De Porceleyne Fles Delft large handpainted sepia applique with Dutch "beurtvaart" ship, after Gerrit Groenewegen


Shipping to United States: $49.47

Rare large handpainted applique (plaque) made in 1971 by De Porceleyne Fles in Delft, the Netherlands. The plaque features a painting of a so called "beurtvaart" ship from the southern province of Zeeland, placed on a beach or a sandbank in order to clean at low tide the outside of the hull. The painting is after an engraving made by the Dutch painter and engraver Gerrit Groenewegen (1754–1826), who was a son of a ship builder and specialised in works featuring ships and harbours near Rotterdam. The original engraving can be found here:

The 'beurtvaart" was a line shipping system for (mostly) inland navigation, that existed in the Netherlands from the late 15th century until the early 20th century. The beurtships transported passengers, livestock and freight along fixed routes at fixed prices. Departures were scheduled, with ships even sailing when not fully laden. As such it was a precursor of public transport. See for more information

The plaque is painted in the rare Delsepia style of the Porceleyne Fles, which was a style painted in sepia colour (the colour of squid ink, which produces a colour between black / grey and purple / brown), which according to the books was only produced between 1973 and 1976 by the Porceleyne Fles. This item dates from 1971, so it seems there may have been a few items produced more early too. Instead of the usual glossy underglaze painting of the Porceleyne Fles, the Delsepia style is characterised by a matt frosty finish, with the decoration painted on the glaze and fused with it during the firing process, similar to how antique tin-glazed Delftware was made.

The backside of the plaque shows on the upper part the name / subject of the painting ("Zeeuws Beurtman"), which translates as "beurtvaart ship from Zeeland" (originally a "beurtman" meant the skipper of a beurtvaart ship, later it also became the name for the ship itself). The lower part the plaque is signed with a handpainted De Porceleyne Fles Delft mark, the painter's signature (EYL, from an unidentified painter) and a year code (CP = 1971).

Condition: The plaque is in an excellent condition, as new. There are no damages or defects and there is no visible wear. The glaze shows no crazing and has a delicate matte gloss. On the backside there is a small stilt mark visible (just above the Porceleyne Fles Delft mark), which is a mark from the stilt where the plaque was resting upon when it was fired. This a normal feature of large plaques and should not be considered a defect.

A very stylish applique / plaque of De Porceleyne Fles, well painted in the rare Delsepia style. This would make a great gift for anybody involved with sailing or shipping and of course for collectors of De Porceleyne Fles items. Large plaques like this in the Delsepia style are very rare.

Made by: De Porceleyne Fles

Place of manufacture: Delft, the Netherlands

Year of manufacture: 1971

Method of decoration: handpainted (onglaze)

Size: height: 36,7 cm, width: 41,7 cm, depth: 2,3 cm

Weight: 1,74 kg

Additional pictures of the object can be provided if required.


About De Porceleyne Fles:

De Porceleyne Fles (also known as Royal Delft) is the most renowned Delftware factory in the Netherlands that still produces handpainted Delftware today. It is the only remaining factory of the 32 earthenware factories that were established in Delft during the 17th century. Founded in 1653, it has been active without interruption for over 365 years.

The quality of the painting of De Porceleyne Fles (PF) Delftware is very high, with painters receiving many years of training before they can start painting the designs. It takes no less than ten years of training / experience to become a 'master painter', who paint the more complicated designs and landscapes / sceneries.

De Porceleyne Fles produces Delftware in a variety of styles, which include beside the well-known blue and white (Delft blue) style amongst others a polychrome style, an imari style (Pijnacker), a green style (Delvert) and a 'famille Noire' style (Black Delft). A characteristic of the glaze used by PF is that it tends to craze with age a bit more than compared with other Delftware producers. So older items of PF are virtually always crazed to some extent, which does add charm to the object and should not be considered a defect.

Besides the traditional (and expensive) handpainted Delftware PF nowadays also produces more modern and affordable lines of Delftware whereby the decoration is put onto the product by hand by means of a screenprinted transfer. These products are then called "handmade" instead of "handpainted".

More information can be found on the website of Royal Delft:


This beautiful vase will be carefully packed and send by tracked and insured mail.

If you buy multiple items from our shop in one purchase, we will try to combine the items into one parcel. Any excess shipping costs will be refunded.

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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