The History of Delft Tiles in Holland

The History of Delft Tiles in Holland

When we decorate our homes, we all have different inspirations and goals. Some design with a focus on function and use, while others focus on pieces that appeal to their aesthetic tastes. For many, though, home décor is a way to bring culture, significance, and special memories into spaces they use every day.

Interestingly, Delft tiles can find all those décor strategies: function, style, and significance. Let’s take a closer look at the history of Delft tiles in Holland and why they’re an important culturally connected piece of many homes around the world.


What are Delft Tiles?

First things first: what exactly are Delft tiles? You might not know their name but you’ve certainly seen them. Delft tiles are glazed earthenware tiles that are painted with intricate designs, and in most cases, they’re white tiles with the designs painted in blue.

Delft tiles get their name from their place of origin: the town of Delft in the Netherlands. While Delft tiles are especially popular, Delftware comes in all types of pottery products from plates to vases.

The History of Delft Tiles in Holland

We’re in Holland in the mid-1600s: a period known as the Dutch Golden Age when the Netherlands was flourishing. As the Dutch community was interacting and trading with other cultures, they discovered the blue and white porcelain that was popular in China. As artists have done for eons, Delft artisans decided to take inspiration from this popular porcelain and give it their own spin.

Instead of porcelain, the Delft potters created earthenware tiles with a glaze that mirrored porcelain. While the first creations used the same type of imagery featured on Chinese products, Delft artisans quickly began using the artwork of day-to-day Dutch life instead.

Many Delft tiles featured Dutch landscapes and common daily activities. They also featured hallmarks of Dutch culture, like the ever-famous Holland tulips. The ultimate calling card of Delft tiles, though, was their uniqueness: each one had a different design, and each was a work of art in its own right.

Unsurprisingly, these beautiful tiles became popular throughout Holland and across Europe. You’d find them in homes of all income levels, though lower-income homes used them as accents while more luxurious homes would use them to cover entire rooms. Not only were these tiles stylish and important to Dutch culture, but their glaze made them easy to clean too.

As with any artwork, Delft tiles have gone into and out of style several times throughout history. Today, though, we’re seeing a renewed appreciation for cultural ties and for individualized artwork and craftsmanship. Because of this, both new and antique Delft tiles and other types of Delftware are surging in popularity.


How to Find Beautiful Delft Tiles Today

For people with Dutch ancestry, people with treasured memories of visiting the Netherlands, and people who simply feel a connection to the aesthetics and cultural significance of Delft tiles, these mini art masterpieces can be the perfect addition to your home. Get your own by shopping our Delft tile coasters online today.

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  • Catherine Trevino