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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
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18th century

In the early 17th century, the Dutch town of Delft was known for its excellent beer. There were nearly two hundred breweries whose malsters sent their brews throughout Europe. In the general upsurge of trade and greater competition from other towns in the first half of the century, however, many of the breweries closed down. The buildings were taken over by the pottery industry, which was quick to respond to the demands of the newly prosperous burghers who wanted fine wares for their homes. Many of the factories retained the colorful names of the breweries such as DePauew (Peacock), De Drie Klokken (The Three Bells), and De Drie Vergulde Astonnekens (The Three Golden Ashbarrels).

Tin-glazed earthenware was produced in the Netherlands and called Delftware. It was made by immersing a low-temperature fired, porous object in a liquid glaze to which tin oxide had been added. The ware was then decorated with a color, such as cobalt blue, that required a high-temperature firing. This final firing fused the color and glaze to the ceramic body making the piece impervious to liquids and giving the ware an opaque white appearance.

Delftware, earthenware with tin-glaze
Diam.: 8 7/8 in.
Decorative Arts Acquisition Fund and The Floyd A. Naramore Memorial Purchase Fund
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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