Back to Home Page
General information about the Firm
Works of Art
The Collection


The World Art & Antiques Fair

13 - 21 November 1999
Hall 3, Messe Basel

supported by TEFAF

* * *

It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of a new art and antiques fair: CULTURA Basel -The World Art & Antiques Fair to be held from 13 - 21 November 1999.

CULTURA Basel is an exciting new world-class event on the international art calendar, organised by Cultura Management Ltd.. This Fair is built on the successful reputation established by the international art & antiques fair, TEFAF Basel, held in this city since 1995. CULTURA aims to have the same high standards of quality and vetting which have been the hallmarks of TEFAF Basel.

CULTURA Basel represents many facets of the art-dealing world. Of particular note will be the world's largest gathering of top-quality dealers in classical Roman, Greek and Egyptian antiques, as well as an important presence of specialists in Asian, Pre-Colombian and Ethnographic art. The Fair also aims to excel in European art and antiques, ranging from late Gothic times to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and will include an important section of books and illuminated manuscripts. And last but not least, at CULTURA Basel, there will be a strong emphasis on 20th-century design, applied art and jewellery.

The Fair will be held in Hall 3 of the Messe Basel, the location originally planned for TEFAF Basel 1999. This new venue will have exhibitors on two floors and provides a convenient new departure and ambience for the first CULTURA Basel. On show will be a rich variety of top quality works of art from all corners of the world, presented by leading international dealers, making it a true World Art & Antiques Fair. To make the Fair more visitor-friendly, dealers have been grouped into specific sections.

One of the aims of CULTURA is to stablish close co-operation and working relationships between dealers, museums and collectors. In this respect, the Fair will break new ground by inviting both private foundations and museums to participate in the Fair, enabling them to exhibit part of their collections which are not for sale but to be enjoyed by the visitor. For 1999, the organisation, is delighted to welcome the Foundation Leschot from Bern, Switzerland, and the Vitra Design Museum from Weil am Rheim, Germany; world-renowned for its collection of 20th-century design. This new Fair has attracted strong sponsorship, in particular the Swiss bank, UBS, which is the main long-term sponsor.


The members of the Committee of Honour, with Chairman Prof. Dr. Franz Blankart - former Secretary of State, are Dr. Stefan Cornaz, Richard Dreyfus, Ulla Dreyfus-Best, Esther Grether, Dr. Katia Guth-Dreyfus, Robert A. Jeker, Hans König, Eldo G. von Lenske, Rosemarie Pauls and Dr.George Ségal. The President of CULTURA Management is Dr. Bernhard Hammer. Co-Chairmen are Miklos von Bartha and Ben Janssens. Clemens van der Ven is Honorary President of CULTURA Basel.


The Private Preview of the first CULTURA Basel Fair is on Friday 12 November at 6 p.m. by invitation or by purchasing a special Private Preview ticket at the entrance.


It is worthwhile to visit one of the 27 museums, many with an international reputation, located in the city of Basel. They include the 'Antikenmuseum', the only Swiss museum devoted exclusively to Classical Antiquity; the 'Kunstmuseum', the first publicly owned art collection in Europe, the Tinguely Museum with its intriguing sculptures and the 'Museum für Gegenwartskunst' with works on display dating from the 1960s to the present. The Beyeler Foundation composes of around 150 Classical Modern paintings and sculptures, and is housed in a museum designed by the internationally renowned architect Renzo Piano. For more information please contact the tourist office in Basel, telephone +41 - 61 - 268 68 68.


The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries from the People's Republic of China, National Gallery of Art, Washington, U.S.A., from 19 September 1999 to 2 January 2000. Most of the 175 works to be seen in this exhibition, were created as funerary objects for the dead to use and enjoy in the afterlife. These objects have been excavated from tombs since 1955 and include almost 100 objects discovered in the 1980s and 1990s. Representing the earliest and best for each medium or type, many have never before been shown in the United States or outside of China. The exhibition is accompanied by a 500-page fully illustrated catalogue with essays by leading scholars in early Chinese art and archaeology. Web-site:

After Washington the exhibition moves to:
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 13 February to 7 May 2000.
- Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 17 June to 11 September 2000.


- CULTURA Basel Hall 3, Messe Basel, Basel, Switzerland
13 - 21 November 1999
Private Preview: Friday 12 November 1999.

- TEFAF Maastricht MECC Maastricht, the Netherlands
18 - 26 March 1999
Private Preview: Friday 17 March 2000.

- The Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair Grosvenor House, Park Lane Hotel, London, UK
14 - 20 June 2000
Private Preview 13 June 2000.

- The International Ceramics Fair Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, UK
16 - 19 June 2000.

- Visit our web-site on Internet

- E-mail


Vanderven & Vanderven Oriental Art is a long-established Dutch firm specialised in Asiatic art with an emphasis on Chinese and Japanese export porcelain, early bronzes and terracotta objects dating from as early as 3000 BC, Chinese works of art and colonial furniture. This Newsletter gives an introduction to our collection which will be on show at CULTURA Basel 1999, where we would like to welcome you personally to our trademark blue stand.


Height 80 cm
China, Han Dynasty 206 BC - AD 220
TL test Oxord no. C298b22
Price on request

In 206 BC, after the collapse of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), it was Liu Bang who named himself the first Emperor of the Han Dynasty. He was posthumously known as Gaodi and ruled from 206 to 195 BC. Gaodi retained the centralised administrative system bequeathed by the Qin Dynasty, as well as many of their laws. One of the main contributions of the Han Dynasty to imperial China was its gradual development of the civil service and the structure of central and provincial government. Furthermore, the beginning of the new Dynasty was a period of enormous expansion and defense of the empire in which the Chinese army played a significant role. In those days it was not unusual for foreigners to enlist in the Chinese army. This terracotta figure with bulging eyes, large mouth and nose is probably a foreigner dressed in typical Chinese armour. A similar figure, without a shield, can be found in the collection of the Tsui Museum in Hong Kong.

- The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong 1993, illus 53 (for a similar figure without a shield dating from a later period) (ISBN 962-7504-03-3). - Spirit of Han,, Singapore 1991, illus. 64, 65, 66 (ISBN 981 00 2961-6).

Height 68.8 and 69.4 cm
China, Tang Dynasty 618 - 907
TL Test Oxford

From the middle of the seventh century onwards, these 'Heavenly Kings' or Lokapalas were placed in the tombs to protect the deceased from bad spirits. The ferocious figures, with violent gestures, bulging eyes, and bared teeth are trampling a demon, to ward off the evil spirits. As true guards, they are wearing a magnificent armour and an elaborate head-dress topped with a pheasant-like bird.

- The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong 1993, illus. 113 and 116 (ISBN 962-7504-03-3).

Height jug 18 cm
Diameter basin 23 cm
China, Qianlong Period 1736 - 1795

This Chinese porcelain jug and basin are skilfully decorated in opaque enamels with foliate-scroll cartouches enclosing eagle and fish emblems flanked by flowers and fruit, all in a style reminiscent of French faience. The jug and cover are hinged with an eighteenth-century European foliate silver thumb-piece. If, as once was supposed, these cartouches symbolise Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, it must have been without their permission. They hardly would have agreed to such a pun on Mme Pompadour's low-born name 'poisson' (fish) once in power.

- D. Howard and J. Ayers, China for the West, London/New York 1978, page 443, for a plate with similar decoration (ISBN 0 8 5667 0359).

Height 20.7 cm; Length 30.5 cm
China, Han Dynasty 206 BC - AD 220

The Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220) established its capital at Chang'an, north west of modern Xi'an. It is known that it took over 90 years to build this city into a true metropolis, covering an area of 6,500 hectares. In 1956 excavations of Chang'an started providing us with information about the city, its buildings, streets and farmlands.
Just like town excavations, Han tombs with grave goods, supply us with an invaluable insight of that time. The function of these miniaturised earthenware replicas of almost everything known in life, was to serve the deceased in life after death. Clearly visible on the flat top of this u-shaped cooking stove are two conical openings terminating in rounded bases, some utensils and a circular chimney with domed lid moulded in the form of mountain peaks. The flat top has some original unglazed marks resulting from up-side-down placement in the kiln during firing.

- The Spirit of Han, Singapore 1991, page 140-141 (ISBN 981 00 2961-6). - W. Watson, Pre-Tang Ceramics of China. Chinese Pottery from 4000 BC to 600 AD, London 1991 illus. 143 (ISBN 0-571-15433-6).

Height ewer 28.5 cm; Diameter saucer 34.5 cm
China, Kangxi Period 1662 - 1722
Price on request

This Chinese porcelain helmet-shaped ewer is modelled after a late 17th or early 18th-century European metal original which was used for abutulons or pouring wine. The ewer is moulded with a mask and headdress underneath the spout, following the metal original. Like the metal proto-type the porcelain ewer is accompanied by a saucer in famille verte. The word famille vertwas invented by Albert Jacquemart and Edmond le Blant in an article published in 1862, and is accepted as part of the international ceramic vocabulary. The technique of famille verte is a further development of wucai (five-coloured) wares of the Ming period, with the exception of turquoise blue, which was replaced for a more purplish blue. Famille verte reached its apogee under the years of Zang Yingxuan, who was appointed director of the porcelain factories in Jingdezhen in 1683.

- M. Beurdeley, Porzellan aus China. Compagnie des Indes, München 1962, illus. 115.
- M.A. Pinto de Matos, Chinese Export Porcelain from the Museum of Anastácio Gonçalves, Lisbon, London/Lisbon 1996, illus. 110, 123 and 124 (ISBN 0 85667 448 6).

Height 9.5 cm Diameter 41.7 cm
China, circa 1735
Price: on request

This decoration is the second drawing which Cornelis Pronk (1691-1759) made for the Dutch East India Company (V.O.C.) and has traditionally been known as 'The Doctors' Visit to the Emperor'. Pronk completed this drawing in 1734 and was sent to China, where it arrived at the end of 1737. The scene with four Chinese men is the first version Pronk made of 'The Doctors' Visit'; another one, eliminating the standing figure, was sent to China in 1739, possibly in an effort to reduce the cost of decoration. Due to high production costs, only two orders with 'The Doctors' Visit' were believed to have been placed. The first order consisted of five complete dinner services (of which this basin must have been part of) and was transported to Holland on the ship 'Hogersmilde' in 1738; the second order followed one year later. So far, no other basin of this size and pattern appears to be recorded. Only one basin, larger in size, with the same pattern is known, and is illustrated in Porcelain Designs after Cornelus Pronk by Christiaan Jörg.

- D. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, London 1994, page 74 (ISBN 0 302006427).
- Ch.J.A. Jörg, Porcelain Designs after Cornelus Pronk, Groningen 1980 44.

Height 60.8 cm
China, Tang Dynasty 618 - 907
TL Test Oxford no. C97t42
Price: Sfr. 67.000,--

The horse - or ma in the Chinese language - is the seventh creature in the Chinese zodiac. It is regarded as a symbol of vitality, masculinity and gallantry. It is said that the strongest horses came from Mongolia; smaller but very sturdy and dependable horses came from Tibet. The best horses were imported from Western Asia, the so-called Arab horses.
Terracotta horses such as this one were made for the tombs of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) elite and were representative for the wealth and power of the deceased. The animals were also considered to be the 'steeds of heaven', and therefore they were suitable for the Emperor who is regarded as the 'Son of Heaven'.
A prancing horse reveals the true craftsmanship of the potter; the horse manages to balance whilst standing on three legs. Gentle coloured cold pigments were used to decorate the saddle cloth and saddle with an impressive design as can be seen here.

Height 43 cm
China, Han Dynasty 206 BC - AD 200
Price: Sfr. 12.000,--

As can be seen here, this green glazed vase is decorated with a frieze enclosing a very detailed and impressive decoration in relief, interrupted by two mock monster-masks with ring handles, so called taotie masks. These monster-masks were usually found on bronzes dating from more than two thousand years ago. The bronze vessels with taoti e decorations were used in rituals connected with ancestor worship. The taotie is a bodiless animal of fearful aspect, whose meaning is uncertain. The word taotie is supposed to mean 'glutton', and its context as a decoration has to be researched.

- Spirit of Han, Singapore 1991, page 154-155 (ISBN 981 00 2961-6).