The Jan Menze van Diepen foundation has purchased a Chinese famille rose tap jug with “parasol ladies” of unique art-historical value and with special expressiveness.

The object, from around 1738, is of exceptional quality with an international significance. It is therefore an important addition to both the collection of the foundation and the Netherlands Collection.

Chinese famille rose tap jug with “parasol ladies”

The typical Dutch tap jug with a silver tap fitted in the Netherlands, has typical Chinese style elements and brings together several stories. About world trade by sea between Europe, Africa and Asia. About the interactions between world cultures, but also between clients and artists. About luxury, exoticism, fashion phenomena and status symbols.   The jug is European Chine de Commande, Chinese porcelain on order. The “parasol ladies” are named after the famous show, designed by the artist Cornelis Pronk (1691–1759). He made this for the Dutch East India Company. Two original drawings with this decor are kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Original Cornelis Pronk drawing with “parasol ladies” decor is kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. RP-T-1967-18

Rijksmuseum RP-T-1967-18

Pronck drew a chinoiserie, using Eastern elements that he combined in his own way. The set with his drawings were sent to Batavia in 1735 and from there to China. The design was used for eating and drinking utensils and was executed in underglaze in 1736–1738. blue, Chinese Imari and enamel colors. Porcelain was also made to this design in Japan, see for example the sign JMD-P-2558. The success was great but the costs high. After a short time, the VOC decided not to order this type of service.