Dating delft porcelain
In later Delft tiles, glaze was sometimes added over the enamel.The earliest Dutch tiles were crudely painted in one color, blue, upon the white enameled surface.The East India Trading Company shipped thousands of blue and white Chinese pottery to Amsterdam.The imports influenced Dutch designs as local potters attempted to imitate the Chinese ceramics.By 1880, the Dutch had adopted modern manufacturing techniques that resulted in stronger tiles in a wide palette of colors, facilitating the use of tiles in architectural elements such as building facades and doorways.Commemorative tiles were presented to celebrate company milestones, and sometimes shops displayed interior tiles with advertising messages.
Tile pictures are formed by two or more tiles combined to form a picture.
After 1860, nails were no longer used on the templates.
The surfaces of antique Dutch tiles in the 17th and 18th centuries were not glazed; instead, they were covered with an opaque white tin-enamel coating, unlike the clear glazes on porcelain and pottery of the time. The tin-enamel surface is seldom crazed in Dutch tiles, and it covers both the underside and the top of the tile to protect the soft clay beneath. It may be blistered, pitted, or chipped and worn away at the edges, revealing the brown clay body beneath.
The artisans who created tile designs are largely unknown; however, a few, like Pytter Grauda of Harlingen, can be identified.
From the 1740s on, Dutch tile makers and their marks were well-documented.