A Bird in the Pillory
The picture on this polychrome tile, which dates from 1620-1650, presents an enigma. On the left is a bird standing on a block, tied in three places to a pole, and on the right, behind the bird, is a young tree with two oranges.
This tree might refer to the motto of Stadtholder Maurice Count of Nassau (1567-1625, Prince of Orange from 1618), ‘Tandem fit surculus arbor’ (The sapling eventually becomes a tree), as found on rummers and napkins belonging to him that have been preserved. So the tile could refer to the conflict between Maurice and Grand Pensionary Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (1547-1619), which ultimately led to Oldenbarnevelt’s beheading.
Print and Tile
Tiles depicting Braziers
Paul van de Weijer
For centuries braziers were the largest group of tinkers. From the southern Netherlands and Belgium they spread over a vast area stretching from France to Denmark. Their trade was well organized. Various prints and tiles have been found showing these tinkers at work. However, as yet the author has been unable to discover any prints that served as models for tiles depicting travelling braziers.
Tiles and tile pictures by Cornelis Boumeester
Jan Pluis en Prosper de Jong
Cornelis Boumeester (1652-1733), painter at the tile works on Delftsevaart in Rotterdam, is principally known for his tile pictures with maritime themes. He also signed much of his work. A large number of unsigned tiles and tile pictures in different genres can now be attributed to him on the basis of his characteristic style of painting. Boumeester used various graphic models, including older prints as well as contemporary ones, by Daniël Marot (1661/64-1752) for instance. Another talented painter will have worked at the same tile works besides Boumeester.
Escher's Pillars Saved!
Dealing in tiles was a new activity among builder’s merchants in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In 1967 M.C. Escher (1898-1972) was commissioned to design tiles for two pillars at Baarnsch Lyceum, by architect Rudi Bleeker (born 1920), in Baarn. The pillars were clad with tiles depicting 'Birds and Fishes' and 'Flowers' in black and white, motifs that Escher frequently used when he wished to cover a surface with figures alternately forming each other's background. The tiles, made by Porceleyne Fles Pottery (Royal Delft) in Delft, were installed in March 1969.
When it became clear in 2008 that the school would be rebuilt, the decision was taken to remove the tiles carefully. During the summer break of 2010 they were reapplied on new pillars. As the pillars are no longer together in the same hall, motifs linking them were depicted on the floor and on discs on the ceiling.
Aart Jungerius, solicitor and tile collector in conversation with Tile editor Lejo Schenk
A.R. Jungerius, notary and solicitor in Rotterdam during his working life, accumulated a large collection of tiles, plates and shards found in the soil. Among the items it contains are important early Rotterdam tiles depicting mythological sea creatures. His collection was on display in a private museum in Rotterdam from 2002 till 2012, but is now kept in store. Aart Jungerius cherishes the hope that his offspring will keep the collection together.