Elizabeth Bas Plate

An image of a plate hanging on a brown wall. The plate has a picture of a woman in a bonnet and a large ruffle collar painted in blue and white. Around the edge are florals painted in blue and white.
The portrait of Elizabeth Bas in the Eldon House Morning Room

Country of Origin: Netherlands
Year: ca. 1890s
Materials: Porcelain and paint 

This porcelain plate hangs in the Morning Room of Eldon House and has the face of Elisabeth Bas stamped on it. Elisabeth was a Dutch woman, who lived from 1571-1649. She was the wife of a sailor, Jochem Swartenhont, and as was typical of navy wives, she set up a small business to sustain her family during his absences. When her husband was on leave, her family set up a successful pub which she managed until the 1630s. She later sold it for the equivalent of around 2 million dollars, making her one of the wealthiest women in the Netherlands. This portrait was commissioned by her granddaughter Maria and was painted by the artist Ferdinand Bol. It remains one of his most noted works. Plates with Bol’s work were sold as souvenirs, and this one was likely collected by the Harris Family during their 1898 trip to the Netherlands.