Boch Frères Keramis antique handpainted Delft blue style 'calabash' vase

$123.11

Shipping to United States: $31.34

Medium sized (26 cm high) handpainted Delft style vase made between 1874 and 1900 by Boch Frères Keramis in La Louvière, Belgium. This type of vase is called a "calabash vase" or "gourd vase", which is a shape based on eastern type of vases. The vase is octagonal (eight-sided) and is decorated in various shades of blue painted on a white tin-glaze. The decoration is symmetrical on four sides and consist of cartouches (panels) filled with various leaf and flower ornaments and lattice patterns. The painting is very well done, very precise and consistent. The vase is fully glazed on the inside.

The vase is signed at the bottom with a handpainted BFK (Boch Frères Keramis) mark, with below it the number "189" and the monogram "JH". The number 56 is as far as we know the decor number, while the JH monogram is the painter's signature. Next to the BFK mark there is an additional number "99/1". Of this "99" is the vase model number. The /1 probably indicates the size (with other sizes of the same model being marked as /2 or /3 respectively). Impressed in the clay we again find the number "99".

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). To whom the painter's signature "JH" exactly belongs is unknown to us, but it is likely to be a member of the Heemskerk family, 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 from the factory which were produced for the more general public, in an industrial manner using transfer (printing) techniques.

Condition: excellent, as new, which is remarkable for a vase over 100 years old. There are no damages, cracks, hairlines or restorations. There is no visible wear to the glaze, which has a beautiful gloss and shows no crazing. The colours are beautiful and strong.

A beautiful and sturdy classic Delft style vase in perfect condition. Great for decoration. This vase will fit into a variety of interiors, from classic to modern.

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 26,0 cm, diameter 12,0 cm. Capacity: 0,8 litre.

Weight: 660 g

Additional pictures of the object can be provided if required.

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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 ceramic 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 www.royalboch.com.

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This item 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 do you pack your items, will my item arrive safely?

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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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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