Founded in 1653 in the Dutch city of Delft, Royal Delft is the only company dedicated to Dutch blue porcelain still in operation today. Unlike the Chinese version, this porcelain is not made with traditional kaolin. It is coated with lead oxide and tin glaze before it goes into the furnace. This process gives it its distinctive white tones and intense blue color.
It is not certain when the first Dutch blue porcelain factories emerged. What is known is that by the second half of the 16th century, there were companies in Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Middelburg producing multicolored clay pottery by Dutch ceramists who learned the trade from their Italian colleagues. Read about other historic porcelain factories in Europe: Royal Limoges, Royal Copenhagen, Wedgwood, Sargadelos, Meissen and La Cartuja de Sevilla.
There is also evidence that the first Dutch ceramics company was founded in the late 16th century, in the town of Delft, in southern Holland. Later, in the early 17th century, when the Dutch East India Company increased its imports of Chinese porcelain, the number of local factories grew due to the demand and the high price of imports. By the year 1650, there were more than 30 furnaces in the city, which imitated the famous Chinese porcelain with blue tones on a white background.
Renowned worldwide, the exquisite Royal Delft blue pottery is still decorated in the same way as 300 years ago, making it a unique product. The seat of the legendary firm, located in Rotterdamseweg Street, houses a museum, factory, showroom and a friendly restaurant, where visitors can enjoy the local cuisine.
The company’s facilities receive about 120,000 visitors a year who come from around the world to observe the traditional production process. Royal Delft makes vases, plates, tiles, tableware and diverse pieces with floral motifs, typical Dutch scenes, and Chinese-inspired images.
On the other hand, you can create your favorite design on a large commemorative plate to celebrate an extraordinary moment, a unique gift, select dates, logos or special designs.
Dutch blue porcelain is a rare treasure and a vestige of a glorious past. Artists from other countries have copied its influential manufacturing techniques. In fact, the English blue and white china is called Delftware. Those who purchase one of Royal Delft’s prized pieces become the exclusive owners of a genuine work of art. ■