Boch Frères Keramis very large antique handpainted Delft style covered vase with glazing artefacts

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Very large (50,0 cm high) antique handpainted covered vase ("pul" or "dekselvaas" in Dutch) made between 1874 and 1900 by Boch Frères Keramis in La Louvière, Belgium. The vase has a classic Delft blue style decoration painted on white tin-glaze. The decoration follows the octagonal (eight-sided) shape of the vase and consist of two different flower decorations, a flower basket within a cartouche alternated with a loose flower arrangement. The foot and shoulders of the vase are decorated with Delft style ornaments. The lid of the vase has a similar decoration as the base of the vase and is crowned with an expressive 'foo-dog', a Chinese guardian lion. The inside of the vase is also fully glazed with a white tin-glaze.

The vase has many glazing artefacts, places where the glaze did not hold properly during firing. This is more often seen in the large vases of Boch Frères Keramis, but this vase has quite a lot. It makes this vase a bit of a curiosity and a nice reminder of the delicate process of producing artisanal vases like this. The vase still displays beautifully.

The vase is signed at the bottom with a handpainted BFK (Boch Frères Keramis) mark, with the number 165 (the decor number) and a painter's signature ("Ph", from an unknown painter). There is also an underlined number 111, which is the mould number. The same number is also impressed in the ceramic, along with the letters "K" and "F".

This vase was produced in the famous "Chambre des Peintres Hollandais" of Boch Frères Keramis (now Royal Boch) in La Louvière, Belgium. This was a special chamber at the BFK factory where handpainted Delft style ceramics were made in the best of Dutch traditions by Dutch painters hired from the Netherlands (from Delft and Maastricht). Not much is known about these painters or their signatures, but a few names are known, such as the members of the Heemskerk family (father and five children), who were among the first Dutch painters to start painting at BFK. The handpainted ceramics of the "Chambre des Peintres" was oriented towards the more wealthy customers, in addition to the main lines of ceramics, which were produced for the more general public in an industrial manner using transfer (printing) techniques. See for more information.

Condition: As described above, the vase has many glazing artefacts, mostly in its lower parts and on the shoulders. The artefacts for some reason mostly follow the decoration outlines. The lid is perfect, without any glazing errors. The vase has no damages, except for two hairline cracks in the rim of the vase (see detail pictures). They are not noticeable when the lid is on the vase. The rim and shoulder of the vase also have some light crazing, which is absent from the other parts of the vase. Generally the glaze is in a very good condition, without any visible wear and with a nice delicate matte gloss. The inside of the vase is clean, as new.

An impressive and classic Delft style vase with a lot of glazing artefacts, which makes it a bit of a curiosity. It is still great for decoration and offered here at a reduced price because of its defects.

Made by: Boch Frères Keramis (Royal Boch)

Place of manufacture: La Louvière, Belgium

Year of manufacture: between 1874 - 1900

Method of decoration: handpainted (tin-glaze)

Size: height: 50,0 cm, diameter: 25,0 cm. Capacity: 10 litres.

Weight: 4,04 kg

Additional pictures of the object can be provided if required.


About Boch Frères Keramis (Royal Boch):

In 1844 the brothers Eugène and Victor Boch started a ceramic factory in La Louvière, in the mid-south of Belgium. The brothers were from the Boch family which also owned large ceramic factories in Germany and Luxembourg, under the famous name of Villeroy and Boch. The factory in La Louvière produced decorative ceramics and tableware in a variety of styles using transfer printing techniques (copperplate engravings transferred to ceramics).

Around 1874 the factory also started to produce fine handpainted ceramics in Delft style by hiring Dutch painters from the Netherlands. These Delft style pieces are signed with a handpainted mark which is a combination of the letters B F K. These products are known as products from the "Chambre des Peintres Hollandais" (the Dutch painters chamber). In addition to these Delft style pieces several other styles of handpainted ceramics were also made (in various French, Persian and Chinese styles), but these products have a different mark.

The production of the "Chambre des Peintres" ended somewhere around 1900, and the factory continued with production of transfer printed pieces (also in Delft style) and ceramics in Art Nouveau and later also Art Deco styles. From 1920 onwards the factory became well known for its high-quality pieces of the designer Charles Catteau, and later also Raymond Chevallier.

Like many other ceramics factories, Boch Frères Keramis during the sixties and seventies struggled to keep production profitable, facing a strong rise in labour costs. In 1985 the company went bankrupt and was liquidated. From 1985 to 2009 the ownership of the factory passed through several hands and production activities were reduced or split off. Since 2009 a new owner is active who tries to bring new life into the factory and to continue the legacy of the BFK brand. More information can be found on the website


This beautiful vase will be carefully packed and send by tracked and insured mail. Shipping is included in the price.

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).

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How should I take care of my Dutch ceramics?

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.

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