Publication of the catalogue raisonné of the Chinese porcelain collection

When the famous Dutch art historian and connoisseur Frits Lugt (1884-1970) and his wife Jacoba Klever (1888-1969) decided to present their collections in the Hôtel Turgot in Paris, Chinese porcelain ranked among their priorities. They intended to give the French public an impression of Dutch Golden Age interiors and a porcelain cabinet had traditionally been part of Dutch material culture.

Cabinet for porcelain, Dining room of Hôtel Turgot, Paris
Cabinet for porcelain, Dining room of Hôtel Turgot, Paris
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris

Frits Lugt started assembling his Chinese porcelain collection when he lived in the Netherlands. After the Second World War, the couple settled in Paris, and Lugt continued his acquisitions from dealers or at auctions, in France and England.

{Dish}, Jingdezhen Kangxi, dated 1672
Dish, Jingdezhen Kangxi, dated 1672
Porcelain. – 27,4 cm (diam. of the rim)
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 6658

He bought a variety of pieces, either made for export or for domestic Chinese use. The result, permanently exhibited in the Fondation Custodia, is a small but exquisite collection of high-quality Chinese porcelain, ranging mainly from the 16th to the 18th centuries. It reflects the Dutch preference for Kraak, Transitional and Kangxi porcelain, but a few unusual or even unique non-export porcelains are also on display. Almost all of these pieces are decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Three Japanese works are included to complete the collection.

{Jar}, Jingdezhen Kangxi, 1685-1700
Jar, Jingdezhen Kangxi, 1685-1700
Porcelain. – 47 cm (h.), 21,7 cm (diam. of the rim)
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2021-C.2

The directors of the Fondation Custodia who succeeded Frits Lugt have added a number of porcelains to the collection. Ger Luijten acquired some items that he deemed missing, for example a complete garniture and a large Kangxi jar, plus an astonishing piece of Chine de commande: a trompe-l’œil plaque which imitates with extraordinary fidelity a framed Dutch print or drawing.

It was also Ger Luijten who set up the project for a catalogue raisonné of the Fondation Custodia’s collection of Chinese porcelain. This was to replace the small publication of 1981, illustrated mainly in black and white and written by Daan Lunsingh Scheurleer. This update was both necessary and possible thanks to the important scientific progress made in recent decades.

In this new catalogue, written by Christiaan J.A. Jörg, Dutch specialist on Chinese and Japanese porcelain, each of the 125 pieces is described in detail and placed in a scholarly context. Special attention is paid to iconography, inscriptions, and marks. A longer, informative essay elaborates on the history of the collection and shorter essays introduce each of the six sections into which the catalogue is chronologically divided. Every object has been photographed and reproduced from multiple angles, including the base that often reveals a lot of information about their manufacture.


Chinese and Japanese Porcelain in the Frits Lugt Collection
Catalogue raisonné
Christiaan J.A. Jörg
Paris, Fondation Custodia, 2023
272 pages, c. 430 colour illustrations, 28 × 25 cm, hardcover, in English
ISBN 9 782958 323431

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