BLUE and WHITE DELFT PORCELAIN
The Anni Arts Blue Bird and Delft Rabbit designs in the Delft Blue Printable Crafts Sets was inspired by my love of pottery designs. The classic Royal Delft Dutch ceramics is one of my favourite brands.
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I recently took these photos of Delftware in a shop window in Amsterdam
The famous Delft porcelain – which today has become synonymous with Holland – has an interesting history.
Porcelain was an unknown substance in Holland until the 1600’s when the Dutch East India Company brought back samples of blue and white porcelain from China.
This was the period known as the Dutch Golden Age.
The beautiful and detailed Chinese porcelain became very popular in Holland and elsewhere, but could be afforded only by the very rich. After the death of the Chinese emperor Wan-Li in 1619 the import of this sought-after product ceased.
Potters in Holland tried to emulate the Chinese porcelain, but they had to use local clay which baked to yellow and red. They achieved the look of white porcelain by completely covering the piece of pottery with a white tin-glaze.
The first factories sprang up in towns like Rotterdam, Delft, Amsterdam, Haarlem and Middelburg. The Dutch brewery industry was in a period of decline at that time and many large buildings that used to be breweries could be occupied by potters!
Delft was the home port of the Dutch East India company and thus had a headstart. Soon there were 32 pottery factories in Delft. Plates and porcelain houseware like tiles and jars were produced.
By 1640 the Delft potters began to use personal monogrammes and distinctive trademarks.
“Delft” pottery was also produced in other countries. In 1746 a white-baking porcelain clay was discovered in Germany. Eventually, most of the Dutch potteries had to close in the wake of competition from Germany, France and England. The surviving ones turned to mass-produced designs.
By 1860 only one Delft pottery by the name of De Porceleyne Fles survived. It had changed hands many times. Eventually it was purchased by Joost Thooft with the intention of reintroducing the old handpainted Delftware.
In 1919 De Porceleyne Fles (the porcelain jar) received the designation“Royal” because the factory had restored the fame of Delft pottery art.
The pottery did not become known as Delftware until the mid nineteenth century. The famous Delftware with blue and white Dutch themes like windmills, Dutch children, landscapes and boats was introduced in 1876.
Today Royal Delft is a sought-after and expensive collectors item and not to be confused with the many curio shop knock-offs. Each Royal Delft piece has the signature of the artist and name of the factory and comes complete with papers of authenticity.
The Anni Arts Crafts ranges of printable crafts for 3D paper crafts and handmade card designs with a Delft pottery theme make professional graphic design and illustration by Anneke Lipsanen available to all paper crafters who also love blue and white Delft.
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