Delftware at Maastricht from Aronson Antiquairs

Posted in Art Market by Editor on March 9, 2012

Press release (29 January 2012) from Aronson Antiquairs:

Cashmire palette flower vases Delft, ca. 1700-20, attributed to Lambertus van Eenhoorn

At The 25th Annual European Fine Art Fair, TEFAF in Maastricht (16-25 March), Robert Aronson of Aronson Antiquairs of Amsterdam is showcasing a wonderful and diverse collection of Dutch Delftware, accompanied by a new publication. Aronson says, “Among my 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.

Blue and White Delft ‘rijsttafel’ or ‘sweet meat’ set, ca. 1695-1705

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 world’s 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.

“I’ve 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 company’s 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.”

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 the lawsuits he 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 Aronson’s stand at TEFAF is a ca. 1695-1705 Blue and White Delft ‘rijsttafel’ or ‘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 ingenius shapes which were employed in Japan for the tea ceremony and which reached Europe around 1670.” . . .

Aronson Antiquairs numbers among its clients the world’s leading connoisseurs as well as major museums including The Wadsworth Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and Holland’s own Rijksmuseum. . . .

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