Not currently on display at the V&A

Flower Pyramid

ca. 1695 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 11 parts.

  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
  • Flower Pyramid
Materials and Techniques
Tin-glazed earthenware, painted
Brief Description
Tin-glazed earthenware flower pyramid, painted in cobalt-blue, Delft, about 1695.
Physical Description
Tin-glazed earthenware flower pyramid, painted in cobalt-blue.
Dimensions
  • Height: 160cm
  • Width: 33.7cm
  • Depth: 36cm
Object history
From North Mymms Park, Hatfield, and probably made for the 1st Duke of Portland at the "Greek A" factory of Adrianus Koeks at Delft.
Production
Attribution note: One of a pair
Subjects depicted
Summary
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.

Associated Object
C.19-1982 (Pair)
Bibliographic References
  • 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.
Collection
Accession Number
C.96 to J-1981

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 25, 2002
Record URL