On the eve of the opening of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, his largest exhibition of the year, Amsterdam specialist Delft dealer Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiquairs
, has announced that The Phoenix Art Museum has purchased a large Blue and White Dutch Delft Vase and Cover dating to 1660-70.
According to Robert Aronson, I have been working with The Phoenix Art Museum for a number of months to identify a piece of early Delft that met their needs. I presented three options to the committee in January and The Phoenix Art Museum committee decided to pursue one particular large Delft Vase and Cover, dating to 1660-70. I was delighted when James Ballinger, the director of the museum, told me today that the committee had convened and with acclamation voted to acquire the covered jar.
The cooperation and enthusiasm by the museum was impressive and Mr. Ballinger was very gracious when he thanked me for my assistance in helping them acquire this beautiful piece.
The early 17th century Blue and White Dutch Delft Vase and Cover is 23 inches high, with a slightly elongated ovoid body painted with two extended scenes of Chinese figures. In one a man is seated on an elephant beneath a tree shading seven other standing and seated men, and the reverse features two groups of three men flanking a pair of coconut palm trees, with a vignette of a pair of leopards on an islet and a second of two men conversing beneath a tree. There are two rocky landscapes pictured and the cover has a scene of a seated man and two standing amidst shrubbery.
Aronson says A similar example of a vase of identical size and slightly unusual ovoid form, also featuring Chinese style decoration and a virtually identical scene of the elephant and rider near a group of men, is in the Musee National de Ceramique, Sevres - illustrated in Lahaussois 1998. Another of the more conventional ovoid-baluster form, with a similarly shaped cover and Chinese style decoration is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - illustrated in Van Dam 2004. A further covered vase of this size, and with the same elephant scene, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Our vase originated in a private collection in Belgium.
I was delighted that Mr. Ballinger made a point of thanking me for providing assistance to the museum, which had been eager to acquire an important piece of Delft.
Based in Amsterdam, ARONSON ANTIQUAIRS (www.aronson.com) has been the leading specialists in Dutch Delft for 132 years. Robert Aronson is the fifth generation of his family to lead the firm, which will be exhibiting March 14 - 23 at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Coincidental with the Aronson exhibition at TEFAF, Robert Aronson is publishing a 144 page catalog featuring more than seventy rare 17th and 18th century Dutch Delftware items he has acquired from private and specialist sources around the world.
Robert Aronson literally grew up at TEFAF, where his late Father, Dave Aronson, was a co-founder and served as Chairman for a decade until his death in 2007. Robert admits that opening day still sends his adrenaline pumping as he witnesses collectors delight viewing what is acknowledged to be the largest assemblage of the finest artworks on the planet under one roof at a single exposition. 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.
So much effort and knowledge goes into the planning and preparation for each years fair that you cant help but be impressed with the result. Theres such a lovely ambiance and verve in the room when the first visitors arrive, and it carries on daily throughout the fair. Plus - I am so thrilled when I can share a truly rare or previously unknown object with a true art connoisseur, he says.
Recently Robert Aronson, who is on the Executive Board of TEFAF and also serves as chairman of the Royal Dutch Antique Dealers Association, provided sponsorship support to the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague to show a distinguished collection of antique Delft titled Delftware Wonderware which is now on view, through mid-2014.
Dutch Delftware has been handmade in Holland for more than 400 years. It began 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 over 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.