We recently looked at a type of pottery coming out of modern day Turkey, known as Iznik ware. Today we are taking a closer look at Delftware, a type of pottery dating back almost 400 years from the Netherlands.
Delftware emerged in the Netherland in an area known as Delft as potters attempted to imitate the fashionable Chinese blue and white porcelain that was imported from the Far East by the Dutch East India Trading Company, established in 1602.
The Delft potters sought to mimic the bright whites and blues of the Asian ceramics, but they lacked the ingredient ‘kaolien,’ which allowed the Asian ceramicists to achieve such crisp and defined colours.
In addition to copying Chinese patterns and designs, Delft potters also developed their own patterns and styles of decoration. They branched out beyond the traditional blue and white colourways to introduce more elaborate designs, including yellows, greens, and reds.
The popularity of Delftware extended beyond the home market in the early days–Queen Mary II of England arrived in the Hague in 1677 after marrying William of Orange (the future William III), and she ordered a number of Delft ceramics for her Dutch palaces as well as Hampton Court in England.
Queen Mary was particularly fond of a certain type of flower vase that is often known as a tulip vase: these stacked vases are impressive towers with tiers of openings for various blooms.
The popularity of Delftware in England has been consistent throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. We are delighted to continue this tradition by offering several pieces of Delftware from our collection, which we have shared above.