The history of Dutchceramics

Interested in the history of Dutchceramics? Read here how the journey started all the way to where we are now.

The origins of Delft Blue

Before delftware became commonly known under its current name there were many places in Europe with a local pottery tradition where potters tried to imitate the very expensive imported blue and white porcelain from China (Antwerp, Rouen, London, Delft, Amsterdam, Gouda).

The thing was at that time in the 16th and 17th century European potters did not yet have the knowledge to make the white-burning and more durable porcelain clay the Chinese made. In order to get the needed white underground to paint the blue colors on, they applied a tin-glaze (in fact a white glaze) on their ceramic bodies to get a similar effect. In a way this was act a continuation of the existing European tin-glazed faience and majolica tradition.

At that time domestic blue on white was the poor mans -or better said middleclass mans- China.  Many producers adapted this style to meet the growing demand and so gradually evolved in local styles all over Europe. No wonder the Dutch often depicted landscapes with windmills embellished with floral patterns. After a while as Delft and surroundings was one of the main centres for production the style was referred to as delftblue or deltware.

Two brothers, one journey

In the nineteentwenties of the last century, two brothers Cor and Gerard Montagne already started their own pottery in Gouda. In these days those companies mainly produced the famous Goudapottery (pottery de Iris, Gouda)and ceramics for florista (Gemovers). A third and younger brother, Nicolaas Montagne, learned the trade from his eldest brother Cor Montagne. In 1951 Nicolaas started his son Karel his own delftpottery. In the first years the factory was named ‘Animo’ as there were other an older Montagne potteries in Gouda and was located in the city centre. The factory expanded. After some time the neighbouring premises were integrated and soon the main entry of the factory was no longer situated in the Boelekade backstreet but at the more appealing Blekersingel.

Delftblue from Montagne dutchceramics

In the sixties Karel Montagne gradually took over the company. With the increasing tourism, souvenirs developed themselves to beloved articles. Animo strengthened her position and became one of the most important potteries of Gouda and far ahead. The company showed her products every year on trade fairs in Utrecht, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, and delivered her souvenirs to a broad market. ‘Montagne’ became a trademark. For that reason the name ‘Animo’ was changed into ‘Montagne Aardwerkfabriek’. By doing so, the company also emphasized the traditional Dutch handcraft, whereas other factories imported more and more pottery from low-wage countries.formation on Gouda plateel and other dutch ceramics antiques visit:

Different styles of high quality dutchceramics

During the nineties a third generation took share in the company: Remco Montagne, the son of Karel. De growth of Montagne Aardewerk carried on, also due to a couple of takeovers from other factories from Gouda:    Gouda pottery Jumbo   in 1997, ‘ODC’ in 2000 and ‘Keramische Industrie de Wit’ in 2000. The takeover of de Wit brought Montagne Aardewerkfabriek an important boost because the high quality Delft pottery of de Wit was (and still is) entirely hand-painted and therefore worldwide known. As a result of these takeovers, the assortment of Montagne became broadly sorted. Montagne delivered gently priced and nice souvenirs next to more expansive articles of high quality from de Wit, while Jumbo emphasized on design.

The market position was guaranteed even as a good relationship with companies in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the Dutch Antilles and Japan.

Back to the present - Here we are now

At least, Remco Montagne shifted the direction of the company. The souvenirs still are the core business of the factory, but Montagne Aardewerkfabriek pays more and more attention to promotional gifts and custom-designed work. In fact everything is possible. The factory keeps more then a thousand models at stock, every customer will be able to find something he likes. Besides, everything that doesn’t exist yet, can be made. An artist, a potter or designer can not only develop but also execute his idea in cooperation with Montagne Aardewerkfabriek, as in the company all aspects of the production process are present. According to this, you will find more information on this page.

Did we pick your interest?

Dutchceramics has established a wide range of products, ranging from ceramic animals to delft blue paintings on tiles, available in our shop. And if we don't offer already what you are looking for, you can always contact us for your own custom made Delft Blue.