A polychrome 'grotesque' dish with a putto holding an orb, Willem Jansz. Verstraeten, Haarlem, 1645-1655

A polychrome 'grotesque' dish with a putto holding an orb, Willem Jansz. Verstraeten, Haarlem, 1645-1655  

For a long time it was uncertain whether the group to which this piece belongs was made in the Netherlands; Italy or Antwerp were more likely locations. That’s not so strange, because the style in which the pottery is made is pre-eminently Italian. The grotesque decoration with its mainly yellow colour scheme was developed in Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century. Such pieces ended up in the Netherlands after travelling through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Italian motifs were adopted by Dutch Delftware factories

Willem Verstraeten came from Flanders or Wallonia and was originally called Willem Jansz de la Rue. He settled in Delft, where he was first mentioned in the sources in 1613. He played an important role in the development of Delft earthenware. Around 1625 he moved to Haarlem, where he started a successful Delftware factory. According to his own account he employed no less than 60 men and boys. In 1642 Willem fell ill and left his business to his eldest son Gerrit. He did not expect to survive his illness, but miraculously he did. Willem started his own business again and made a deal with his son about who would manufacture what. Exactly what they agreed upon sparked off decades of bickering. (...) (source: Jaap Jongstra for the Princessehof museum - link)

Dia.: 38,5 cm

Condition (UV-checked): Excellent, typical minor wear and glaze abrasions on the rim.

Provenance: A Dutch private collection.

Ref.:
- A similar but larger (46 cm) example is in the Dutch Ceramics Museum 'Princessehof' in Leeuwarden, Friesland. It is celebrated as one of the museum's top pieces. (link)
- A smaller and fluted example is in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. (link)
- Sotheby's, Dec. 4, 2006, The Frits Philips collection, lot 47, for a smaller example (33 cm). (sold EUR 13.200) (link)

 

Estimate: € 4000 - € 8000