skip to Main Content

Cold Painting in Red

The range of colors seen on 18th century Delftware were achieved through various techniques, using skills honed throughout many years. Not every paint color could be realized in a single firing process, and there were often several rounds in the kiln. Ceramics painted with grand feu colors of blue, green, and yellow were fired at…

VOC and the Asian Trading Routes

The Dutch East India Company, or the VOC for short (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) was established by charter in 1602. The VOC was first organized to profit from the East Asian spice trade in which the Portuguese already had a stronghold. During the 16th century, the Portuguese established a wide network with settlements in Sri…

Delft Plaques, a Window Open onto the World

Dutch Delftware plaques stand out amongst the many examples produced during the 17th century for their extreme delicacy and meticulousness. The "porcelain paintings,” as they were referred to in household inventories, were intended to be admired as if they were paintings on panel, canvas or copper. Unfortunately, because of their similarity in appearance to prints…

Trompe l’oeil Amusements

Trompe l’oeil, or deceive the eye, was a technique used in both modeling and painting Delftware to captivate and fool the viewer. One of the predominant centers of production of these naturalistic forms was Delft, where the city’s potteries quickly accommodated the new taste of the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie for adorning their tables…

The Joke of the Puzzle Jug

The puzzle jug is one of the oldest jokes in the Delft potters’ continually playful repertoire. Puzzle jugs were intended as an amusing tavern game or a conversation piece during a dinner party. One can only imagine the popularity of these objects in homes and taverns as drinkers attempted to consume the contents without causing…

The Feast of Delft Cows

Cows are the most famous and beloved subjects depicted in Dutch Delftware. Since the eighteenth century they have adorned mantelpieces, furniture and window sills. They were always produced in pairs, with their heads turned towards each other and tongues lapping. Remarkably, these cows are almost always painted with lavish swags of floral garland draped around their…

Shades of Blue in Dutch Delftware

While Dutch Delftware comprises many different colors and styles, it is most commonly known for its characteristic blue and white decoration. Many variations within the simple scheme of blue and white can help date an object and place it within an historical context. While fashion largely dictated the color changes, the varieties of blue in…

‘Sur la Table’ in the 17th & 18th Century

Dining has a history of its own. From the fifteenth century onwards, a formal meal became increasingly divided into different courses. The meal began with a course of cold foods served from the buffet or sideboard, followed by hot dishes from the kitchen: roasts, pastries and soup. The meal would end with what would eventually…

Frisian Ceramics

For centuries the technique of making earthenware covered with a clear or colored glaze had been well known throughout the Middle East and Europe, but by the middle of the fifteenth century, during the early years of the Italian Renaissance, it was the Italian potters who developed the highest skills in the use of polychrome…

Persian Blue

Around 1700 the Dutch pottery painters in Delft were experimenting with beautiful intense blue grounds. Nowadays, we call this ‘Persian Blue’ originally from the 'Bleu Persan'. By the end of the seventeenth century, potters were so skilled in keeping the tin glaze stable during the fire, that they could experiment with decorations. At some factories,…

Back To Top
X