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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…

polychrome plate with beautiful butterflies at Aronson Antiquairs

De Drie Porceleyne Flessies (The Three Porcelain Bottles) Factory

De Drie Porceleyne Flessies (The Three Porcelain Bottles) factory was established in 1661. Like many of the other Delftware factories, De Drie Porceleyne Flessies was recognizable by a sign on its facade, which was described as ‘drije porceleijne flessen’ (three porcelain bottles) in a deed of 1665.1 The sign was still visible a hundred years…

Theepot De Metaale Pot Delfts aardewerk

Van Verschuer’s Delftware Collection

There were three major collectors of Delftware in the nineteenth century. The two well-known figures are John F. Loudon (1821-1895) and A.H.H. van der Burgh (1845-1904), however there was a third lesser known nobleman baron Willem Frederik Karel van Verschuer (1845-1922). Despite his relative obscurity in history, his collection outnumbered Loudon and van der Burgh,…

Detail of the dollhouse of Petronella Oortman, ca. 1686 - ca. 1710, Rijksmueum, Amsterdam

Dollhouses and Delftware Miniatures

According to the French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, miniature, that is to say the reproduction of an object in a reduced scale, is an art work that changes our relationship to the world. Its small size allows us to apprehend the object as a whole, as miniatures have an “intrinsic aesthetic quality”. They change…

Delftware vase on yellow background

De Paauw (The Peacock) Factory

In 1651 De Paauw (The Peacock) factory was established. Painted on the facade of the building was the founding year and a beautiful blue and black peacock. The symbol became a trademark for the factory and was repeatedly used as a decorative motif on objects. When the factory first opened, it operated with only one…

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