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A very rare Indian Armorial Palempore Chintz for the Dutch Market

Coromandel coast, probably Sadraspatnam (Sadras), first half 18th century

Cotton, mordant- and resist-dyed, painted, 333 x 225 cm

“Palempore” refers to large chintzes laid on a bed or hung behind it. The present very large palempore in the centre shows a coat of arms with a redish salient deer in front of a green tree on the ground, the crest with a deer issuant. The mantling shows scrolling leaves and European style scrollwork in red and green, within a circle of flowers. In the corners of the white field four vases with large flower bouquets. The borders are decorated with undulating vines with flowers and leaves issuing from  large flowers and leaves in each corner and in the middle of the long sides.

The coat of arms probably belongs to Jacob Hartogh (Leiden, 30 October 1701 - Delft after 1756), a cloth manufacturer in Leiden. His father, Hendrik Hartogh, a cloth-shearer, emigrated from Bremen to Leiden at the end of the 17th century. He married Jannetje Pieters in 1701 and the couple had two sons, Jacob and Jan. Jacob, from 1740 till 1756, owned a cloth factory at the Turfmarkt in Leiden. In 1756 he sold the factory and settled in Delft. Jacob married twice, first to Katharina Paré (1697-?) in 1721, and secondly some time before 1735 to Marianne Petit (1708-?). His son from the first marriage, Michiel Hartogh, also became a cloth manufacturer in Leiden and his descendants held public posts in Delft and Rotterdam during the second half of the 18th century.

Jacob possibly ordered the palempore somewhere shortly before 1735. Jacob presumably also ordered an armorial chine de commande tea set, dated between 1730 and 1735, of which only some cups and saucers survive. The coat of arms on the tea set consists of  a tree on the ground with a yellow tripping deer in front, the crest with a yellow deer issuant, and the mantling with polychrome scrolling leaves (Dr. Jochem Kroes, Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market, Waanders Publishers, Zwolle 2007, pg. 168).

Several other similar armorial chintzes all bear the arms of Frisian and Groninger families; Goslinga (Rijksmuseum, inv. BK-1980-795), Burmania (Rijksmuseum, inv. BK-1980-98), Alberda-Horenken-van Berum, Rengers van Welderen, and Douma van Langweer (Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis, Sitsen uit India Indian Chintzes, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 1994). Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis dates these armorial chintzes to a short period between 1725 and 1730. The present  palempore appears to be the only one of this design, probably ordered by a family from the province of Holland. Armorial palempores with different designs are known from Holland and Zeeland.

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