Luxury Travel Blog

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August 12, 2019

A Private Tour of the Royal Delft Factory in Holland

Royal Delft Holland tourA private tour of the famous Royal Delft ceramics factory in Holland (The Netherlands) is one of our favorite ways to immerse our travelers in the history of Dutch decorative arts.

private Holland tours

Not far from Amsterdam, the picturesque canal town of Delft became a thriving center for ceramics in the 17th century, when the Dutch East India Company began importing blue-and-white porcelain from China.

Royal Delft Holland tourAs Chinese porcelain gained in popularity, Dutch potters started imitating the Ming and Yuan dynasty products. However, Europeans lacked the technology to produce true porcelain, and instead the Dutch created ceramics of tin-glazed earthenware that approximated the style and color of the Chinese imports. Nonetheless, the Dutch potters called their ceramics “porcelain” for marketing purposes.

private Holland tours

Today, the Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (Royal Delft) is the last remaining earthenware factory in the town. Established in 1653, it continues to produce famous Delfts Blauw (Delft Blue) ceramics based on historic methods.

private Holland tours

Dutch artists often incorporated their own images and symbols into the Chinese designs, creating a unique fusion of Eastern and Western motifs. Blue-and-white Delftware ceramics became immensely fashionable in aristocratic Delft and soon spread throughout Europe, where they were displayed in stylish interiors…

private Holland tours

…as portrayed in Dutch Golden Age paintings such as The Milkmaid (c.1657–1658) by Delft native Johannes Vermeer, in which blue-and-white Delft tiles can be seen in the background of the kitchen. Travelers can view the Vermeer masterpiece during a private, expert-led tour of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

private Holland tours

Delftware became so desirable that, in an ironic turn of events, Chinese potters began imitating the Dutch ceramics to export to the European market.

Artisans of Leisure arranges private visits and exclusive pottery-painting workshops at the Royal Delft factory…

private Holland tours…where travelers can watch the creation of the hand-painted ceramics, tour the Royal Delft museum, go behind-the-scenes…

private Holland tours

…and create their own piece of Delftware.

private Holland tours

The factory shop is a wonderful place to browse for authentic Delft Blue ceramics.

private Holland toursContact an Artisans of Leisure travel specialist about incorporating an excursion to Delft into any of our private tours of Holland.

Destinations:  Europe, Holland, Netherlands

Tags:  Amsterdam, Amsterdam day tours, Amsterdam tours, art tours, blue and white, ceramics, ceramics tours, decorative arts, decorative arts tours, Delft, Delft ceramics, Delft tours, exclusive travel, history tours, Holland, Holland tours, immersive travel, pottery, private Amsterdam tours, Royal Delft, The Netherlands, Vermeer