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The Disaster Year

“Het volk redeloos, de regering radeloos en het land reddeloos” (The people were irrational; the government desperate and the country irretrievable), no this is not a recent quote, it is a phrase that was coined to describe the state of Holland in 1672. In Dutch history, the year 1672 has from that time to present been known as “Het Rampjaar”…

Delftware Bird Boxes

Delftware Birds

Birds occur frequently and for a variety of reasons in art, as symbols, decoration or objects of study. The symbolism of birds differs in different period and regions. Birds are often encountered in seventeenth-century Dutch genre scenes, in which they usually have a sexual connotation because the Dutch word ‘vogelen’ (birding) means to engage in…

Black Delftware Bowl, Circa 1710

Brown and Black Delftware

Porcelain, lacquer and silk were among the most sought after exotic goods from China and Japan in far-away Europe. The attraction to these precious items was particularly strong among the courts during the era when trade flourished by land via the Silk Road or by sea. Early in the seventeenth century, the Dutch East India…

Prent De Kwaarter Uit De Plateelbakker

Invaluable source: Gerrit Paape

In the ceramics world, Gerrit Paape is renowned for his 1794 treatise De Plateelbakker of Delftsch Aardewerkmaaker (‘The Faience Potter or Maker of Delftware’). This publication, his sole work on Delftware, outlined many aspects of the eighteenth-century process of producing Delftware, making it an invaluable source of information about the industry. However, De Plateelbakker was…

Landschap Met Schip, Bootje En Kerk

The Importance of Waterways. Shipping Delftware in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

The abundance of waterways in the Netherlands have served as a thriving transportation system for centuries. These waterways were the most important links between the various merchant cities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Transport and storage companies were established along the quays, from where the ships set course for other cities.1 When Delft brewers…

Blue And White Delftware Bowl Flower Vase Flowers

Flowering Heights

Dutch Delftware thrived in the late seventeenth century under the patronage of Queen Mary II, who was passionate about Chinese blue and white porcelain and its local counterpart. The Delft factories also responded to the Queen’s love of gardens, and they developed the technical skills and virtuosity in the production of all sorts of ’vases…

Majolica Bowl. Blue And Orange

The Birth of Dynasties

The Delftware industry originated in the early fifteenth century when Dutch potters were first introduced to maiolica (or majolica). The high quality ceramics were imported to the Netherlands from various cities in Italy and Spain, and Dutch potters began to emulate the wares for their own market. One of the most renowned Dutch families to…

Delftware Blue And White Vases

Extraordinary Pair of Delftware Flower Vases

Wednesday evening December 11, 2019 will go into the Delftware history books. During the exciting evening in Paris, France, an exceptional pair of blue and white segmented flower pyramids from the late seventeenth century was sold from the collection of Count De Ribes for €1.069.000 or almost $1,2 million, exceeding their €150.000 - €250.000 estimate…

Musée De La Céramique De Desvres

Delftware as Inspiration for Northern French Ceramic Centers

Seventeenth and eighteenth-century Delftware was inspired by many other ceramic centers. Sources of influence included Southern European wares, such as maiolica and Faenza, the much coveted Chinese porcelain wares and later the Northern European ceramic centers, such as Nevers and Meissen. Of course, Delftware was also inspirational for these same ceramic centers. Some examples of…

Painting By Johannes Vermeer City Of Delft

The City of Delft in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Nowadays, the city of Delft is synonymous with its earthenware that was produced in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although it is still somewhat of a mystery why Delft became one of the main centers of faience production in the seventeenth century, it is interesting to explore the social, political and cultural climate in which…

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