A CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN 'SICHTERMAN' SUGAR BOWL AND COVER, KANDIJPOT
Yongzheng period, circa 1730-1735
Both the bowl and the lid decorated in iron-red, blue, yellow and green enamels and gold, showing a squirrel in profile eating a nut, surrounded by bamboo and floral sprays, the bowl restored.
W. 13.7 x H. 11 cm
The shape of this Chine de commande bowl and cover copies a European model sugar bowl and belonged probably to one of the first of altogether eight services ordered by Jan Albert Sichterman (1692-1764), and sent to the Netherlands from about 1730 onwards on board Dutch East Indiamen, but also on Swedish, English and Ostend ships.
Jan Albert Sichterman was the richest man of Groningen after his return in 1744 from the East Indies and was called “de Koning van Groningen”.
After a duel for which Jan Albert, as a soldier, would probably have been convicted in a court-martial, he had to escape the country and in 1716 sailed for the East Indies. There he had a brilliant career in the Dutch factories on the Ganges river in Bengal. First in Houghly from 1717 till 1723, then as head of the factory in Cassimbasar from 1725 till 1734 and finally as Director of Bengal in Houghly till 1744. In 1721 he had married Sibylla Volkera Sadelijn (1699-1781) in Houghly, daughter of Jacob Sadelijn who was Jan Albert’s predecessor as Director of Bengal, and Anna Françoise Pelgrom, daughter of Jacob Pelgrom (see item 39), Director of Bengal from 1701 till 1705. Jan Albert set up a silk and cotton weaving mill and had a significant impact on the trade of cotton and silk fabrics to the Netherlands. However, his fortune he made in private (illegal) trade and smuggling.
After his death in 1764, most of his belongings were auctioned including a total of over 4000 pieces of porcelain, including probably about 400 pieces of armorial porcelain.