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Delftware

Delftware is the name given to tin glazed earthernware of Dutch manufacture. It is the cousin to French and Belgian faience and Italian maiolica, which have a similar opaque white glaze onto which decoration is applied.

Delftware is still manufactured today but its heyday was in the 17th and 18th centuries when its decorative forms emulated Chinese porcelain exported to the West via the Dutch East India Company. It was made in numerous factories in the Netherlands including the city of Delft.

Tin glaze earthenwares of similar type made in Britain are also known as delftware. London and Bristol were important centres of manufacture.


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The Warner collection of delftware

02 September 2019

Market freshness and well-regarded primary and secondary provenances distinguish the 250-300 pieces of early English delftware to be offered for sale by Woolley & Wallis in a stand-alone auction in Salisbury on September 17.

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Market undulations for English delft and Staffordshire highlighted at Pelham Olive auction

25 February 2019

Pictured here are three pieces from the Pelham Olive collection sold by Bonhams on January 31. Two are early English delft and are prize examples because they are inscribed and dated. The third is an example of Staffordshire slipware.

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Form and function makes the difference for 17th century ceramics and metalwork

25 February 2019

The models used in 17th century ceramics were typically derived from contemporary metalwork – and occasionally vice versa.

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VOGEL AND OLIVE COLLECTIONS: Two auctions showing the highs and the lows of traditional markets

25 February 2019

The sale of two great collections at auction – one in London, the other in New York – has highlighted the ebbs and flows of the market for early British pottery and furniture.

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English delftware tankard raises toast to the Pelham Olive collection at Bonhams

04 February 2019

Among the best performers at the Olive collection of early British ceramics, metalwork, furniture and treen sold at Bonhams on January 31 was this large English delftware tankard.

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Antique dealer's son to auction extensive collection of oak furniture and delftware at Bonhams

09 January 2019

A fine collection of antique oak furniture, treen and delftware owned by Pelham Olive, the son of dealer and co-founder of the Regional Furniture Society Gabriel Olive, is to be sold at Bonhams.

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Delft touch on both sides of the Atlantic

15 May 2017

Inscriptions and/or dates add a premium in many classes of ceramics but especially so in delftware. Some afficionados such as the late Syd Levethan made this a particular goal for their collecting.

English delft dish

Pick of the Week: Royalist rarity takes £20,000

18 March 2017

Estimated at £1500-2000, this rare English delft dish sold for £20,000 (plus 22.5% buyer’s premium) at Cheffins in Cambridge on March 8.

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Stunning delft chargers take £34,500 in Exeter

14 May 2015

The two outstanding blue dash chargers offered at a recent sale held by Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter form part of a small but distinctive group of early 18th century delft dishes boldly painted with a variety of quirky bird, animal and figure subjects.

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Delft discovery on show at upcoming New York fair

15 January 2015

Delftware experts Aronson of Amsterdam have recently reunited this pair of c.1690 Delft ‘bouquetière’ figures depicting William and Mary.

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English delftware remembering a difficult year for George II – and the Queen’s teeth

20 June 2014

The year 1737 was something of an annus horribilis for George II.

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Mug shows high demand for the best of English delftware

27 June 2011

ANY perception that the demand for top English delftwares had softened seems to have been scotched by the huge competition for this 17th century London-made mug.

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Stolen tiles may come to UK

01 November 2010

PICTURED here is one of more than 100 polychrome Delft tiles, valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds, stolen from a leading collector in the Netherlands.

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Sainsbury sale proves object lesson for restrained taste

23 June 2008

Christie’s English furniture day on June 18 was marked by the £9m auction of a dozen pieces of top-flight examples and by the 369-lot £13.6m sale of the collection of the late Simon Sainsbury.

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Delft enthusiasts get Wilkes’s number

31 January 2005

TO the non-specialist, a cracked and chipped blue and white 18th century delft plate might have seemed reasonably estimated at £60-100 in the January 5 sale held by Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium).

International interest wakens local pride – but at a price

05 May 2004

ANOTHER giant two-day sale on March 25-26 put together by David Lay (15% buyer's premium) saw the familiar rapid selling of two and three-figure lots, the cheaper ones mainly accounting for the unsolds, peppered with lots of more quality and wider interest.

Slim pickings make for tasty morsels as demand outstrips supply

08 January 2004

ENGLISH POTTERY AND LATER ENGLISH CERAMICS: The mixed-owner, all-English sale held by Bonhams Bond Street on December 10 covered a much broader canvas than the Billie Pain collection. It ranged from early delftwares to 20th century Royal Worcester, with examples of most other ceramic categories in between.

Tin-glazed earthenware cat jug makes £45,000

19 March 2003

The market for early dated Delftware showed its claws at the Shrewsbury salerooms of Halls on March 7, where this 5in (13cm) tall tin-glazed earthenware cat jug from 1677 was auctioned with expectations of £20,000-25,000. Spotted by auctioneer Jeremy Lamond hiding behind a much-admired Royal Crown Derby saucer (worth £20-30) on the mantelpiece of a Warwickshire home, the chipped and fritted feline was added to a select group of a dozen jugs, nine of which are dated.