A broken Delft blue dish, which is in a box in the attic somewhere in the Netherlands, turns out to be worth a fortune. The owner appeared with the sign on Monday evening in the TV program Tussen Kunst en Kitsch, which was recorded in the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede.
It is a small miracle that the man still has the dish in his possession. “I collect a bit myself, but this plate comes from an estate. The sign came to me about thirty years ago. I didn’t know what to do with the dish at first, so I just swapped it with friends. Years later, I came to people’s homes to buy a series of Delft plates, and this copy came along again.”
The plate does not have a good place in the living room or in the kitchen for the man. “I don’t have room for it, so it’s in a box. I’m not going to leave a broken plate at home, am I? Then it is very bad for me.”
Rembrandt among Delft ceramics
Appraiser Robert Aronson thinks very differently about this. He raves about ‘the broken plate’. “Boys, this is Rembrandt of Delft Pottery. This is so incredibly rare, with such incredible sophistication.” Has he ever seen anything so special on the TV show before? “No, never really. This is a dream come true!”
According to the art expert, the plate was made somewhere around 1670 by Jacob Wemmersz. Hoppesteyn. “Not much is known about this man. We did a census years ago. We came up with 44 marked pieces, but this dish was not included. There are undoubtedly some still floating around somewhere, but I suspect that there are at most 50 marked pieces of Delftware by him worldwide.”
Because of its rarity, according to Aronson, it doesn’t matter if the board is damaged. “It’s like when you discover a Rembrandt and say ‘there’s a stain on it’. Yes, you no longer see that place, you discover a Rembrandt. That is actually also the case here.”
The cracks can be repaired, he said. “I wanted to have a museum restoration carried out. On the back you can still see the fracture lines, but on the front it is made invisible. Then you have a beautiful picture with a fantastic story.”
Board turns out to be worth a fortune
No less than 1,749,000 viewers finally got to know how much the painting, which is in a box somewhere in the Netherlands, is really worth. “Even in this situation, I dare say with dry eyes that the right is worth 30,000 euros.” The owner himself is naturally surprised. “I never expected this. How much money!”
Incidentally, the considerable amount does not come close to the record: in 2011, a participant came with the canvas Het Kantwerkstertje by the painter Joost van Geel. It was valued at no less than 250,000 euros.
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