books such as Nouveaux Livre d'Orfevrerie; Nouveaux Livre d'Ornements pour l'utillitee des Sculpteurs et Orfevres and Nouveaux Livre de Vases et de pots de Jardins.
Of the pastoral panels on the present lot, emblematic of peace and plenty, three have been derived after designs attributed (Oliver van Oss note in Ceramic Department archives, Victoria and Albert Museum) to Matthius Merian (d. 1650).
The large Delft tiles from the dairy walls (of which two are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) are also derived from designs by Marot. All these extant pieces, including the base of the present lot, bear the monogram of AK for Adrianus Kocks, who ran De Griexe A factory in Delft between 1687 and 1701. The present lot, and the other milk-pans described above, are thought to have been amongst the Delftware items for which William was later invoiced by Adrianus Kocks in 1695 (for 'the sume of Thirteen Hundred & Fifty Gilders 3 Styvers of English Money 122 li 14s. 09d').
It is impossible to be certain of the exact roles of Mary, Marot and the factory in the conception and design of these objects. It would appear that Marot either submitted specific designs to the factory for the painters to work from, or the painters at the factory derived the decoration from Marot's already published designs. The band of zig-zag ornament about the well of each milk-pan, very much inspired by designs found on Chinese porcelain originals, would perhaps imply the latter.
In 1694 the young Queen died from small-pox at the age of thirty-two, having never lived in the palace's incomplete apartments. In 1700, the King ordered the old Water Gallery to be demolished, and after his own death in 1702, all things Dutch quickly went out of fashion. The ceramics at Hampton Court today were almost certainly from the Water Gallery (the porcelain at Kensington Palace had been given by the King to the first Earl of Albemarle in 1699). Some of the remaining Delftware from the Water Gallery was probably dispersed among William's entourage.
Cf. Arthur Lane, 'Daniel Marot: Designer of Delft Vases and of Gardens at Hampton Court', The Connoisseur, March 1949, pp. 19-24; Joan Wilson, 'A Phenomenon of Taste, The China Ware of Queen Mary II', Apollo Magazine, August 1972, pp. 116-123; John Hardy, '17th and 18th Century Collections in the English House', Kakiemon Porcelain from the English House, Christie's exhibition catalogue, 1990; Daniel Defoe, Journey from London to Land's End (1724) Cassell's National Library edition (Edited by Prof. Henry Morley, 1888), Vol. 146-150, p. 18; A.M.L.E. Erkelens, Queen Mary's 'Delft porcelain', Ceramics at Het Loo from the time of William and Mary (1996) and also The History of the King's Works, Vol. V, 1660-1782, General editor H.M. Colvin (HMSO, 1976), p. 157.