Tea caddy

ARTIST / MAKER: Cornelis Pronk (decorator) Design attributed to Pronk as design for the Dutch East India Company (VOC)
DATE: ca.1745 (made)
PLACE: Unknown
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted with enamels

Cornelis Pronk was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and porcelain designer who for many years travelled around the Dutch republic sketching views of cities, towns, and landscapes. With his pupils, he produced over 700 drawings for Het verheerlykt Nederland (The Glorified Netherlands), a multi-volume work published in 1745-1774 documenting the provinces of the Dutch Republic.

In 1734 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) commissioned Pronk to produce designs that could be copied onto Chinese porcelain and exported to the West. Four official designs were made; lady with a parasol, the doctors, the arbour, with the 4th believed to be the trumpeter. Due to the high cost of production, the VOC ended the deal in 1740 but his designs remained popular and many copies were produced.

The Trumpeter service is likely to have been for a private order received by Pronk through the VOC, as there are close similarities to the shape of European tea services being produced in the 1740s, as well as the choice of subject matter.