Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Inkstand


Made by De Grieksche A (The Greek A), Delft,, 1657 - 1818. Under Pieter Kocx, active at De Grieksche A (The Greek A) 1701-3, or his widow, Johanna Kocx-van der Heul, active at De Grieksche A (The Greek A) 1701-22.

Made in Delft, Netherlands, Europe


Tin-glazed earthenware with polychrome decoration

5 3/4 × 7 3/4 × 4 1/4 inches (14.6 × 19.7 × 10.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund, 1965

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This inkstand is equipped with a candleholder in the center and compartments for ink, feather quills, and a sand shaker that is used to stop ink from spreading. It is elaborately decorated in the Chinese style. The border, extending around all four sides, displays chrysanthemums and leaves made in the reserve technique, in which the background---rather than the motif---is painted.

Additional information:
  • PublicationDelft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    This inkstand is an object of fine quality made for practical use. It has all the components a writer of that period would require. Equipped with a candleholder in the center, the ink-stand has separate compartments for ink, feather quills, and a sand shaker used to blot ink. Green, red, and blue lines along the edges emphasize its rectangularity, which imitates the shape of more expensive silver or brass inkwells. The inkstand is profusely decorated in chinoiserie style, successfully blending a European shape with Japanese decoration in both the lavish and dense Imari style and the spare and delicate Kakiemon style.

    The inkstand rests on four ball feet. In the front, a trough with a raised edge, decorated with crossed blue feathers tied by flowing red ribbons, leaves no doubt where quills should be kept. The sides of the piece are decorated with a bird with a blue breast, green wings, a read head, and a blue beak sitting on a bough. On each side of the candleholder are two small holes for quills. The rear of the stand is decorated with an asymmetrical design of flowers, leaves, and vines on a white background. A beautifully painted scroll border extends around all four sides and is decorated with chrysanthemums and leaves in reserve technique. Ella B. Schaap, from Delft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2003), p. 22.