c. 1665 - c. 1685
Tin-glazed earthenware (faience or 'Dutch Delft'), painted with in-glaze cobalt blue and manganese black, in a painted and gilded wooden frame.
435 mm (height) x 480 mm (width)
Place of origin
DelftOrder this image
William Blathwayt could justifiably be described as a 17th century ‘Hollandophile’. Dyrham Park, his country seat in Gloucestershire, is essentially a Dutch house and the garden was laid out in the fashionable Dutch baroque style. Blathwayt even spoke the language, which was useful for a man who served as minister to the Dutch King of England, William III. It also came in very handy in his negotiations for the many objects he purchased whilst travelling with the King on official royal duties in the Netherlands. Dyrham Park was completely renovated between 1692 and 1704, giving Blathwayt the opportunity to display his many Dutch acquisitions, including paintings and prints and his fabulous collection of Delft ‘blue and white’ ceramics. The colours were in imitation of the fine and highly prized Chinese porcelain imported into Europe during this time. This unusually large Delft plaque, one of a pair, also introduces another Asian motif. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company’s expedition to China, it is decorated with exotic banana, pineapple and date palms, along with a crane and pagoda in the background. The image was copied from a plate in a book about China by Johan Nieuhof, published in Amsterdam in 1665. It also perfectly illustrates the cross cultural influences that characterised European art and design during this period. In this case, it provided a Dutch view on China within an English historic house.
Tile, one of a pair (see also NT 452248), glazed earthenware, rectangular, decorated in blue and white with a Chinese landscape scene including a palm tree, a pineapple plant and a banana plant, Delft, possibly De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory, 1665-85.
The image copied from a plate in Johan Nieuhof, Gezantschap der Neerlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie aan den grooten Tartarischen Cham, den tegenwoordigen keizer van China ... (An embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperor of China ...), Amsterdam, 1665. References: Emile de Bruijn, Borrowed Landscapes: China and Japan in the Historic Houses and Gardens of Britain and Ireland, London, Philip Wilson Publishers in association with the National Trust, 2023, pp. 28-9 (fig. 10), and see further references listed there.
Acquired by William Blathwayt (c. 1649-1717) and thence by descent; purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1956 and transferred to the National Trust in 1961.