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A ‘Black Delft’ lion

Circa 1700

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

Marked: Not marked, attributed to Lambertus van Eenhoorn

Date: Circa 1700-1710

Dimensions: 17.5 cm x 16 cm x 10.5 cm

On a rectangular base with cannons is a recumbent lion clasping a globe between its paws. The four feet upon which the object rests are naturalistically modelled in the form of a lion’s paw. The lion is decorated in the grand-feu colors of blue, green and iron red while the base is shiny black, with the characteristic decoration of yellow springs which is strongly reminiscent of Japanese lacquer work. The deep black ground, for which considerable technical skill was required, was best developed by Van Eenhoorn. The Grieksche A factory chiefly applied a special ‘outlining’ technique (uitsparingtechnique) to its black wares, which produced a different effect.

It is highly likely that such lions, of which there are surviving pairs, were placed on a writing table as a symbol of power. The same type of lions are found on the royal tulip vase in Het Loo, bearing the monogram King-Stadhouder Willem III. The present lion is unmarked but based on the brilliance of the black ground it has been attributed to De Metaale Pot.

There is, however, an extant lion in cachemire colours, marked APK, from which we can conclude that there was a possible exchange of moulds between the De Metalen Pot and De Grieksche A factories. This should come as no surprise since Adriaen Kocks, (de Grieksche A) was the brother-in-law of Lambertus van Eenhoorn (de Metaale Pot) and since it is unlikely that there was any form of ‘cut-throat’ competition between the two potteries. It is known that Kocks stood guarantee for his bother-in-law and that he had on several occasions rescued him from a difficult situation.


-Dr.Monika Kopplin. Schwartz Porzellan Münster, 2003.

-Mak van Waay, auction 21-23 December 1938 no: 31 with ill.

-Drs. Marion S. van Aken Fehmers / Dr. Loet Schledorn. Delfts aardewerk, de geschiedenis van een nationaal product. (1999) p. 158.

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