Circa 1778-82
12.8 cm. high, 17.2 cm across
Marked M:ol in underglaze blue

Decorated with a particularly fine and abundant bouquet of flowers dominated by a large head of a viburnum, with chrysanthemum and dianthus. The other side is more sparsely decorated with a tulip.

The late 18th century was a time of increased fascination with flowers collected from around the world. For instance, the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg, a pupil of Linnaeus, travelled to Japan as a surgeon with the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, V.O.C.) on board the ship, the Schoonzicht. He had been encouraged to collect specimens for the Botanic Garden at Leiden. Due to his scientific reputation, he was allowed to accompany the Dutch ambassador on a trip to the shogun’s court in Edo (modern day Tokyo) where he was able to collect botanical specimens. He arrived back in Amsterdam in 1778 with five hydrangea plants. He later published his Flora Japonica in 1784. This teapot would have been made very soon after the return of Thunberg to The Netherlands and perhaps reflects the enthusiasm for beautiful new additions to European horticulture.

This teapot represents the very finest quality of floral painting from Loosdrecht. A tea service of similar quality can be seen in the Rijksmuseum (BK-1958-1) and is illustrated in Loosdrechts porcelain 1774-1784 (p. 126, 210 plate 127).


Good, no restoration 

Christie’s Amsterdam, 6 November 1990
Ex collection I.S. de Vries

W. M. Zappey, A. L. den Blaauwen, A. W. A. van der Goes, A. C. Pronk, Loosdrechts porselein, 1774-1784, (Waanders, 1988)