Lot 100. A large Arita Pronk ‘Dame au parasol’ dish, Edo period, late 17th century; 51 cm., 20 in. diam. Estimate 70,000 — 90,000 GBP. Courtesy Sotheby's.
the circular dish with wide rim decorated in iron-red, black, green and aubergine enamels and gilt on underglaze blue with the design known as la Dame au Parasol, the reverse with insects in iron-red.
Note: Cornelis Pronk was a Dutch draughtsman and porcelain designer. Born in 1691, he became a pupil of Jan van Houten and Arnold Boomen. He was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to make a series of designs to be used for porcelain. The first dawning was in 1734 and received in Batavia in 1735. This one (see below) was the only known design to be produced both in Japanese and Chinese porcelains and became known as La Dame au Parasol. In sending the drawings to Japan Volker records, “we are pleased that your Honours have had the drawings of porcelains, sent from this country, presented to the Japanese factors in order to test out whether the same can be made in Japan in conforming with the drawings.”1
Cornelis van Noorde (1731-1795), Portrait of the artist Cornelis Pronk, bust PK-T-760, Leiden University Library, PK-T-760.
Ontwerptekening voor en bord met een dame parasol, Cornelis Pronk, in or after 1734 - in or before 1736, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
However, it did not prove possible to agree a reasonable price with the Japanese potters and no orders were placed. In 1740, the merchants abandoned their attempts on orders of the Dutch East India directors. A small number of pieces were made in Japan and until now only dinner plates are known, Groninger Museum acquired a small saucer dish. Now unrecorded is this large dish which suggest, it was a private commission.
(1) T. Volker, The Japanese Porcelain Trade of the Dutch East India Company after 1683 (Leiden, 1959), p. 78–81.
For a similar example, see Soame Jenyns, Japanese Porcelain, (London, 1965), pl. 46A.