Do you love how a large collection of blue and white pottery looks so pretty grouped together? Me too.
I am just crazy for hand-painted Majolica ceramics, and I especially love Delftware, which is why we carry a large selection of Vintage and Antique Delftware at EuroLuxAntiques.com. From Antique Blue Delft Tiles, to Vintage Blue Delft Transferware Plates, to truly unique Antique Hand-Painted Polychrome Ginger Jars like the pair below, you’ll find it all at EuroLux Antiques.
A Bit of Delftware History
In case you aren’t aware of how Delftware came to be, it all started with the European craze for blue and white Chinese export porcelain back in the early 17th century.
Wealthy Europeans just couldn’t get enough of these striking pieces, so that when there was an interruption in the supply of goods from China due the fall of the Ming Dynasty, enterprising Dutch potters from a small town in Holland called Delft, stepped in to meet the market demand. The Delft potters imitated the look of Chinese export porcelain by using the tin-glaze techniques used by the Italians to create Majolica, also called Faience. Below is an example of a Vintage Hand-Painted Italian Majolica Charger.
Delftware was a huge success and by the 18th century, there were more than 30 companies creating high-quality pieces in Delft, Holland. At first Dutch potters drew on Chinese designs for inspiration, like this Antique Hand-Painted Blue Delft Vase and the Antique Hand-Painted Polychrome Delft Charger below.
Introducing Dutch Designs
However, Dutch potters soon began to incorporate elements from European culture and decorative plates were made in great numbers featuring windmills, canal scenes with fishing boats, landscapes, seascapes, and scenes of people in daily life, like these Vintage Blue Delft Transferware Plates dating the the 1950s below.
Even famous works of art were copied on Delftware plates, like this Vintage Hand-Painted Blue Delft Charger featuring the famous Dutch Golden Age painter, Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier.
The Many Colors of Polychrome Delft
When the flow of Chinese export porcelain resumed under the Qing Dynasty in 1685, the Chinese brought colored wares, such as pinks and greens. Not to be outdone, the Dutch potters created Polychrome Delftware, using all the colors of the rainbow, including yellow, orange, green, purple, dark red, brown, and black, and created different shapes too, like the Antique Hand-Painted Polychrome Ginger Jar to the left below and the Vintage Hand-Painted Polychrome Knobbelvase to the right below.
Tastes Change, and Change Again
Despite the huge success of Delftware, tastes change as generations pass and by the end of the 18th century, the market for Delftware had eroded to the point that only one of the original Delft manufacturers remained in business: De Porcelyne Fles. The factory was purchased by an enterprising man named Joost Thooft in 1876, which marks the advent of what is considered Modern Delftware.
Since that time, De Porcelyne Fles (often called Royal Delft and marked with a bottle as shown here) has become the most famous producer of the more than one hundred manufacturers of Modern Delftware, which is still created in England, Belgium, Germany, Japan, and the USA.
An excellent book that should be on the shelf of any Delftware collector is Discovering Dutch Delftware: Modern Delft and Makkum Pottery by Stephen J. Van Hook, which includes photographs of the marks for a large majority of Modern Delftware companies.
Wall Street Journal Approved
I was delighted to find a recent Wall Street Journal article called “Delight in Blue and White”, that states “old or new, Dutch Delftware can be an excellent value – and fun to hunt down,” and mentions that the popularity of Delftware is on the rise once again.
If you’re seeking to expand your collection, you can find Antique Hand-Painted Blue Delft Gingers Jars like the one on the left below, or Vintage Transferware Blue Delft Ginger Jars like the one on the right below at EuroLuxAntiques.com!
I thought I would also link you to the wonderful blogpost, 56 Reasons Why I Love Blue and White Jars by Tina at The Enchanted Home, which shows 56 different photos of how to incorporate blue and white Delftware into your home design!
Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques Blog!
Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with Aimee on Google+ or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!