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The collection, taken on October 9 from a property in Friesland in the North of the Netherlands, is largely made up of extremely rare 16th and 17th century tiles, all in superb condition, and has been built up over 40 years.

It covers a wide range of subjects including ships, animals, people and mermaids.

The thieves did not touch the blue and white tiles in the collection.

The owner fears that some of the tiles may make their way to the UK and is keen for dealers, auctioneers and collectors to keep an eye out for them.

Police in the Netherlands are investigating, but anyone with information is asked, in the first instance, to contact their local force or ATG.