Delftware appraisal

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Mearto Specialist:


Delia has nearly 30 years of experience at regional and international auction houses in the United States, and is also currently the editor of an art and antiques trade publication that tracks market trends, auctions and antiques shows. Delia is a generalist in glass, ceramics, silver and other metals, fine art, textiles, antiquities, wines and spirits, stamps and currency, collectibles and dolls and toys. Additionally, she is a specialist in 15th to 21st Century furniture from around the world. Her extensive professional network of appraisers, curators, dealers and collectors has proven to be an invaluable resource in her work for Mearto.

Delftware, also known as Delft pottery or Delft blue, is a type of earthenware characterized by its distinctive blue and white decoration. It originated in the city of Delft in the Netherlands during the 17th century and was inspired by the popular blue and white porcelain imported from China during the same period.

Key characteristics of Delftware include:

Blue and White Color Palette:

Delftware is most commonly associated with a blue and white color scheme. The blue decoration is typically applied on a white or cream-colored background.

Tin-Glazed Earthenware:

Delftware is a type of tin-glazed earthenware. The application of a tin glaze over the pottery provides a smooth and shiny surface, allowing for the distinctive blue decorations to stand out.

Imitation of Chinese Porcelain:

Delftware was initially created as an attempt to imitate the highly prized blue and white porcelain from China. The Chinese porcelain, particularly Ming and later Qing dynasty wares, was imported into Europe in large quantities and greatly admired.

Decorative Motifs:

Delftware is often adorned with decorative motifs such as floral patterns, landscapes, birds, and scenes inspired by Chinese and East Asian art. Windmills, sailing ships, and Dutch countryside scenes are also common themes.

Use of Manganese and Cobalt Oxides:

The blue color in Delftware is achieved using cobalt oxide, while manganese oxide may be used to achieve darker shades. The combination of these oxides in the firing process results in the characteristic blue tones.

Tilework and Ceramic Objects:

Delftware was produced in various forms, including tiles, plates, vases, figurines, and other ceramic objects. It was used for both decorative and functional purposes.

17th-Century Delftware Production:

The peak of Delftware production occurred in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age. Numerous workshops in Delft and other cities in the Netherlands were engaged in the production of Delftware.

Distinguishing Marks:

Authentic Delftware often bears the maker's mark, which helps identify the specific workshop or artist. These marks can be useful in dating and attributing pieces to particular manufacturers.

While Delftware originally sought to emulate Chinese porcelain, it developed its own distinct identity and aesthetic. The Dutch potters successfully adapted the techniques and designs to create a unique European style that remains highly collectible and appreciated today. While the production of traditional Delftware declined in the 18th century, contemporary artisans and workshops continue to produce pieces inspired by the historical tradition.

What our customers say:

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I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

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