Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Tulip Vase

"Grieksche A" Workshop, led by Adrianus Kocx, ca. 1694
Hampton Court Palace, Royal Collection Trust, London

Never has a material become so intertwined with a specific episode in Dutch and European history as Delft pottery and the Glorious Revolution – the assumption of the English throne by Stadholder William III and Mary Stuart II. After Mary Stuart II married her first cousin William III in 1677, when she was just 15 years old, she is said to have fallen in love with the blue and white earthenware that was so popular in the Netherlands. She placed orders to decorate their Dutch palaces, Honselaersdijk and Het Loo. When William and Mary succeeded Mary’s Catholic uncle James II to the throne of England, she took her love of Delftware with her to England. Among the items she ordered were these flower pyramids, decorated with busts and heraldic references to William III. Her patronage led to a brief but fierce “love affair” between the leading Delft potteries and the Protestant English nobility, who demonstrated their allegiance to William and Mary by purchasing flower pyramids.

Femke Diercks, Head of Decorative Arts, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Femke Diercks on two tulip vases from the collection of the Rijksmuseum

Podcast ‘In het Rijksmuseum’ (29 mins, in Dutch)

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