Nice set of three handpainted tin-glazed cups / bowls made by Tichelaar in Makkum, the Netherlands. This type of bowl is called a "kraaienkom" in Dutch, which literally translates as "crow bowl". In English they are better known as "crow cups". These originally were thin- and steep-walled bowls that were exported from China to Europe during the early 17th century (the end of the Ming dynasty). This type of export porcelain, also known as "kraak porcelain" or "kraak ware" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kraak_ware) is characterized by the use of radial panels (segments) in its decoration, often featuring traditional Chinese motifs such as stylized flowers and Buddhist auspicious emblems. Typical for crow cups is that on the inside of the cup there is always a bird (a crow or a magpie) sitting on a rock (which actually is a "lingzhi" mushroom, a symbol of longevity).
Delftware developed in Holland during the 17th century as an imitation of expensive imported porcelain from China, this is why still many Chinese symbols and ornaments can be found in Delft style ceramics (although Delftware during the centuries developed its own look and feel and its own style of decoration). Delftware that still closely resembles the original Chinese ceramics or that adopts Chinese symbols and motifs to look Chinese, is called "chinoiserie" style Delftware. These three cups of Tichelaar are a good example of this, with the shape and decoration closely resembling the original crow cups that were exported from China, with the exception that these Tichelaar cups are painted in a colourful polychrome style instead of the usual blue and white style of the original crow cups.
Like the original crow cups, the Tichelaar cups are quite light and thin walled and have a slightly fluted and scalloped edge. The outside is decorated with six panels, featuring trees, water, clouds, flowers and insects. The inside of the cups features also six panels, filled with more simple floral decorations and - of course - a bird sitting on a rock. The cups have a slight relief on the inside and the outside, which emphasises the six panels.
The bowls / cups are signed underneath with handpainted Tichelaar Makkum marks (used between 1948 and 1979), the model / catalogue number (585) and the painter's signatures (one signed MW, from Mr Marten van der Wal, and two signed BT or ST, from an unknown painter).
Tin-glazed Delftware of Tichelaar is handmade according to century-old traditions identical to how the original 17th or 18th century Delftware was made. The earthenware (made from a local yellow clay) is shaped by hand or in moulds and after a first firing glazed with an opaque white tin-glaze. The colours are then painted on this glaze and fused with it through a second firing. This creates a product with a beautiful and unique appearance. Tichelaar is the only remaining Delftware producer in the Netherlands that still follows this procedure (other producers paint underglaze directly on white ceramics).
Condition: the cups are in a very good condition. There are no repairs, defects or damages, except for two tiny glaze chips on the edge of two of the cups (see pictures). This kind of edge damage is often seen on older tin-glazed ceramics, because tin-glaze is very brittle on edges. The spots are hardly noticeable and in our opinion only add character to the pieces. Generally the glaze is in a good condition, without any noticeable wear or crazing, also not inside the cups. The glaze has a nice sheen and the colours of the decorations are strong and vibrant.
A great set of Delft chinoiserie style crow cups, with a very antique look and feel to it. Best displayed at some height in or on top of a cabinet, so the richly decorated sides of the cups come out well (although the insides are worth looking into also).
Made by: Royal Tichelaar
Place of manufacture: Makkum, the Netherlands
Year of manufacture: between 1948 and 1979
Model (catalog) nr.: 585
Method of decoration: handpainted (tin-glaze)
Size: diameter: 10,3 cm, height: 8,0 cm, capacity each: 275 ml
Weight: 100-120 g each (total weight 320 g)
Additional pictures of the objects can be provided if required.
Royal Tichelaar is located in a small fishing village in the north of the Netherlands, Makkum. The history of the company goes way back to 1572, making it the oldest continuously operating company in the Netherlands. Tichelaar means "tile-maker", and at first the factory only produced bricks and tiles, but around 1700 production also started of tin-glazed household and ornamental dishes. After 1890 a large part of the production became oriented towards ornamental Delftware in various forms and styles. Tichelaar uses a yellow baking clay for their products, which is locally excavated. After baking it receives a white tin-glaze and is subsequently decorated. This is the way all Delftware was produced centuries ago, and Tichelaar is the only remaining factory to still do so. Other Delftware producers in the Netherlands around 1900 switched to painting directly on white baking clay without the extra layer of tin-glaze. True to the spirit of tradition, Tichelaar keeps mechanisation to a minimum and all items remain handpainted. The quality of the handpainting is very good, it has a distinctive "Frisian" character that is very recognisable.
Tichelaar today still produces Delftware, but on a limited scale. The traditional production process makes that the items are nowadays very costly to produce, and for many too expensive to buy. There is no production for stock anymore, but items are still produced in batches for larger orders or for individual orders accumulated through their website (about 4x per year). The company nowadays has its main focus on producing speciality tiles, with special glazes for architecture / building purposes. More information can be found on their website: https://www.tichelaar.com/.
The cups will be carefully packed and send by tracked and insured mail. Shipping is included in the price.
If you combine multiple items from our shop into one purchase, we will combine the shipping of these items and will issue you a refund of 50% of our actual shipping costs for the combined package after the purchase has been made.
If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you may contact us within 14 days from the delivery date to return the item. If the item is returned in its original condition, we will issue a refund for the total purchase price of the item (return shipping costs are however not covered).
1-2 business days
Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.
Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
We will send off your order within one or two working days. We use the standard parcel service of PostNL to ship our parcels. You can find their estimated delivery times per country in this pdf document: https://www.postnl.nl/en/Images/delivery-times_tcm9-23680.pdf. In the third column you can find the delivery times of the standard service (in estimated business / working days). Please keep in mind that customs / import procedures in non-EU countries can sometimes add an extra week (or even two weeks) to the delivery times.
On request we can also ship with UPS for a faster delivery: expedited (within 10 days) or express (within a few days). There are no custom delays when shipping with UPS. Contact us before the purchase to get a quote.
Broken ceramics is a thing we do not like! Not only is it a waste of time and money, but it also (often) means the end for a rare and unique item, which was treasured and cared for by their previous owners. So we really want to avoid any damages during shipping!
We have lots of experience of shipping ceramics, and we have seen what works and what does not work to protect ceramics during transit. If we ship multiple items in one package, each item is carefully wrapped and kept well seperated from the other items. We use large boxes, with plenty of buffer all around the items, so the packages can withstand a lot of abuse. All our packages should be able to cope with a 1,5 m drop without the items getting damaged.
Yes we do. We re-use packaging materials as much as possible, which means we rarely have to buy new materials for our packaging. Only foam peanuts are sometimes bought by us, in which case we choose starch based peanuts which are fully biodegradable, non-toxic and water-soluble.
Each year, we calculate the greenhouse gas emissions in CO2-equivalents caused by our shipping. We multiply that amount by 150% and then offset it in certified CO2 compensation projects based on tree planting / reforestation in Bolivia and Uganda. See https://treesforall.nl/en/project/ for more information on the projects.
First of all, don't let them fall! Always handle them in a mindful way and put them in spots where they cannot be accidentally bumped over when cleaning or vacuuming. Some people put some (clean) sand in vases to make them more stable.
Second, don't clean them too often! Underglaze painted Gouda and Delftware can be perfectly cleaned with water if necessary, but often just dusting them off or polishing them up a bit with a soft dry cloth is enough. Overglaze painted items should not be cleaned too often.
The colours of ceramics do not fade in sunlight, so you can put them in bright spots where they look good. But do avoid large temperature differences, which will cause increased crazing in many Delftware and also Gouda type pieces.