Of the sixty or seventy works thought to make up Hulsdonck's oeuvre (see E. Greindl, Les peintres flamands de nature morte au XVIIe siecle, 1983, pp. 364-5), only a handful of small-scale studies such as the present picture are known to exist. These include the copper sold, Sotheby's, London, 16 December 1999, lot 13 (£34,500), and the panel sold, Christie's, 29 November 1974, lot 20 (12,000 gns.). The latter work, which also features a bunch of grapes, an orange with a fly and a segment of orange, relates closely to the present picture. However, both examples cited show the fruit on a ledge rather than against a neutral white background, a characteristic that appears to be unique within Hulsdonck's output, reminiscent of the work of Hoefnagel and anticipating that of Jan van Kessel I.
We are grateful to Mr. Fred Meijer of the RKD for confirming the attribution after inspection of the original.