Royal Delft – Delft, NL

delft production

The Royal Delft production floor.

One month housesit in The Netherlands. Delftware is the iconic blue and white pottery of The Netherlands, The Royal Dutch Delftware Manufactory “De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles/Royal Delft” is the last remaining Delftware factory in constant production from the 17th century.

The Dutch India Company brought back blue painted porcelain from China which became very popular and difficult to import and lead to the development of earthenware factories in The Netherlands, primarily in Delft. The factory, a former brewery, through a series of owners, is finally purchased by Joost Thooft who introduces the current trademark in the 1870s. It is designated “Royal” in 1919 as a show of appreciation.

The Royal Delft Experience is a self-guided tour through the history and production process of Delft Blue. There is a large quantity of historical pieces, such as a collection of Orange ceramics produced for the popular Dutch Royal family, as well as antique and modern pieces of earthenware. Also, you can view the Royal Delft Nightwatch, a group of 430, 18″ painted tiles with a final arranged size of 13′ x 16′; a copy of the Rembrandt painting The Nightwatch. You will also see a ceramic painter at work and the factory production shop.

The homey brasserie has a great view of a lovely historic courtyard showing off some of the factory made “building ceramics”. Here you can have lunch or high tea, reserve a dinner for a group or even celebrate a wedding, following a wedding ceremony in one of the museum rooms if you choose.

The showroom shop has a variety of ceramics for sale from various collections, such as the hand-painted Iconic, Original Blue and Blueware collections, as well as the modern designed, Blue D1653.


Sandelfo collection by H. J. Saunders.

Being a fan of the decorative arts, there were so many pieces which appealed to me, but one of my favourites was the thoroughly modern design of the Sandelfo collection produced from 1957 – 1977. The charming abstract character decorations were designed by H.J. Sanders and I would be happy to use them on my own dinner table.

The room which housed the “Building Ceramics” was also interesting to me as an interior designer, who appreciates the longevity and textural beauty of ceramics and tile.

building ceramics

The Building Ceramics room at Royal Delft.