Colorful English Delft Charger with Tulips



This beautiful English Delft tulip charger is decorated with flowers and painted with soft polychrome colors of green, orange, blue, and yellow. Three tulips grow from a small hummock, filling the center of the charger. The border has four panels of cross-hatched red and blue design. The decoration is so beautiful that we suspect that this charger was made for decoration and not for practical use.

Tulips were passionately collected in England in the 17th and well into the first half of the 18th centuries. This passion translated into the decorative arts. The charger is a wonderful example of the tulip mania of the period.


Dm 13.25 in.


Excellent. Expected small edge chips invisibly restored.




Tulips were introduced into England from Turkey. As tulips were among the flowers most often represented on Turkish Iznik pottery, we can see here a strong influence of that Iznik pottery.

The origins of Delft are found in the Middle East. Tin ash was used in a glaze for pottery as early as the 9th century in Mesopotamia. The use of white glaze over a dark or buff colored pottery body created a “canvas” on which painters could show brilliant colors that did not show up well on the darker bodies of the earlier pottery.

In the Middle Ages potters took the technique to Spain and Italy. In the third quarter of the 16th century the technique spread to Holland and England. The city of Delft became the premiere center for this type of pottery, today known as “Delft.”


Michael Archer and Brian Morgan, Fair as China Dishes, page 42.

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