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How to identify delft pottery

Updated November 21, 2016

Delft pottery was first produced in the 17th century when citizens of the Dutch town of the same name began to hand-paint classic pottery. Over the years, the distinctive blue-and-white Delftware grew in popularity, increasing the amount of antique vases, plates and figurines that may be found across the globe. After 350 years of production, the Delft company continues to produce hand-painted pieces.

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  1. Flip your piece of pottery over to reveal the underside. All Delft pieces are marked with an emblem on the bottom. Examine the surface for the blue marking. In older pieces, this marking may be partialy rubbed off.

  2. Evaluate the mark for authenticity. Early Delft pottery held a mark that was scribed in a text closely resembling Times New Roman print. The design is a large blue "V" with an "O" on the left upper arm of the "V" and a "C" on the right upper arm of the "V".

  3. Look for a crown above the writing, "Handpainted, Delft Blue, Made in Holland". The crown is a design with a cross in the middle of the top and a diamond just below. This design is common among plates made in the recent century.

  4. Examine the piece for a current marking, mostly used on items during the 21st century. This mark is a blue cursive "D" with an "A" attached, almost blended together. Within the "D" is a classic windmill with four blades and a box-shaped base. The writing beneath the "DA" lettering most often states, "Handpainted, Delft Blue."

  5. If still in doubt about an item's authenticity, take your piece to a local antique appraiser. Often appraisers will hold shows or conferences in larger cities, or you may find one through your local historical society.

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Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Guide to Delft pottery (in reference section)

About the Author

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