Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Delft (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1695 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Greek A factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in blue

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Sir Isidore Spielmann, CMG

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56c, case 3 []

Object Type
This flower vase originally consisted of a separate base and seven stackable tiers (one of which is now missing). Each tier could hold water and each of its six spouts could hold a few cut flowers. Although the idea of making a ceramic pyramid originated in The Netherlands, the shape of such monumental vases was probably derived from a Chinese pagoda.

The arms and motto of John Churchill (1650-1722) as Earl of Marlborough are incorporated in the painted decoration on the base of this object. Churchill held the title of Earl from 1689 until he became the 1st Duke of Marlborough in 1702. The motto 'FIEL PERO DESDICADO' ('Faithful, though unfortunate') is accompanied by symbolic figures of Justice, Faith, Charity and Wisdom.

Mary II (1662-1694) introduced the fashion for Dutch delftware to England when she returned from The Netherlands in 1689. Mary herself ordered large amounts of wares from Adrianus Kocx, proprietor of the prestigious 'Greek A' factory in Delft from 1686 to 1701. At the time of her death, she owed him £122 14s 9d for 'Dutch China or ware'. William III used splendid Delft pieces as royal gifts to his English nobles.

Materials & Making
Dutch blue and white earthenware imitated the highly fashionable Chinese porcelain that was imported in large quantities.

Place of Origin

Delft (made)


ca. 1695 (made)


Greek A factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted in blue

Marks and inscriptions

Marked with the monogram of Adrianus Kocx (died in Delft, 1701)


Height: 114.3 cm including replacement piece, Width: 33.7 cm base, Depth: 36 cm, Height: 95.0 cm after removal of wood finial in 1999, Width: 34.0 cm viewed from front, Depth: 32.0 cm viewed from front

Object history note

Made for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, while Earl of Marlborough (born in Ashe, Devon, 1650, died at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1722), whose arms and motto appear on the base Made at the 'Greek A' Factory, Delft, The Netherlands

Descriptive line

Flower Pyramid, tin glazed-earthenware, Delft, Netherlands, ca. 1695

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Aken Fehmers, M.van, Erkelens, W., & Dumortier, C.,Vases with Spouts: Three Centuries of Splendour(Waanders Publishers: Zwolle, 2007
Lomax, James. Baroque forms and decoration on English Pottery 1640-1760. A paper read at the weekend seminar Fire and Form – The Baroque and its influence on English Ceramics, c. 1660-1760, 26th-27th March 2011, published English Ceramics Circle, 2013, pp171-208. Illustrated fig. 65, 195p, together with another similar example at Castle Howard, fig. 66.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Dutch blue and white earthenware (known as delftware) was made in imitation of the Chinese porcelain that was imported in large quantities and had become highly fashionable. This pyramid consists of seven stacking tiers that can hold water. Each tier has spouts in the shape of lizards to hold several flowers. [27/03/2003]


Ceramics; Delftware


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.