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Verwoerd Ceramics Online   

News Archive

Follow us on Facebook - December 2013
As from 20 December 2013 Verwoerd Ceramics Online can be followed on Facebook. Our VCO Facebook page offers a wealth of new possibilities, and will live side by side with our regular Museum site. Updates are posted frequently, and highlight various aspects of the world of Delft and Delft jewelry. We will present items from our collection, point out auction listings that have an educational value, discuss collecting issues, and respond to your questions. We we will be able to share our answers with all our facebook friends. We encourage our visitors to like us on facebook. Simply click the like button at the top of this page. Enjoy!


On Display Now: "Verwoerd 100th Anniversary Offer" - February 2013
Our new exposition features a remarkable find, and a once in a lifetime offer. The 1952 Porcelain Painting Pendant or Plaque Pendant by the Verwoerd Ceramics Studio is a well documented design. It can be seen as a miniature version of the famous wall hanging porcelain paintings made by Delft potters in Holland from 1660 onward, and it is extremely rare. However, our unremitting research has recently recovered a true treasure trove with a small number of untouched, vintage 1952 Verwoerd Delft Plaque Pendants. We feel that, on the occasion of the 100th Verwoerd birthday, this should be shared with other collectors. Visit our On Display Now Sales Exposition, and learn more about this rare example of the combined skills of Verwoerd as a designer, modeler, and Delft painter.


"Dutch and Schoonhoven Silver Marks" updated - July 2012
Further research allowed us to add two more maker's marks that have been used after 1940 by the silversmithing firm of Hubert Hooykaas, of Schoonhoven. We have also added four maker's mark by Zilverfabriek Nieuwpoort, owned by the Baardwijk family. Nieuwpoort is a small Dutch village on the left bank of the river Lek, opposite of Schoonhoven. Their silversmiths are generally considered part of the Schoonhoven silversmithing community. Click here to view our updated silver marks section.


"Verwoerd Ceramics Online" renovated - July 2012
Over the years of its existence Verwoerd Ceramics Online has evolved into an unique knowledge center on Delft jewelry. "The Compact Guide To Delft Jewelry Signatures" that started out as a special exhibition has rapidly become one of our most popular online publications. Other visitors' favorites are "Dutch and Schoonhoven Silver Marks" and "The Gouda Pottery List". We have decided to carry through several changes in recognition of this stimulating development. Frequently visited links have been moved to the top menu bar, and all Verwoerd Studio sub items have been regrouped at the top of the side bar. At the same time all texts have been critically reviewed, and actualized where necessary. It goes without saying that "The Compact Guide To Delft Jewelry Signatures" will be there to stay.


A wonderful donation - April 2012
Verwoerd Ceramics Online regularly makes acquisitions for its reference collection. The latest addition came about in a very special way. The museum has received the silver filigree screw-back earrings illustrated here as a donation from Ms LeeAnn Welles-Beer of Ontario, Canada. The earrings are from the belongings of her late mother, who was a retired antique restorer, and a life long collector. We attribute the earrings to the former Van Katwijk workshop of Gouda, Netherlands, c.1953. We are extremely grateful to LeeAnn for her kind and thoughtful gift.


"The Gouda Pottery List" updated - April 2012
We have added an entry for pottery WIGO, of Gouda, Netherlands, thus bringing The Gouda Pottery List total to 150. WIGO is established in 1971 by J.J. (Hans) de Wit, formerly employed with Amfora of Gouda. The new factory becomes a major player in the market for cast earthenware flower pots. Other products are lamp bases, and animal figurines. In 1989 the firm moves to the village of Waddinxveen, near Gouda, where it continues for another 9 years. This is partly research in progress, and Verwoerd Ceramics Online is very grateful to former WIGO employee, and expert plaster modeler Alex Meewezen for providing most of the present information.


"Delft Jewelry Signatures" - April 2012
Our new presentation is a compact guide to all major manufacturers of Delft stones, and the signatures by which they can be identified. There is no harm in a little help in this respect. Interpreting signatures on many Delft medallions isn't straightforward. If there is a signature, it may simply say 'Delfts' or 'Delfts Holland'. Any addition is a bonus. This is especially true for the specialist producers of Delft stones, such as Verwoerd, Van Katwijk, and Olthuysen. The reason is that Delft jewelry inserts are in fact intermediate products and their manufacturers were primarily known to the silversmith clients. These well kept trade secrets can now be revealed. The larger factories such as Royal Delft, Plateelbakkerij Delft, Zenith, Schoonhoven, and Goedewaagen, who commonly sold a broad product line under a well established brand name, can more easily be identified if you know what to look for. All feature in our "Compact Guide To Delft Jewelry Signatures".


On Display Now: "Rare Delft Sailboats" - October 2011
Our new exposition features Delft medallions that have been decorated with blue and white sailing boat scenes. Flat bottom sailing vessels once were the main means of transport on Dutch lakes, rivers, and canals. Today they are broadly appreciated and admired as an important part of our Dutch heritage. However, as a Dutch symbol abroad, the little blue ships were never on a par with windmills, tulips, or clogs. As a result hand painted Delft sailboat jewelry is today relatively rare. For this online exhibition we have made a selection from our museum collection with, amongst others, a late 19th century Japonaiserie ships brooch from the Porceleyne Fles factory in Delft.


Silver Brooch 1891
De Porceleyne Fles
Decorator NS
3.2x4cm


"The Gouda Pottery List" updated - May 2011
The museum has acquired Delft pottery inserts produced by J. Nuvelsteijn of Gouda. The Nuvelsteijn firm was established before WW2, and remained in business until about 1960-1970. Our new acquisitions stem from that last decade, and there are presently no indications of an earlier production of Delft stones. The inserts have been decorated in the ligne clair style, but are easily recognized by the fact that they are covered with a blueish transparent glaze, both on front and back. Click here to view the Nuvelsteijn entry in The Gouda Pottery List.


On Display Now: "Filigree and Imitation Filigree" - April 2011
The VCO museum is pleased to present its new section of changing exhibitions dedicated to selected pieces from our collection. The opening exhibition of On Display Now features three butterfly brooches. The items can be viewed from different angles, and they illustrate three episodes from the production history of Delft jewelry. First, the era of genuine, handcrafted filigree, mainly from Schoonhoven. Each piece is meticulously composed of a large number of tiny silver curls and other silver elements (see below). The 1960's see the competition of die-cut silver toned metal, often made of aluminum and other non-precious metals. In the 1980's Schoonhoven uses silver lost wax casting techniques to produce crafty silver filigree imitations that bring back some of the memories of times past.


1950's Silver Filigree
Butterfly Brooch
Cornelis Verwoerd/
G.J. van den Bergh
& Zn (attrib.)
4.7x4.7cm


"Schoonhoven Silver Marks" - October 2010
The VCO museum is pleased to present its list of maker's marks used by Schoonhoven silversmiths after WW2. Our new addition can be very helpful when dating Delft jewelry, and is useful for a broader group of Schoonhoven silver collectors as well. Maker's marks usually mirror the active period of a silversmith. They often reflect family events and changes of management. Moreover, in 1953 Dutch silver hallmarks have been adjusted to international standards, thus creating a clear division of silver items produced before and after. Some of the Schoonhoven silversmiths known to have been active in the production of Delft jewelry are G.J. van den Bergh Jr., G.J. van den Bergh & Son, G.A. van Engelen, the Niekerk Bros., W. Rond, H.B. Hol, H. Hooykaas, the Huisman Bros, the Rous family, the Seton Bros, and the Wendels family. They all feature in a new section of Verwoerd Ceramics Online.


"The Gouda Pottery List" updated - July 2010
We have added an illustration of a small PZH trinket vase or bibelot decorated by Cornelis Verwoerd at the age of 14. Verwoerd became a painter's apprentice with Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, of Gouda, the Netherlands in 1927. The vase must have been one of his first finished products. It is remarkably well done, and we take it that further training was aimed at decorating larger pieces, and a larger number of pieces in a given amount of time, while preserving quality. As illustrated below, the marks at the bottom of the small vase are a still very insecure painter's signature C.V., the year mark for 1927, and the familiar PZH Lazarus Gate factory logo. Click here to view the PZH entry in The Gouda Pottery List.


"The Gouda Pottery List" - April 2010
The Verwoerd Ceramics Studio was not the only Gouda pottery that has been started or revived after World War 2. Both the end of the war and a newly sprung supply of affordable electrically heated pottery kilns have caused a brief but impressive revival of the Gouda pottery industry. Our research has revealed that in the 1950's, at the height of the revival, some 90 potteries have been simultaneously active within the Gouda region alone. All-in-all we have collected basic data of over 140 predominantly small potteries, in most cases including the names of their owners, the active period, their place of business, and the nature of their production. Among the potteries that have produced Delft medallions for application in silver jewelry are Cornelis Verwoerd, Frans van Katwijk, Porceletti, Schoonhoven and Zenith. They all feature in a new section of Verwoerd Ceramics Online "The Gouda Pottery List".


"The Verwoerd Painters" section updated - January 2010
We have once more updated the paragraph on Ton de Kruyf. We now attach less importance to the curved brake cord, and more to the signature and the sketchy little windmill at the horizon. Our research has further revealed that Piet Woerlee (1886-1963) not only was a free lance decorator for Verwoerd, but for Van Katwijk as well. We have updated the Woerlee résumé accordingly. Frans van Katwijk was the artistic leader and chief decorator at Plateelbakkerij Schoonhoven. In that capacity he employed both Woerlee and Verwoerd during the years 1937-1939. It is no surprise that Van Katwijk hired the then free lance decorator Woerlee when he had established his own company "Atelier Van Katwijk" in 1946, one year after the end of the German occupation of Holland. The date at which Woerlee started painting for Verwoerd, 1953, suggests that he ended his Van Katwijk engagement after the untimely decease of Frans van Katwijk in November 1952. Woerlee signs "PW", and there is no Van Katwijk factory mark as illustrated below (courtesy Mr and Mrs J. Heikoop).


Presenting "The Sepia Collection" - October 2009
A remarkable discovery was made during a research visit to G.J. van den Bergh Zilverwerken, of Schoonhoven, the Netherlands. The sepia collection is a beautifully crafted four piece silver filigree sample collection, featuring extremely rare sepia Delft medallions that have been hand painted by Cornelis Verwoerd. The character of the paintings is dramatically different from that of the more common blue and white windmill sceneries. They resemble a wash pen and ink drawing rather than a watercolor painting as is the case with most Verwoerd blue and whites. This beautiful collection was produced in 1954 by silver smiths G.J. Van den Bergh Jr. What has been preserved of this rare Sepia Delft jewelry collection emerged in 2009, after having been hidden in the Van den Bergh vault for 55 years. They now feature in our new exhibition "The Sepia Collection"


"The Painters" section updated - May 2009
The museum is pleased to announce that it has acquired a period photograph of A.G. (Ton) de Kruyf, who was a free lance painter for the Verwoerd Ceramics Studio during the years 1955 and 1956. The photo is essential for the completion of our hired painters section. We have also clarified the text about recognizing a "De Kruyf", in order to underline that a windmill showing a "curved brake cord" is in itself not sufficient to attribute the painting to Ton de Kruyf. Several other painters - not in any way connected to the Verwoerd workshop - have used the curved brake cord as well. It is therefore important to consider this design always in combination with one or more additional distinguishing features, such as the typical Verwoerd palette of blue shades, a possible De Kruyf signature, or the proper silver smith maker's mark. Please contact our helpdesk for further details.


Painters Résumés added - April 2009
Recent research has enabled the Verwoerd Ceramics Online museum to add a new page with résumés of the four painters that have been employed by the Verwoerd Ceramics Studio. They are H.C de Jong, P. Woerlee, Ms A.J. Gaasenbeek, and A.G. de Kruyf. Most Delft medallions that have been produced by the Verwoerd workshop were designed, manufactured, and painted by Cornelis Verwoerd. However, from the very start Verwoerd has employed selected painters in order to meet the demand for its high quality hand painted cabochons. Between 1949 and 1959, some 20 painters were asked to submit test samples of Blue Delft windmill sceneries using bisque medallions and paint provided to them. Only four painters were actually hired. With our new addition "The Painters" the museum aims to recognize their contribution, and assist in identifying their work.


Production Data added - December 2008
The Museum has recently acquired historic production data of Delft miniature medallions, as well as contemporary ceramic jewelry, from the Verwoerd workshop over the period 1949-1975. We have analyzed this information, and although the data for the early years are somewhat fragmented, we are now in a position to indicate in most cases which shapes or designs are special, and which are more common. This is very relevant to our own collection, but also for other collectors. We have therefore added the new information to the pages on the Windmill series, the Rare Designs collection, and the Contemporary Jewelry collection. Thanks to this find, we may also be able to provide more detailed answers at our Helpdesk.

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