Some of the worlds most sought-after examples of rare Dutch Delftware will be on sale at The 25th Annual European Fine Art Fair, TEFAF in Maastricht March 16 - 25. In fact, Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiquairs
of Amsterdam, is bringing A wonderful and diverse collection of Dutch Delftware, accompanied by a new publication, sure to appeal to Delft collectors, new and old.
Among Aronsons favorites is a Unique Pair of Massive Cashmire Palette Flower Vases that, I am doubly delighted to have now as they had been on the wish list of my late Father, Dave Aronson, who died in 2007. In fact, we had eagerly sought to acquire them in the mid-90s. Now they are here and we are thrilled to be able to offer them at TEFAF.
Dave Aronson headed the now 130 year old Aronson firm since his own Father died in 1990. He also was chairman of the Executive Committee of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht from 1999 through his passing in 2007. His son, Robert, joined the firm twenty two years ago, following a tradition that began with his great-great grandfather, Leon, who founded the specialist firm in 1881. Robert Aronson is both a member of the Executive Committee of TEFAF and Chairman of the Dutch Antique Dealers Association.
Robert says that the 17 years he spent working side by side with his Father gave him both his passion for Dutch Delftware and a deep appreciation of the great collectors who became good friends to the Aronson family during those years. Now the younger Aronson has added a modern twist to a business that has served generations of the worlds most esteemed connoisseurs and curators. In fact, Robert Aronson is overseeing a truly 21st century business that has embraced technology and e-commerce in ways his forebears could never have imagined.
Ive given Aronson Antiquairs a contemporary outlook that best serves both new collectors and old, using the latest tools, from Facebook and Twitter to You Tube video. Now, in whatever way that is most convenient for them, they can learn about Dutch Delft, examine our unrivaled collections, and come to understand the unique qualities of Delftware -- more easily than at any time in our companys 130 year history.
Robert Aronson says the excitement of a TEFAF opening day still gives him a moment of pause. I know I am going to see the most sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors, curators and dealers enjoying the finest artworks on the planet.
Plus - You never lose the thrill of showing a truly rare or previously unknown object to a true Delft connoisseur, he says.
One stunning example on the Aronson stand at TEFAF is a Monumental Flower Vase with Tiered Bowls and Covers that Robert Aronson says, Is currently the only known example of this shape. This Oval Flower Vase is extraordinary not only for its size but for its unusual stag-head spouts, which suggest it must have been a special commission. It is strikingly similar to the decoration of a similarly serpent-handled vase in the collection of Hampton Court. The pattern itself is a Chinese export porcelain design from the Kangxi period and it was made by the De Grieksche A Factory, owned by Adrianus Kocx.
A new addition to the ARONSON ANTIQUAIRS exhibition at TEFAF is a Rare and Important Pair of c1735-45 Dutch Delftware ʻPetit Feuʼ Polychrome and Gilded Royal Portrait Plaques. One depicts Princess Anne elaborately coifed and wearing an ermine-lined cloak over a lavish gown and the other depicts Prince William IV wearing a voluminous periwig, a blue sash and the Order of the Garter on his embroidered and tasseled uniform, Robert Aronson says. Also showcased is a collection of Six Haarlem Yellow Plates attributed to Willem Jansz, Verstraeten, circa 1650-60.
Haarlem wares were seen even before Delft existed. This type of decoration traditionally has been called Grotesques à la Patanazzi, referring to the similar maiolica dishes made in Urbino by the Patanazzi family of potters, circa 1515. However, Scholten, (1993, pp. 99, 101 and 103, nos. 87-89, 91 and 92) illustrates three very similar, if slightly larger, dishes and comments that lobed dishes of this type, the Raphaelesque decoration of which is based on Italian majolica mainly from the workshop of Orazio Fontana (1510-71) at Urbino, are attributed by Van Dam on good grounds to Willem Jansz. In a lawsuit Willem Jansz Verstraeten brought against his son, Gerrit, regarding the production of earthenware, mention is made in 1650 of new inventions, by which may be meant these grotesque dishes.
Another striking piece at Aronsons stand at TEFAF is a c1695-1705 Blue and White Delft Rijstaffel sweet meat set with a stunning eight-pointed star-shaped dish and eight surrounding dishes of elaborate spade-shape.
This is the kind of focal point piece everyone appreciates in their collection, Aronson says. It was likely modeled on the small dishes of fanciful and ingenious shapes which were employed in Japan for the tea ceremony and which reached Europe around 1670.
TEFAF offers visitors a unique experience. Besides the amazing connoisseurship youll see here, theres no fair in the world where as rigorous investigation of each items quality, condition and authenticity takes place. The dealers demonstrate respect both for their profession as well as their clients by bringing to TEFAF the absolutely best examples on the market today.
Aronson Antiquairs numbers among its clients the world leading connoisseurs as well as major museums incuding The Wadsworth Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and Hollands own Rijksmuseum.
Aronson says the long and interesting history of Dutch Delftware continues to fascinate beginning collectors and seasoned ones too.
Dutch Delftware began in the first half of the 15th century when trade with Italy, Spain and Portugal brought earthenware to the Netherlands. By the 17th century the Dutch East India Company had introduced Europe to Chinese porcelain and exports flourished as the West strived to duplicate the Chinese formula for fine blue and white porcelain. When war in China interrupted the trade, potters in Delft expanded their businesses to create earthenware versions of porcelain. At the height of production The Guild of Saint Luke counted almost 40 factories in the small city of Delft. They were innovative and adapted to fill the needs of clients all over Europe, with the elegant term faience becoming synonymous with 'delftware.
For 130 years Aronson Antiquairs has sought to carry the very finest examples of Delft in the full range of forms and patterns, from the extremely rare Black Delft to Japanese Imari designs and the instantly recognizable Blue and White and Chinoiserie motifs in platters, figures, vases, bowls and plaque forms. The word Delftware has long been associated with a visit to Holland.
Regardless of whether you visit us at TEFAF, come to our galleries in Amsterdam or shop at our web sites at www.aronson.com and shop.aronson.com there is truly no greater way to learn about and enjoy Dutch Delftware. No one has greater access to the best pieces entering the market. And it is always our pleasure to help new collectors gain the knowledge and confidence they need to build a truly satisfying collection.