Pyramids of Makkum at Gallery Libby Sellers

A group of leading Dutch designers have been engaged to pay ceramic tribute to a set of 17th century flower pyramids, which have recently been restored.

Replica of a traditional pyramid. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers
Replica of a traditional pyramid. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers

Pyramid by Hella Jongerius. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers
Pyramid by Hella Jongerius. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers

The original tulip pyramids were decorative vases forged by designers in the image of porcelain imported to Holland from china by the Dutch East India tea company.

Pyramid by Studio Job. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers
Pyramid by Studio Job. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers

Dutch ceramicists Royal Tichelaar Makkum restored the pyramids for Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, and to celebrate the achievement, looked to Hella Jongerius, Jurgen Bey, Studio Job and Alexander Van Slobbe to create their own versions.

Pyramid by Jurgen Bey. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers
Pyramid by Jurgen Bey. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers

The results are these surreal totems, which totter around the rules of gravity, redefining the scarce Delftware pieces for today.

The designers will have worked in the knowledge that there are only a few surviving original pieces – made with Fiaence, a tin glazing technique. Some of the originals were made for Mary Stuart, spouse to Dutch Stadholder Prince William III, who in 1689, ascended the British throne.

Pyramid by Alexander van Slobbe, 2008. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers
Pyramid by Alexander van Slobbe, 2008. Photography Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Courtesy Gallery Libby Sellers

All four interpretive pieces will be on display in London next week, alongside a Royal Tichelaar Makkum replica of one of the restored pieces.

Pyramids of Makkum runs from 10 May -23 June at Gallery Libby Sellers on 41-42 Berners Street, London W1T

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