Medium sized (19,5 cm high) Gouda style ewer (jug / pitcher) vase made between 1912 and 1928 by Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (PZH) in Gouda, the Netherlands. The vase is handmade and handpainted underglaze in Dutch art nouveau Gouda style with a décor of flowers, leaves and organic shapes in ochre (yellow), grape, violet, purple, cobalt blue, brown and black colours over a dark green background. The vase has been finished with a beautiful high gloss glaze, also on the inside.
The vase is signed at the bottom with a handpainted PZH mark (a house with a gate, the Lazarus gate of Gouda), a model number (347), a painter's signature (S, of Mr. Dirk van der Starre who worked from 1912 till 1928 at PZH as a painter) and the designations "Gouda" and "Holland". Also the inscribed number 347 can be seen in the clay.
Please note that for the pictures the vase is well lit and the colours are then quite bright and strong. In reality, without much focused light on it, the colours of these kind of high gloss Gouda vases are much more subdued, making them more "introvert" and mysterious. So the amount of light they receive really makes a difference for the appearance.
Made by: Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland
Place of manufacture: Gouda, the Netherlands
Year of manufacture: between 1912 and 1928, most likely before 1920
Method of decoration: handpainted (underglaze)
Size: height: 19,5 cm, diameter: 13,5 cm (capacity 1,0 litre)
Weight: 560 g
Condition: very good, there are no damages, cracks or hairlines, except for two small chips at the foot of the vase (see detail pictures). These chips have been painted black to make them less noticeable. The price of the vase has been adjusted for this defect. There is very little wear to the glaze, which has a beautiful deep, dark gloss. A very light, even crazing is visible in the glaze, which is only noticeable under very bright light. This is normal for Gouda pieces of this age and just adds character to the item.
Additional pictures of the object can be provided if required.
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 struck the Gouda pottery industry. After that conflict 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 (under the "Plazuid" name). 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 the competition of 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 these English language websites: www.goudadesign.co.uk and http://journalofantiques.com/features/the-world-of-gouda-pottery/.
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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.
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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.