Delft, circa 1760
The Two Ships pottery
Mark: AP, period of Anthonij Pennis (1750-1770) or his widow Rachel Overgaauw-Pennis (1770-1782)
The two modelled reclining cows lie on a base and have their heads turned to each other. The cows are accented in blue, their hooves are painted purple. The neck and body of the cows are decorated with polychrome garlands of flowers and a flower with leaves is applied just above the tails. The sides of the green base are marbled in purple, green, yellow, and brown-red.
Dimensions: height 12,5 cm / 4.92 in., length 17,5 cm / 6.88 in., width 8 cm / 3.14 in.
A pair of reclining cows from The Greek A pottery are in the Lavino collection (p. 58). Two similarly decorated cows, but differently modelled, were auctioned at Sotheby’s Amsterdam in 1997 (p. 103, lot 562). Christie’s Amsterdam auctioned in the same year a different polychrome set (lot 403).
Together with dogs, horses and parrots, cows are the most frequently modelled animals in eighteenth century Dutch Delftware. They were put on the market between 1740 and 1780 and were produced by nearly every Delftware pottery. Only two types are known: a reclining cow and a standing cow. The latter could be made as a milking group, together with a farmer and his wife. The two types were executed in a great variety of form, dimension and colour combination. They can be monochrome white, blue and white, or polychrome. Some monochrome white models were cold-painted. Outside Delft, figures of cows were also made on a small scale in tile factories in Amsterdam. The use of floral wreaths on cows or bulls harks back to a seventeenth century custom. Every year the butchers guild held a parade with the prize-winning cows and bulls, which were lavishly adorned with flowers and floral wreaths (Eliëns, p. 236).
Christie’s Amsterdam, European ceramics, Dutch Delftware and glass, 2355, 10 December 1997 (sale 2355), Amsterdam 1997
T.M. Eliëns, Delfts aardewerk. Geschiedenis van een nationaal product, deel II, Zwolle/The Hague 2001
M. Lavino, The Lavino collection, Antwerp n.d.
Sotheby’s Amsterdam, European Ceramics, Dutch Delftware and glass, 7 October 1997 (sale AM 677), Amsterdam 1997
Price on request