The experts Bol, Bergström and Grimm think it is an early work from around 1610. In his report of 1 February 2017, Dr. Fred Meijer dates it to 1620 (or perhaps early 1621). The most important key to this conclusion is the extremely close relationship with a much larger, signed and dated work by van der Ast from 1620.
Collection Paul Hartog, Berlin;
Gallery Leeghenhoek, Paris;
sold 1981, to a private German collection;
from a private Dutch collection;
with Douwes Fine Art at TEFAF 2012;
a private European collection.
‘Masters of Middelburg’, exhibition catalogue, Waterman Gallery, Amsterdam 1984, p. 54, plate 9, text by Mr. Sam Segal: “The greatest care must be taken in interpreting unsigned paintings by a painter who signed almost every one of his works. In fact, most of the unsigned paintings attributed to Balthasar van der Ast which I have seen are not by him: they are copies, pastiches, or fakes. But I will mention three examples in which this is not the case. The first is a bouquet in a gilt-mounted Wan-Li vase decorated with a Spoonbill, with a tulip in the foreground (fig. 9). This is very close in style to the early flower basket signed in capitals, in which some similar flowers are portrayed, the most striking of them being the tulip in the foreground of both paintings. This is, undoubtedly, an early work by Balthasar van der Ast, executed under Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s supervision, probably around 1618 or somewhat earlier. This explains the absence of a signature (Sam Segal e.a.).
L. J. Bol, 15 April 1979;
Prof. Ingmar Bergström, Paris, 4 November 1979;
Dr. Claus Grimm, 15 March 1981;
Fred Meijer, RKD, The Hague, Oct. 1997.