A Naturalistically Designed Kettle on Stand

This water kettle on stand has a naturalistic design, a style that became fashionable in Holland from 1750 onwards. The shapes are derived from the melon and pumpkin-like fruit. The three cast feet of the stand are shaped like gnarled branches with leaves in between. On top of the lid there is a finial shaped as a branch with leaves. The spout, swing handle and wooden grip of the kettle are also decorated with leaf patterns. On the handle, these are carved in the wood.

Commissioned by the city of Zierikzee

Hendrik van den Thoorn was commissioned by the city of Zierikzee to manufacture a silver kettle on a stand. It was a gift for Reverend Joannes van de Velde, who gave a speech on November 6, 1776, commemorating the city's liberation from Spanish besiegers in 1576.
Silver from Zierikzee is extremely rare, only a very view pieces are known.
As far as we know, this is the only known kettle on stand from Zierikzee.

Joannes van de Velde

Hendrik van den Thoorn

The silversmith Hendrik van den Thoorn (1770-1807) was born December 20, 1743 in Zierikzee and married Neeltje Puyt (born 1751 in Goes) in 1778. They lived in the Korte Sint Janstraat. Hendrik was the son of Cornelis van den Thoorn and had two children. From 1791 to 1793, he also served as aldermaster.

Madame de Pompadour

The origins of the naturalistic style in Dutch silver are largely due to Madame de Pompadour. In 1745, she became the mistress of French King Louis XV. A group of courtiers and financiers brought her to the attention of the king in order to influence him. And with success. She would become one of Louis XV's most famous maitresses. Her influence on the king was great. After Louis' defeat against Prussian King Frederick the Great in 1757, she spoke the historic words: Aprés nous le deluge. - After us the demise. Her gambling and gaming frenzy was legendary, though not exceptional for the time. But more importantly, she was very interested in the arts. Louis XV designated her as patroness of artists and writers. She showed great enthusiasm for the romantic ideas of the philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau and his "back to nature." Among other things, it inspired her to start raising chickens in the gardens of the Château de Versailles. Her attention to nature had a great influence on the artists and craftsmen of the time, who were inspired by nature. This kettle on stand is an excellent example of that.

The kettle, stand and burner are all fully marked with the Zierikzee mark, the mark for the province of Zeeland, the makers'mark, two wings under a crown for Hendrik van den Thoorn and the date letter Q. Also marked with the 1795 tax mark for Zierikzee.

Collection Joannes van de Velde (1722-1789)
Collection Machiel (or Michiel) van Gelder (1864-1929)
and thence by descent.


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