A fine and rare, late-17th/early-18th century, English delftware bulb holder

September 18, 2019 2:40 pm Published by

The top with a central holder and four small holes surrounded by sponged decoration. Top and sides, edged with ropetwist. The tapering square sides moulded in relief with a female head wearing a shell-like diadem and with drapery festoons below the chin against aground of foliage. Standing on bun feet. Decorated in blue on a blue glaze. Restoration to finials and a crack. Probably London, circa 1700. 2064399.

Height : 18.00 cm.

This is the only, known, example of a large, monochrome delftware bulb holder in this style. However, the foliate decoration and the shape can associate this bulb holder with the three others, comprising a group of rare and important English pieces, probably attributed London which can be dated 1700-1715 :

– 01/03/93; lot 309; Christies, London. A polychrome example, circa 1700. 15 cm high, with only two sides moulded in relief, the other two simply painted. Provenance; private collection.

– 08/02/94; lot 9; Christies, London. A polychrome example, circa 1700. 9 cm high and with no moulding on the sides which were painted with simple floral decoration. Provenance; private collection.

– Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Glaisher Collection 1459. A polychrome example, circa 1700. 24.50 cm high, with only two sides moulded in relief, the other two simply painted.

Since no similar example appears to have been recorded, this is an extremely rare and important piece of English delftware. The quality of the decoration expresses the importance of the piece, which was made during a period when delftware became highly fashionable stimulated by Queen Mary’s great passion for the ware. It also reflects the height of Dutch influence on English delftware, in addition to displaying French influence as the female masks are reminiscent of the masks found in the borders of the “La Fecondite” dishes. This bulb holder was made to be placed in a prominent position within the home where it would have reflected the sophistication, exhuberance and grandeur of the times.

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This post was written by joecollinson