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A rare Dutch ‘Black Delft’ Buddha

Circa 1700-1710

Origin: Delft, ‘De Metaale Pot’ (The Metal Pot) factory

Marked: Not Marked, Attributed to Lambertus van Eenhoorn

Date: Circa 1700-1710

Dimensions: Height: 14 cm

Provenance: Art Céramique Ancien Nicolier, Paris;

The Buddha is represented as a black monk, clothed in a white kimono with polychrome motifs and a green dragon on the back. instead of a traditional scepter, the enlightened one  is here holding a long pipe, with striped decoration in alternating black and yellow.

The model derives from examples in Blanc de Chine, mostly produced from 1640 to 1680. There are similar Delft Buddhas decorated in blue, sometimes also smoking a pipe; in other examples, however, the figure holds a tea cup.

two very similar Buddhas were in the collection of Aronson Antiquairs in 2016, marked with the IVP monogram, one also by ‘De Metaale Pot’ factory.

‘Black Delft’ earthenware is among the most rare Delft productions, as the technical processes of its manufacture were extremely difficult. Very few factories succeeded in acquiring the necessary expertise,’De Metaale Pot’ being one of the rare exceptions. In contrast to the ‘black Delft’ produced by the competing factory ‘De Grieksche A’, they used a cut out technique, and especially the brilliant black foundation is the most important feature of these pieces produced by ‘De Metaale Pot’.

The leading expert of ‘black Delft’ was the antique dealer Aäron Vecht (Elburg, 1886 – 1965, Amsterdam), whose research on this type of earthenware was celebrated by an exhibition organized by the ‘Vereniging van Vrienden van de Ceramiek’, on the occasion of its ten-year jubilee, accompanied by a catalogue and introduction written by Vecht himself – the’Vereniging van Vrienden van de Ceramiek’ continues its good work to this day.

Vecht was far ahead of his times. As early as 1916 he organized a selling exhibition of Blance de Chine in building ‘De Roos’, together with his father-in-law Jacob Stodel (1859-1935), accompanied by ‘workshops, as we would calm them today. In addition to his interest in glass, he was also one of the earliest collectors of Northern Netherlandisch maiolica. It was not until after his death that his catalogue raisonné on the celebrated Delft earthenware painter Frederik van Frytom was published.



Collectie M.G. van Heel, oud Delfts Aardewerk, Enschede: Rijksmuseum Twente, 1969, p.55.

-Robert D. Aronson, Dutch Delftware, Amsterdam (Aronson Antiquairs), 2016, cat. nr. 15, p. 38-39.

-A. Vecht & Co, Chineesche Ceramiek, Blance de Chine, Amsterdam, 1916, p. 31.

-A. Vecht, Frederik van Frytom, 1632-1702, Amsterdam, 1968.

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