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The Rococo Fever

The exorbitantly decorative rococo style of architecture and interiors swept through Europe in the eighteenth century. The style began in France during the reign of Louis XV, and quickly spread to other parts of Europe, particularly Bavaria, Austria, Germany and Russia. The style was a reaction against the more formal and geometric style of Louis…

Delftware Candlesticks

Before electrification, candles were the main source of light after dark. However, they were considered a luxury, even in the well-to-do home, thus the expression ‘the game’s not worth the candle,’ which highlights the fact that lighting a candle was like burning money itself. Tallow candles, made of animal fat, were the most commonly used…

Albertus Kiell

In the second half of the eighteenth century, De Witte Starre (The White Star) factory changed hands several times. One owner, Albertus Kiell, made an indelible mark on the Delftware industry during his lengthy period of employment. Kiell was born to Johannes Albertusz Kiell and Magdalena Catharina van Breugel in the village of Den Briel…

The Export of Delftware in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Producing millions of objects per year, the Delftware industry mainly found its market outside of Delft, a small city with only 24,000 inhabitants at the end of the seventeenth century.1 Delft potters were not dependent on passing travelers to distribute their products abroad, and Delftware was sold throughout Europe via domestic and foreign merchants.2 In…

William Blathwayt

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Delftware was not only sold in the Netherlands, but was also exported to the surrounding countries. At the end of the seventeenth century, England was a major buyer of Delftware despite the embargo placed on Dutch Delftware imports in 1672 to support the country’s own ceramic production. However, the…

Parasols on Delftware

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) imported tens of millions of pieces of porcelain during the two centuries of its existence (1602-1799) and flooded the country with Chinese and Japanese tablewares. The Chinese porcelain introduced exotic imagery, such as depictions of dragons, temples and emperors. One can only imagine how enthralled the Dutch consumers must…

De Porceleyne Byl Factory

De Porceleyne Byl (The Porcelain Axe) factory was founded in 1657, and was almost entirely owned by a single person or couple for its entire existence. This contrasts with most other factories whose property was often divided among several people. It was purchased in 1657 by Jacob Wemmersz. Hoppesteyn, who two years later would also…

Pair Of Blue And White Octagonal Vases

Chinese Influences on Delftware

Soon after the introduction of expensive Chinese porcelain in the Netherlands, a demand arose for an attractive and affordable alternative. During the third quarter of the seventeenth century, Delft potters were able to expand the production of very refined faience for the higher end of the market after the limited importation of Asian porcelain by…

The Attribution of a Wine Cooler

Beginning in the early 1680s, Delft potteries began to mark their wares with either the pottery owner’s initials or the name of the factory. Marks were applied for economic reasons, especially for foreign trade when the mark was a means of recognition and quality assurance, comparable with the modern trademark. The marking of objects contributed…

Delftware Banquet Table 17th Century

Setting the 17th and 18th-Century Table

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fine dining was an exceedingly important social ritual, and the accompanying accessories were reflective of the owner’s status. The well-laid table was the culmination of splendor. However, dining traditions changed during these centuries and the Delft potters quickly accommodated the new tastes of the nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie…

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