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New Book about Tin-Glazed Earthenware



Ulla Houkjær

Tin-Glazed Earthenware from the Netherlands, France & Germany 1600-1800

Designmuseum Danmark, 1st edition, 2016, 416 pages, richly illustrated.   
ISBN 978-87-90786-59-5

Danish edition: 978-87-90786-57-1




The story of tin-glazed earthenware is an essential part of European cultural history, tracing the changing way of life, styles, and taste, notably during the period 1600-1800.

Before porcelain became commonplace, tin-glazed earthenware was, for a time, the preferred material for home use, produced as fashionable tableware and ornaments. The golden age of tin glaze products was the 1700s with more than 300 workshops throughout Europe. By the end of the century, tin glaze wares had practically been driven out by Chinese and European porcelain and the cheaper English creamware.

Today, we still find the beauty of tin-glazed earthenware compelling: its brilliant white glaze and decorations in bright, intense colours while details of original use and significance may be obscure.

This book recounts the story of tin-glazed earthenware with special focus on the production in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. It is the first publication of its kind in Denmark since Emil Hannover wrote Keramisk Haandbog (Pottery & Porcelain: a Handbook for Collectors) almost one hundred years ago. Much has happened in ceramics research since then, and the survey is made in light of recent research in this field as are the author’s own conclusions in this book.

Commentaries are based on Designmuseum Danmark’s large collection of faience, the most extensive and finest in Denmark with magnificent pieces collected over a period of 125 years. The book contains detailed descriptions of the tin glaze production techniques and decoration of the finished wares with anything from naturalistic floral decorations to the blue decorations inspired by Chinese porcelain. Furthermore, it outlines how new types of tableware including large tureens, sauce boats, wine coolers, and special dessert tableware were gaining ground on well-laid tables. Finally, there is focus on the distribution of tin glaze wares and how many ceramicists would travel from one factory to the next thus quickly spreading new fashion trends.

The catalogue raisonné contains more than 250 items, most of which are described and photographed for the first time. The publication was made possible with generous support from the New Carlsberg Foundation.

Further information
For interviews and further information, please contact Ulla Houkjær, senior curator at

Press photos:

The book can be ordered from Museum Tusculanum Press, Email:
Phone:+45 3234 1414. Alternatively, it can be purchased in the shop at Designmuseum Danmark during museum opening hours: Tues-Sun: 11-17 and Wed: 11-21.

Price: DDK 525.