Netherlands – Pottery & Painters
Delft – the 750-year-old town that gave its name to the elegant blue porcelain that made it world-famous.
A Place for Painters
One of the town’s most famous citizens was Johannes Vermeer, whose paintings give a snapshot of local domestic life in the seventeenth century. He was a member of the Delft School, along with other accomplished painters including Nicolaes Maes, Pieter de Hoogh and Carel Fabritius. Although their paintings – such as Vermeer’s most famous masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring – hang in galleries all over the world, art lovers are able to see the scenery that inspired so many artists as they trace the Dutch town’s streets and canals first-hand.
A Place for Potters
Around the time that members of the Delft School were immortalising the town in paint, another local industry was beginning to thrive. The Dutch East India Company had a healthy trading relationship with China, bringing back a large amount of highly desirable Chinese porcelain to European shores. However, when this trade waned after the death of the Wanli Emperor in 1620, Dutch potters tried to imitate the beautiful, sought-after Chinese porcelain.
This led them to develop a thin type of earthenware which they covered in a white glaze. By applying a second clear glaze, the fired surface and smooth cobalt blues – now known as ‘Delft Blue’ – took on the appearance of porcelain. Although initially the Dutch potters copied oriental decoration inspired by Chinese originals, they also used European patterns that became popular all over the world.
Delftware, as the original ceramics product is called, was made in a variety of forms, including vases, plates, tiles, and figurines. The value of Delftware depends on its age, condition, rarity, and the reputation of the maker. Pieces that are older, in good condition, and made by well-known or highly regarded Delftware manufacturers are generally more valuable. The rarity of a piece can also affect its value, as pieces that are more difficult to find or were made in small quantities are often more valuable. The demand for Delftware can also affect its value, as pieces that are more popular or in high demand may be worth more. What makes Delftware such an interesting collecting field is that some examples can be worth ‘only’ a few hundred dollars, while rare objects can be worth thousands of dollars or especially iconic pieces as large stacked flower vases, many times more.
Determining the value of vintage Delftware involves a combination of factors, including:
1. Age and Rarity: Older pieces tend to be more valuable, especially if they are from the 17th or 18th centuries. Rarity and limited production runs also increase value.
2. Maker and Origin: The reputation of the maker and the specific region of origin can significantly impact value. Delft, Deft, or Delfts pieces from the Netherlands are highly sought after.
3. Quality and Condition: The quality of the craftsmanship, glazing, and painting can affect value. Pieces in excellent condition are more valuable, while those with damage or restoration may be less so.
4. Style and Design: The intricacy of the design, motifs, and the resemblance to sought-after patterns can influence value.
Glassware-Ceramics - Delftware - Netherlands - Vintage (1875) Polychroom Vase 10 x 8 x 13.5

Vintage (1875) Polychroom Vase 10 x 8 x 13.5

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