That touristy blue ceramic from Holland..

I admit it I have a couple my self. That white ceramic with the blue painting on it that is commonly called “Delft”. I was informed by a freind that my pieces were not “official” Delft. Is there a difference? How can I tell?? and lastly and most importantly is one more valuable than the other?

There are only two things that are infinite…the Universe and Man’s stupidity…I’m not sure about the Universe though.

Don’t know much about this myself, but here’s a web site that might begin to answer some of your questions:

Sue from El Paso

I hit send too soon - sorry.

There are any number of collectibles in Europe for which Europeans know the “right” place to go for the genuine article, but for which tourist places sell knock-offs of because the real thing tends to be quite expensive.

One example is Swarovski crytal figurines.

When you buy crystal figurines from Swarovski, you are paying for the excellent designers, and the higher quality workmanship, the substitution of silver for lead in the crystal, and the name racognition/snob value. If you just want something sparkling, there are any lots of manufacturers who don’t aspire to the glitz of Swarovski and yet create very attractive pieces.

Other examples I know of:
Leyk lighthouses (ceramic houses you put tea candles inside to glow through the windows).

Kathe Wolfhart Christmas decorations

Imagine a foreigner coming to the US and not understanding the difference between Beanie Babies from TY, and other little stuffed critters with poems in their folded tags.

When you bring European collectibles back to the U.S., relatively few people know the difference (Swarovski, perhaps, excepted) and so if you bought the “Delft” pieces as a memento of a pleasant trip to the Netherlands, I wouldn’t worry about it much. They probably aren’t worth as much as the official Delft pieces, but you probably didn’t pay as much, either.

Sue from El Paso

Here is a listing of over 2000 Delft items that have been listed or sold on eBay in the last six months; as you can see the prices range from 99¢ to over $1200. Many of these have photos and descriptions of the markings. You may be able to judge the value of your pieces from these.

eBay Delft Auctions

Please note these auctions are completed; to view current auctions, click on “Select Active Items” near the top of the page.


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

Whoa, that didn’t work at all. Enter “delft” in the search dialog box and click on “go”.



“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

IIRC, when I was in Delft, and I took a walking tour of the city, the tour guide said that there is “Official” Delft porcelain and, since they were losing so much money to knockoffs, they started making their own knockoffs and selling those also.
So, I suppose there is really expensive Delftware and some not so expensive Delftware.

Personally, I was more interested in visiting the home of von Leeuwenhoek.

Because he had a delft touch grinding lenses?

I think we’ve delft into this subject long enough …

Delft is the name of the region of the Netherlands where the pottery is made, it is not porcelain. There are about 16 factories in Delft, all knocking out nice vases with paintings of tulips and windmills on them. However, there is only one factory with a royal charter, called Royal Delft. The work is generally of a much higher quality, though this is difficult to see if you aren’t knowledgabble about that sort of stuff. If you put a piece of Delft next to a piece of Royal Delft, you will notice that the patterns are much more intricate on the Royal piece, and that there are many more shades of blue. And the price is higher of course.

Delft is a town, not a region. Otherwise, you’re entirely correct. It’s kinda like seeing Tiffany lamps that really aren’t. The situation with Delfts Blauw is further complicated in that there is a vibrant market in (expensive) antique pieces, while that maker (Koninklijke Delft) is still making product that looks almost the exact same as the antique stuff.
So the ranking is:
(Cheap) Knock-offs from Taiwan for tourists
(Cheap) Knock-offs from Delft For tourists who think they’re smarter than the average tourist
(Pricy)Delfts Blauw from Koninklijke
(very expensive) antique Delfts Blauw from Koninklijke and some other (often defunct) manufacturers