'The Pyramids of Makkum' tulip vase
(Job Smeets, born Belgium, 1970; Nynke Tynagel, born Netherlands, 1977)
Edition of 7
Lent by Royal Tichelaar Makkum, Netherlands
Tulip vases, for the display of cultivated cut flowers, became status objects for European royalty and nobility in the late 17th century. Royal Tichelaar Makkum, the oldest ceramic firm in the Netherlands, restored a tulip vase in the Rijksmuseum and then invited four contemporary designers to create new versions. They all loosely conform to the pyramid or pagoda shape of the original vase and use the same materials and techniques.
The Rijksmuseum vase is almost identical to a pair of vases in the V&A (Museum No. C.19-1982).