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Petra on pottery

featuring West German art pottery, Fat Lava and more 20th century ceramics

On Ebay you can scroll for hours through pictures of vases that are not worth your while. Only the feeling that you will find a treasure keeps you going (till past your bedtime…). And sure enough, the best finds are the little gems on the obscure pictures in between. This jug I found in similar fashion. It is about 18 cm/7.1″ tall and made in 1960 by the Porceleyne Fles. The decor is called Rood (=red) Craquelé.

The Porceleyne Fles is a Dutch company based in Delft. It is one of 32 factories that were founded during a boom in  pottery production in Delft in the 17th century. Many of them lasted till the end of the 17th century. Some ended production in the course of the 18th century and fewer in the 19th century. The Porceleyne Fles, having started in 1653, is the only one still in business today. They are now also known as Royal Delft.

The most important product line was and is Delft Blue pottery, but the Porceleyne Fles made several other decors. During the period of about 1890-1930 they also made some stunning architectural ceramics. The well known architect H.P.Berlage used it in his ‘Jachtslot Sint Hubertus’ in Hoenderloo in the Netherlands. The factory has an excellent museum that shows many pieces that were made during their long history. I visited the museum some years ago and remember liking the Rood Craquelé pieces very much. It took three firings to make it, getting the red color after the last firing by letting oxygen into the kiln at some point during the cooling. This decor was produced from 1947 till 1967.  The jug is marked on the bottom with a year mark C.E. indicating it was made in 1960. QG are the initials of the painter of the decor.

If you ever have the chance, you should definitely visit their factory annex museum. Beside pottery they have an impressive collection of architectural ceramics. There is some information on the history of the Porceleyne Fles on their website. Unfortunately they don’t have a lot of (visual) information about the historical collection on it. But all the more reason to pay a life visit, I should think.

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