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Flower pyramid

  • Place of origin:

    Delft (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1695 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Greek A factory (makers)
    Metalen Pot factory (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware, painted

  • Museum number:

    C.96 to J-1981

  • Gallery location:

    On short term loan out for exhibition []

At the end of the 17th century there was a great craze for tulips in Holland. To cater for this, the ingenious potters at Delft, particularly the 'Greek A' factory, produced huge pyramids of stacking flower holders. Normally produced in pairs, they were highly decorative additions to palaces and country houses, with or without their flowers. They were particularly popular in England in the circle of courtiers around King William III of Orange.
'Pyramid' is the word commonly used during the 17th and 18th century for obelisk. As symbols of eternity and rule, they we often used in architecture and as celebratory, temporary structures in public spaces and gardens.
This vase is one of a pair, each consisting of a base, supported by four royal lions with a globe in their paws, nine tiers of square flower holders with a spout on every corner and a finial in the shape of a female bust. Each tier could be filled with water and flowers would be placed in every spout. Even the finial has holes in the top of the head intended for more flowers.

Physical description

Tin-glazed earthenware flower pyramid, painted in cobalt-blue.

Place of Origin

Delft (made)


ca. 1695 (made)


Greek A factory (makers)
Metalen Pot factory (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware, painted


Height: 160 cm, Width: 33.7 cm, Depth: 36 cm

Object history note

From North Mymms Park, Hatfield, and probably made for the 1st Duke of Portland at the "Greek A" factory of Adrianus Koeks at Delft.

Descriptive line

Tin-glazed earthenware flower pyramid, painted in cobalt-blue, Delft, about 1695.

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

Hildyard, Robin. European Ceramics. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 185177260X
Aken Fehmers, M.van, Erkelens, W., & Dumortier, C.,Vases with Spouts: Three Centuries of Splendour(Waanders Publishers: Zwolle, 2007
Liefkes, Reino and Hilary Young, eds. Masterpieces of World Ceramics.. London: V & A Publishing, 2008. pp.82-83, ill ISBN 9781 851 775279.

Production Note

Attribution note: One of a pair


Tin glaze; Earthenware; Paint


Painting; Glazing

Subjects depicted

Figures (representations); Dogs; Floral patterns


Ceramics; Earthenware; Delftware


Ceramics Collection

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