Huybert van den Berch (Berg), son of silversmith Andries van den Berch and Elisabeth Gysbertsd., was born in Dordrecht in 1623. In 1643 he married Susanna de Moly. Since a number of chased birds by Van den Berch have survived, he appears to have been a specialist in this field. They are all exquisitely modelled and delicately executed. Museum Mr. S. van Gijn, Dordrecht, owns two birds by Van den Berch, a hen and a cock. The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, owns a Swan which may have come from the St. Martin's or Second-hand Clothes Dealers' Guild at Dordrecht.
The birds must primarely be regarded as table ornaments, although they could be used as drinking vessels. They were made in large numbers in the south of Germany and Switzerland, especially in the 16th and 17th centuries. In The Netherlands, however, they are very rare.
For comparative literature:
Catalogue of the exhibition: Nederlands zilver Dutch Silver 1580-1830, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Toledo, The Toledo Museum of Art, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1979- 1980, pp. 78-79, 353.
Frederiks, J.W., Dutch Silver IV, Den Haag, 1961, p. 99 and p. 100 nos. 227-229.
Catalogus van goud en zilverwerken, benevens zilveren, loden en bronzen plaquetten, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1952, p. 28 no. 69.
Catalogue of the exhibition: Vier eeuwen Nederlands zilver, Den Haag, Haags Gemeentemuseum, 1952, pp. 79-80 nos. 198, 199, 202, plate XIV.