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Rising International Competition

From 1720 to 1750, the Delftware industry faced a number of difficulties that challenged the future of the market. The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) had serious consequences on the Dutch economy. This war, which mainly took place in the south of the country, embroiled all of the major powers of Europe and created…

Polychrome Delftware Figures Of Oriental Women

De Porceleyne Lampetkan (The Porcelain Ewer) Factory

The history of De Lampetkan, or De Porceleyne Lampetkan factory began in 1609, when Abraham Davidsz. Oosterhouck bought a house called ‘De Burcht van Leyden’ that he transformed into a pottery.1 The factory changed hands many times throughout the seventeenth century. Oosterhouck owned the factory until 1619, and then sold it to Cornelis Harmesz. Valckenhoff,…

Stories on Delftware Plate Series

In Delft most factories produced both a high-end line of decorative objects and useful wares and a low-end selection of common utensils, which, ironically, are rarer today because they were used, worn out or damaged and then irreverently thrown away. What has survived today are generally the higher-end objects, in general more beautiful, more admired…

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…

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