A closer look at the antique Dutch Delft figure of Atlas

One of the highlights in our upcoming sale of European ceramics, is the blue and white figure of Atlas, ca. 1710. Antique Dutch Delftware figures form a group of interesting items. Far away from any utilitarian object, they served as high-end decoration in the homes of the happy few who could afford them. The sculptural groups were remarkable items, hard to model and far outside of the comfort zone of most potters.

The god, depicted as an older, bearded man, kneels on a pedestal and gazes upward. Although many people think Atlas is carrying the globe, or the world, he actually carries the heavens. A celestial sphere painted with the sun, a crescent moon, stars and clouds is supported on his shoulders.