This hitherto unpublished, signed still life is an important addition to Walscappelle's oeuvre: although the artist's life is relatively well-documented, little is known about his artistic activity.
The artist was born in Dordrecht, the son of Elias Cruydenier, meaning 'grocer', a connotation which does not appear to have pleased him, for he quickly adopted his grandmother's surname, Walscappelle. From Dordrecht he moved to Amsterdam, where he was a pupil of Cornelis Kick. Kick's paintings of crowded nosegays were highly popular in the later seventeenth century, and had a considerable influence on Walscappelle's early flower paintings. During his career, Walscappelle showed his ability to take on those influences that were developing contemporary flower painting, and is perhaps best known for his flower pieces in the style of Jan Davidsz. de Heem. His versatility is also visible in his banketje, or breakfast still lives, that reflect the enduring influence of Pieter Claesz. (see N.R.A. Vroom, A Modest Message, Schiedam, 1980, II, p. 237, no. 742, fig. 348). From 1673 until his death in 1727 Walscapelle became increasingly involved in public affairs, which possibly explains the fact that no signed and dated works of his are known after 1685.
Mr. Fred Meijer has noted the stylistic similarities between the present picture and Walscappelle's flower piece in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Brussels, no. 6130, as well as comparing it to the picture sold at Christie's, Amsterdam, 21 May 1985, lot 181, which is dated 1681.