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The Village Broadside

The Blog of Historic Deerfield


Fragile Commodities: Dutch Delftware and Representations of Empire

The origins of blue and white delftware are linked to the Dutch trading empire, led by its financially and militarily powerful East India Trading Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC). In the 17th century, delftware began to be modeled after popular Chinese ceramics, which were brought to the Dutch Republic in large numbers once the VOC had established a strong presence in East and Southeast Asia. Thus, many forms and designs of Dutch ceramics were derived from global empire building.