Delft faience 17th - 18th century

The founding of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 led to the arrival in Holland of massive quantities of Chinese porcelain, a luxury product and an extremely lucrative trade. The fascination for Far-Eastern porcelain led to a revival of the faience industry and the success of Delft manufactories in the 1660s. Mastery of ceramic techniques enabled faience makers to copy the appearance of porcelain; its finesse, brilliance and decorative details in blue and white inspired by Ming porcelain. Delft imitations were so convincing that they were incorrectly called 'Delft porcelain'. The production consisted principally of decorative objects such as the emblematic wall plaques and ornamental vases. The decorative style which spread across Europe combined Oriental and European influences. At the beginning of the 18th century imports of Chinese and Japanese porcelains painted with enamel colours encouraged faience makers to produce polychrome wares.