Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1701 to 1703, or his widow Johanna van der Heul, the owner of the factory from 1703 to 1722
Polychrome Petit Feu and Gilded Garnitur, circa 1710
Heights: 6.7 to 9.1 inches (17 to 23 cm.)
This Delftware seven-piece garniture set is extremely rare. It is marked for Pieter Adriaensz. Kocx, the owner of De Grieksche A (The Greek A) factory from 1701 to 1703, or his widow Johanna van der Heul from 1703 until 1722. De Grieksche A was one of the most famous factories in the city of Delft. The garniture set is decorated in the Japanese Kakiemon color palette. Colorful Imari and Kakiemon Japanese porcelain wares reached the Netherlands between 1660 and 1670. They were immensely popular, yielding high prices and inspiring Delft potters to emulate the colorful designs. Delft potters were particularly driven to reproduce the delicate pastels of the Kakiemon porcelains, experimenting with various color and firing techniques to achieve the Japanese style. The so-called petit feu firing was one technique that allowed Delft potters to expand their color palette, and was first used in the early eighteenth century. The technique requires three firings, allowing the potter to use colors that could not withstand high temperatures in the kiln during the second firing (grand feu). The gold and enamel paints were applied after the biscuit firing, followed by the tin glazing and the transparent glaze that added extra gloss. With the petit feu colors on top of the glaze, the objects were fired again at a lower temperature in a smaller kiln. The painted objects, such as the present garniture, were very colorful and delicate, however the additional firing made them expensive to produce and sell.