Two mysteries solved? (continued)

The next step was to compare all known markings for RS and FS in detail. At first there appeared to be plenty of differences between the two. Work on the markings from other painters had shown that they range from very consistent to wildly different. But even for those with consistent markings, there was often some degree of gradual or sudden development over time.

With little more to go on than the model number and style of décor, an attempt was made to order the markings on the RS and FS/OO objects chronologically.

The PZH RS markings showed a great degree of similarity and appear to be all from the period until circa 1907:

Some specific characteristics stand out in comparison with all other artists in the early period:

  • The Lazarus gate logo has walls that lean in, fairly evenly sized “lower and upper floor”,  straight roof lines under approximately 45 degrees and a small gate opening with a rounded top.
  • A very regular and consistent way to write the letters ( most artists show larger variations).
  • Each artist seems to have had their own, fairly consistent way of drawing the Lazarus gate and of course their unique handwriting. For an illustration of the differences between artists see here

​And as a group the  FS markings  after circa 1907 are also fairly similar:

Between the two groups there are some similarities but also some differences:

  • The Lazarus gate logo has the same characteristics but has gained a little “chimney” on top of the roof.
  • The handwriting is again very regular and consistent but appears a bit freer and flowing. Some letters are written in the same way ( The Z, u, i ,d, H, o) but the first l has a more extended, dropped foot while the foot of the second l has disappeared.
  • The A in de RS markings has been replaced by an a, and while the D in ZUID has remained, the D in HOLLAND has become a d. It is not uncommon that artists over the years drop more and more block letters in their markings and replace them with letters in a cursive style, probably to avoid lifting the brush more than necessary. 

This does not allow any clear conclusion, and if there is a link between the two groups one wonders why, how and when the transition happened.

Continued here

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