This extraordinary Delft tile mural was made around 1770 by pottery Aalmis in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. It depicts a winter landscape scene in manganese, captured in a blue border with a marble pattern. The quality of the artwork is of an unmatched superiority which the Aalmis pottery achieved during the 2nd half of the 18th century. The scene is based on an engraving by Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694 - 1774). He was a collector of and dealer in old master prints, a renowned connoisseur, especially of prints and drawings, and a chronicler of the careers of French Italian and Flemish artists. He was born and died in Paris, and was a central figure in the artistic culture of the city for decades. Piere-Jeanne Mariette based the engraving on a drawing by Claude Simpol (1666 - 1711).
These scenes are in Dutch often referred to as 'ijspret', which can be translated as 'having fun on ice'. Although not all of the people in this scene are having fun, it is for us as spectators a very entertaining scene. The woman in the center just slipped and fell, being the main attraction for many. Such as the dog, who wastes no time and starts enjoying the spilled milk. Or the two children, carrying kolf sticks, who quietly chuckle while pointing at the lady. The man at the front most likely tried to prevent her from falling, but at the same time eggs fall out of his basket. Or was it hers and is he trying to save the ones that did not break yet? Another child depicted in the lower right corner, holding a kolf stick, is looking at the scene in a somewhat stunned kind of way. Many more interesting things are happening in the background, such as the young children enjoying a snowball fight. The strong man on ice skates pulling a sledge with two ladies and of course the man completely at the left emptying his bladder.
The mural measures approximately 35.7" (w) by 25.5" (h) or 91 cm (w) by 65 cm (h). It is in a very good condition with some professional restorations. They are mainly done at the lower side (the blue marble pattern). It also has some restorations in the scene, although they are mainly superficial. The rear side shows that a few tiles have glued fractures (such as C24 & C29). These fractures were repaired and restored. Tile murals this age almost always come with restorations like these. Given the size and age of this specific piece, we can conclude that it is overall in a very good condition.
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1981 | Part of the Liefhebber collection, the Netherlands
1981 - 2023 | Part of a private collection, Germany
|Production area (city)
|Size mural (approx.)
|35.7" (w) by 25.5" (h) or 91 cm (w) by 65 cm (h)
About Regts - Delft Tiles
We are a family firm specialized in Delft tiles. Our stock covers the entire production period, which started around 1570 and ended just after 1900. If you are interested in working with us, please always feel free to get in touch.