Rozenburg Den Haag, pair of tiles by Gerke Henkes, 1886. Two unique and rare tiles “Pipe smoking man” and Reading man”, painted by Gerke Henkes in 1886. In the original Rozenburg oak dove tail profile frames. The tile plates are 17.5 cm by 25 cm and the frames 33.5 cm by 40.5 cm. Gerke Henkes (1844-1927) was a Dutch painter in the style of the Hague School and an acquaintance of Hendrik Willem Mesdag. Henkes was one of the painters who, more or less under the patronage of Mesdag, painted tile plates in a joint studio in the attic of the Rozenburg factory, later also with copies of mainly Dutch masters. This group of experienced painters was gradually ‘replaced’ by experienced pottery painters from the factory itself.
Because work order numbers were not applied until 1889, they are missing from these plates. They are unique pieces from the earliest Rozenburg period. In addition to production damage, the factory fire of 18/19 September 1887 also caused a lot of archive loss. An explanation of the numbers 5 and 6 on the back of the tile plates is that in the earliest period Rozenburg supplied tile plates, on order, for office and ship interiors. Rotterdamsche Lloyd, for example, was a regular customer.