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Pilgrim's Flask

DELFT (Netherlands)



Circa 1690

H. 38,5 cm

Marked AK on the base for Adrianus Kocx owner of the "De Grieksche A" workshop,

between 1687 and 1701.

Related examples

New Heaven, Yale University Art Galery, 2005.141.5a-d



The teardrop-shaped oval body molded on either side with a grotesque mask wearing a feathered headdress pierced at the front.   

Both sides painted in the center with a Tudor rose between panels of flowering plants between horizontal bands of pierced trefoil an dentil devices below a wide border of similar Tudor roses, quatrefoil flowerheads and smaller blossom-and-leaf sprigs repeated as a border on the oval foot above a band of overlapping petals on the edge of the footrim, the tall cylindrical neck lightly molded with a horizontal midrib and painted on the front and reverse with a floral spray.  


De Grieksche A (The Greek A) is considered as one of the most famous and prestigious Delftware factories of the Dutch Golden Age. The different owners have contributed, each their own way, to build what became a real institution. 

Its production spread to the interiors of a very wealthy clientele. The excavation in the Paleis het Loo have shown that the delicate blue and white objects that were created during his ownership were also highly appreciated by the House of Orange.

In 1685, Adrianus Kocx became the owner of the factory.  His ownership corresponds to the creation of a wide variety of new shapes. Some of the designs have the particularity to have been borrowed from the French architect Daniel Marot. 

In 1685, he became the official architect of William III, Prince of Orange, who entrusted him with the decoration of his residence, Paleis Het Loo. In order to decorate the palace, Queen Mary, who developed an unequalled passion for Delftware, commissioned many objects from De Grieksche A. Short after the death of Samuel van Eenhoorn, the former owner of De Grieksche A, the royal couple moved to Hampton Court Palace in Britain. 

According to Van Dam, this type of flask may have been “part of a table service. The flattened round shape has been borrowed from an originally mid 16th century Italian idea”. The unusual decoration on this bottle was taken from a Chinese export porcelain design of the Kangxi period.

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