THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraeten was a pupil of Frans Hals, whose daughter he married in Amsterdam in 1654. He must have been in London little more than a decade later however, since Arnold Houbraken recorded that Roestraeten suffered a hip injury during the Great Fire in London of 1666. He is best-known for his carefully composed and highly finished still lifes of silver objects, sometimes with trompe-l'oeil overtones.
The different silver objects in this still life suggest that it was painted after van Roestraeten moved to London. To the far left, a remarkable example of an English Charles II porringer reveals its four silver maker's marks. Although the silver marks are hard to read, the Leopard's head town mark of London can be clearly observed (fourth mark). A painting by van Roestraeten with a similar porringer was sold, New York, Sotheby's, 18 May 2006, lot 87 (see fig. 1). The centre piece, an English silver ginger jar, is a beautiful example of which similar ones can be traced back in several other still lifes by van Roestraeten, for example on a work in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. SK-A-4189). Usually made in sets of three or five, it could be dated to the third quarter of the 17th Century and has been inspired by Dutch models based upon the shape of Chinese porcelain ginger jars (see fig. 2).
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