Product Information - Delftware
Delftware is the term applied to tin glazed earthenware made in either England or in Holland, where so much of this ware was made in the town of Delft that the name has become associated with the material. Ware of a similar kind was also made in Italy (this is called majolica) and France and Germany (called faience).
Delft is an interesting material, made of a clay that would fire a pale whitish colour in the biscuit kiln, covered with a glaze made of a lead base to which has been added tin oxide. The decoration, either in the form of cobalt to provide blue or such materials as manganese, iron oxide and antimony to produce purple, red and yellow respectively, was painted directly onto this raw glaze. This is a technically difficult thing to do as it is impossible to make any correction of mistakes.
Delft is a very soft material and the rims of plates and vases tend to chip and the glaze to flake off easily. It is very rare to find old delft without some form of damage, and this is not regarded as such a bad feature from the collector’s point of view as similar damage on porcelain and the harder forms of earthenware.
Once a piece of delft has been handled with understanding, the feel of the material will be with you for life.