Exceptional royal sized (76 x 42 cm) handpainted Delft style covered vase made in the 1950's under the "Potterij Rembrandt" brand name by Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland in Gouda, the Netherlands. The vase is painted in Delft imari style (based on the Japanese imari style of ceramics) using blue, green, yellow, brown, plum and gold colours. The blue, green, yellow, brown and plum colours are applied underglaze, while the gold paint is applied overglaze.
The hexagonal (six-sided) vase has a continuous decoration which encircles the vase, showing a fenced off fantasy garden with a wide array of flowers, leaves and insects. The base and the shoulders of the vase are decorated with Delft style ornaments. The lid is decorated in a similar manner and has a stylised foo dog (which is actually a guardian lion) laying on a rock as a finial. The vase is ribbed, which adds extra sheen to the glaze. The edge of the foot, rim and the edge of the lid are heavily gilded. The inside of the vase is fully glazed.
Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (PZH) produced from 1925 till 1955 ceramics under a separate brand name "Potterij Rembrandt", alongside its main line of production which was marketed with the PZH name. Most of the production under the Potterij Rembrandt name was Gouda style art pottery, which was produced during the years 1925 and 1926. But sometimes also Delft type ceramics were produced by PZH with the Potterij Rembrandt name. This vase is a (rare) example of that Delftware. The Delftware of Zuid-Holland is noted for its very good quality, comparable with that of the Porceleyne Fles (Royal Delft). In comparison with the Porceleyne Fles, the decorations of Zuid-Holland are more flamboyant and expressive, which is probably an influence from their Gouda style products, which often feature expressive, organic decorations.
The vase is signed at the bottom with a handpainted "Pottery Rembrandt Holland" mark, a model number (5302) and the classifications "Delfts" and "Holland". There is also a painter's signature, "JB", which is the signature of Mr. J.A. Boot (Jacob Arie Boot), of which it is known that he was born 27-04-1896 in Gouda, that he worked from 1908-1964 at PZH and that he passed away at 02-10-1978.
Condition: very good to excellent. There are no damages, cracks or restorations. The only defect is a small and thin hairline that is barely visible at the inside and the outside of the rim of the vase (see detail pictures). This defect is normally not noticeable, especially when the lid is resting upon the vase. Also the gold paint on the edge of the rim of the vase has been worn off at certain places, where the lid has been resting upon the rim. Aside from this, the overglaze gold paint is generally in a good condition and shows little wear. The glaze also shows little wear, it has a beautiful gloss, the underglaze colours are bright and strong and there is only little crazing. The inside of the vase is clean.
This imari style Delftware of Zuid-Holland is quite rare and cannot be often found on the market, certainly not in an exceptionally large size like this. This makes it a truly exceptional vase, which will add class and vibrancy to any room, from classic to modern.
Made by: Potterij Rembrandt / Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland
Place of manufacture: Gouda, the Netherlands
Year of manufacture: most probably between 1950 and 1955
Method of decoration: handpainted (underglaze and overglaze)
Size: height: 76 cm, diameter: 42 cm
Weight: 12,14 kg (body: 10,60 kg, lid: 1,54 kg)
Additional pictures of the object can be provided if required.
About Potterij Rembrandt:
Potterij Rembrandt started out as a special art pottery branch of the Westraven (Gebr. Ravesteyn) ceramic factory in Utrecht, the Netherlands. From 1906 to 1908 modern art pottery and tiles were produced there under the leadership of Mr. Pieter Cornelis Köhler, who had previously worked at PZH. The name Rembrandt was chosen because the founding year (1906) was exactly 300 years after the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt was born.
Lack of economic success caused Westraven to discontinue the art pottery activities in 1908, after which Köhler decided to continue with his own pottery under the same name in Nijmegen, together with other business partners. From 1908 till 1916 good quality art pottery was produced there in a variety of styles, most often in the Art Nouveau Gouda style, but there was also some production of the more traditional Delft Blue style.
Production came to a halt when WWI broke out on the continent. Köhler resumed production again under the "Potterij Rembrandt" name in 1920, but this time his pottery did not last for long: only two years. In 1925 Köhler decided to sell the brand name to Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland.
About Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland:
Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (also known as "Plazuid" or PZH) was a pottery company located in the city of Gouda which played a leading role in the development of the Gouda art pottery style during the 1900-1920 period. The factory was founded in 1898 and produced till 1910 primarily high quality art nouveau / Jugendstil style pottery. In 1909 it developed a matt glaze technique that became characteristic for Gouda style pottery in the following decades (up till then the decoration was often painted underglaze with a high gloss finish). Production was quite successful and around 1920 over 300 people were employed by the company. Many famous names in Dutch ceramic art have created designs for Zuid-Holland.
Decline came when during 1928 a yearlong (!) labour strike of factory workers demanding higher wages struck the Gouda pottery industry. After this was resolved, the Great Depression of the 1930's kicked in. In reaction to this, production became oriented towards more simple designs and techniques and to the production of tableware instead of art pottery. After WWII the factory continued its production. Delftware (Delft Blue and polychrome styles), which had always been produced by the factory alongside its Gouda styles, became more important. The company survived up till 1965, when rising labour costs and competition from other Dutch ceramic factories such as Zenith and Goedewaagen forced a sudden closure.
More information on Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (and Gouda pottery in general) can be found on this English language website: www.goudadesign.co.uk.
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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.