Very Rare Pair of Faïence Vases and Covers
By Ary Blankers, Amsterdam, c. 1760. Marked ‘B' in blue.
Height 17¾" (45cm).
Provenance :- Heli, Duc de Talleyrand, Paris.
These rare and eccentric faïence pots-pourris are from the short-lived production of the manufacturies established by Ary Blankers in Amsterdam in the third quarter of the 18th Century (1755-1764).(1) They are so unusual as previously to have defied identification. Various experts had seen them and been unsure as to their origin, suggestions varying between France, Italy, and Stralsund and Eckernförde in the north of Germany.
Other pieces by Blankers are in the collections of the Princessehof Museum, Leeuwarden and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and a number were included in the major exhibition of Dutch rococo at the Rikjsmuseum, 2001-2002.(2) The ‘B’ mark in blue underneath both of these present vases is typical of his mark, which is sometimes seen as a monogram ‘AB’. The mark on one of these vases could be read as such. The colours are related to those of a group of terrines in the Rijksmuseum,(3) or a pair of faïence shoes now in the Princessehof,(4) but there are no known close comparisons for the extraordinary form. They must have been very difficult to make, presumably the reason for the variations in colour and shape between the two.
1) We are very grateful to Jan Daniël van Dam for this information.
2) Rococo in Nederland, ed. Reinier Baarsen, 2001. See Jan Daniël van Dam, ‘De productie van porselein en faïence in Nederland (1755-1775), pp. 42-51, and catalogue nos. 152, 153, 154, 155, pp. 254-257.
3) Op. cit., fig. 38, p. 47, and no. 152, p. 254.
4) Op. cit., no. 153, p. 255.