The world famous Delftware is an earthenware that has a long history which goes back to the early 1600s. It has been made in Delft, Holland and is also known as Delft Blue.
Delftware has an Orient-inspired design because Dutch potters were greatly influenced by Chinese porcelain and Imari ware of Japan. So, Delftware has an atmosphere that is perfect for Japanese people.
The most highly-regarded period of production is about 1640-1740 and Delftware was very popular among affluent families such as the European Royals. However, unfortunately, most of the potteries have closed down.
Today, De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, founded in 1653, is the only remaining Delftware factory left in Delft. The Delftware made there is specially called ‘Royal Delft’. In addition, ‘Delft Blue’ is the brand name, hand painted at the bottom, and identifies it as authentic and collectible.
Delftware includes various pottery objects such as plates, flower vases, ornaments, tiles, and accessories.
History of Delftware
In the 16th century, there were potteries in various parts of Holland.
Craftsmen in Delft made Delftware in such way, white glaze is applied on the base and it is decorated with metal oxides. After a while, the potters began to coat their objects completely in white tin glaze instead of covering only the painting surface, and then, they began to cover the tin-glaze with clear glaze. In this way, they gave the fired surface the depth of the object and gave the cobalt blues sharpness. Ultimately, their skills made it possible to create good potteries like porcelain.
In the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company imported a large amount of Chinese porcelain. The porcelain had excellent quality and impressive color usage that inspired Dutch potters. Then, they began to develop their own version of this blue and white porcelain. Imari ware of Japan also influenced them, and the potters created a new unique worldview different from Western pottery and Chinese porcelain.
After that, in the 18th century, most of the potters in Delft lost their market share due to competition with British porcelain and so on.