WHY WE LOVE IT: A five piece mantle garniture comprising three covered vases and a pair of beakers.
Made in the Netherlands circa 1750 the vases are each hand painted on the front with a brightly colored, polychrome scene showing a Dutch peasant woman returning home from market.
She wears an apron and carries a traditional wicker basket. The bottom of each vase with the M:Q mark for Quirinus Mesch. Quirinus Mesch was a manufacturer of Dutch Delft who had the rare distinction to have completed several trips to the East Indies with the VOC .
Background of Polychrome Colored Delft: In the 15th century in The towns of Faenza and Urbino Italian potters created ceramics with an opaque white, tin-based glaze on fired clay, which served as a ground for polychrome enamel painting. This Italian pottery, locally referred to as Maiolica or Faience, was richly decorated with polychrome colors. These wares were transported from Italy to the Netherlands. In the 16th century a small group of Italian potters established factories in the Netherlands making the first polychrome Dutch Delft.  The Dutch East India Company, or the VOC for short (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) was established by charter in 1602. The VOC was first organized to profit from the East Asian spice trade. The VOC quickly built a monopoly over international trade, responsible for the transportation of millions of goods between Europe and Asia during its almost two hundred year existence.