THE EVER-INCREASING CHARM OF ANTIQUE DELFT BLUE TILES
It might not seem to be a likely fit, but there’s one decorative item that’s all the rage with young and emerging interior designers antique Delft tiles. Hand crafted and hand painted, these charmingly imperfect antique tiles have always generated strong interest from tile enthusiasts of all ages, yet for the past several years they’ve become massively appealing to a growing number of millennial creators and taste makers. What once was old is new again.
One reason for this surge in popularity could be the fact that many antique Delft tiles feature classic designs that date back to when they were first produced during the Dutch Golden Age in response to Chinese blue-and-white glazed porcelain. Instagram-savvy craftspeople and interior designers who tend to seek traditional, yet contemporary décor have been drawn to these hand crafted and hand painted antique pictorial designs, which feature a range of themes from ornate depictions of Dutch life (canal barges or village fetes, for example) to drawings of animals, flowers, landscapes, seascapes, mythical creatures and more.
Antique Delft Tiles—Traditional, Yet Timeless
In recent years, a new generation of tile makers has focused on replicating the authentic hand crafted look of antique Delft blue tiles, which are identifiable by their greyish-white, tin-lead glaze and fine, hand painted illustrations.
“Back in the day,” a tracing technique allowed painters to reproduce the same image repeatedly with only very slight variations. This was essentially an early system of mass production. One can only imagine the unenviable task of having to hand paint the same design over and over again.
However, it’s the slight but authentic variations resulting from this process that have drawn tile enthusiasts to hand crafted and hand painted antique Delftware tiles. These minute differences add a certain level of charm, character and individuality, attracting the imaginations of curious admirers. Whether the design features angels, sea monsters, little children or scenes of Dutch life, antique tiles can add a sense of tradition and
history to a hallway, bedroom, fireplace, bathroom or kitchen backsplash. In fact, antique Delft tiles—and basically Delft blue tiles in general—are an ideal decorative solution when space is limited and there’s a strong desire to make an impression.
Another theory that might explain the popularity of antique Delft tiles is their hand crafted nature, with bumps and subtly uneven edges. This could be viewed as a refreshing antidote to the perfect lines and grids we’re used to seeing on the various devices we interact with on a daily basis.
Lasting Value and Charm of Antique Delft Blue Pottery
The collector market has also demonstrated strong interest in centuries-old Delft pottery. The city of Delft in the Netherlands is renowned for its legacy of pottery production that dates back centuries, and it’s the maker’s antique ceramic wares—produced in an array of styles and formats including hand crafted and hand painted plaques—that truly excite collectors. In fact, high quality antique Delftware works typically sell in the range of $3,000-$6,000 USD, with the more rare and coveted pieces selling for up to twenty times this amount. As for antique Delft tiles themselves, they certainly bring beauty and charm to home décor, but they also value from an investment perspective. A Daily Mail report from 2015 listed the discovery of a cache of Delft tiles valued at £50,000 (nearly $70,000 USD).
You’re in the Right Place for Hand Crafted Antique Delft Blue Tiles
As your one-stop destination, Delft Tiles offers one of the world’s largest inventories of hand crafted and hand painted antique Delft blue tiles, including classic “white” field tiles, special glazes and related products, custom tiles, architectural tiles and much more.
To view our expansive online catalog of antique Delft tiles, or to place an order, please visit our or contact us at:
Museums in The Netherlands featuring hand painted Delft Blue pottery and tiles:
Museums abroad featuring hand painted Delft Blue tiles: