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Tiles from Boterbrug in Delft

Jan Romijn

In the house at 11 Boterbrug, Delft, were a number of tile-clad walls until 1980. The walls in the stairwell and the back room on the ground floor were entirely decorated with seventeenth-century tiles depicting children’s games. Another wall combined tiles with sea creatures and with ships.

A Leprous Bagger

Wilfried Willekes

This tile represents a beggar with leprosy, who is trying to catch coins in his open hand. People throw coins to him from a safe distance to avoid being infected.

Amsterdam Tiles with Sea Creatures picked out in Yellow: found in Villa Pruikenburg

Lejo Schenk

This article describes a group of tiles with seventeen distinct sea-creature motifs, which were discovered at Villa Pruikenburg in Laren (Netherlands). This villa once belonged to the well-known painter Gijs Bosch Reitz, who was related to the distinguished patrician Six family of Amsterdam. Bosch Reitz was also a collector, and was even appointed curator of Asian ceramics at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The tiles, which he must have acquired elsewhere, were applied in his new villa early in the twentieth century. Of a hitherto unknown type, they depict blue-and-white sea creatures picked out in a warm yellow colour. They are clearly related to a group in the collection of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, which have been dated by Jan Pluis to around 1680. They may be a modernized variant from about 1680-1700. The article suggests a link with the arrival of the Utrecht Van Oort family of tile makers in Amsterdam. They experimented with the use of gold lustre on tiles, and yellow accents are occasionally found as well.

Flower Vase Tile Pictures in Wilanów Palace, Warsaw, Poland

Jan Pluis

In November 2013 appeared the Polish publication Gabinet Farfurowy w pałacu w Wilanowie. Studium historyczno-ikonograficzne (The Faience Cabinet in Wilanów Palace. A study of its history and iconography) by Piotr Oczko and Jan Pluis. This Faience Cabinet is decorated with tiles and tile pictures, which were heightened with gold paint in Poland, after delivery, so as to blend in with the many gold-coloured decorations in the Cabinet. The tile pictures depict flower vases with various scenes in chinoiserie. They can be ascribed on stylistic grounds to the Jan van Oort tile works in Amsterdam and date from circa 1690.

Dutch Tiles in Casa do Paço, Figueira da Foz, Portugal

Inês Pinto

At the end of the seventeenth century D. João de Melo chose Figueira da Foz, near the mouth of the river Mondego, for the construction of Casa do Paço. This Palace boasts one of the largest repositories of Dutch tiles with human figures and scenic designs that have remained in situ since the eighteenth century.

The walls of four state rooms on the first floor are covered in tiles with three themes: two rooms are decorated with landscapes, one with biblical scenes and one with horsemen. They amount to nearly 6,700 tiles, which were manufactured by the tile works on Delftsevaart in Rotterdam. Eleven landscape tiles have, for the first time, been linked to graphic examples.

Print and Tile: A Townscape by Boumeester: The Two Towers

Marten Boonstra

In the case of eighteenth-century landscape tiles, the prints on which they are based have often been found, but this does not always mean that the location is known for certain. This tile depicting a town gate by the riverside painted by Cornelis Boumeester (1652-1733) is a case in point. The picture is based on an undated etching by Anthonie Waterloo (1609-1690). A comparison with topographical paintings, particularly a river view by Salomon van Ruysdael, does prove that this tile represents a view of Arnhem. The gate might be the Janspoort (St John’s Gate).

Print and Tile: St Peter's Denial

Ides Dehaene

The Biblical representation of St Peter's Denial (Matt. 26:69-75) is found in a great many versions on Dutch tiles. Tile manufacturers had their own designs made or adopted other people's (sometimes including the original sponsen). The designs were constantly simplified, until they are hardly recognizable anymore and the Bible references are incorrect. Many depictions are modelled on a print by Pieter Schut which shows the moment when the servant-girl recognizes Peter. Others depict Peter's remorse, after the cock has crowed.

More about Georg Sturm and the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Rob Delvigne

New research on designs by Georg Sturm (1855-1923) for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam requires some additions to the article that the author published in Tegel 39. Situated on the south-facing wall are three tile pictures made of coloured enamelled lava, which were blocked from view when the Room of the Night Watch was built in 1906.

On the wall of the gallery leading to the ‘Fragments Building’ are five tile pictures of female figures symbolizing book and print making. More was also discovered about what happened to the Rozenburg picture of 1892 depicting the Three Graces with the text 'Beauty – Truth – Goodness', which had been intended for the National Academy of Drawing Instructors but was rejected by the architect of the Rijksmuseum, Pierre Cuypers.

Bouwmeester Revived in Amsterdam. New Tile-clad Walls Inspired by an Antique Tile Picture

Francine Stoffels

In connection with the construction of a new Underground line, Amsterdam Central Station and the infrastructure surrounding it are being redeveloped. Part of the redevelopment comprises a new tunnel for cyclists and pedestrians, thus creating a better connection between the northern part of Amsterdam and the Centre.

On the pedestrian side of the tunnel, the wall and ceiling are covered with a tile picture measuring 100 x 7 m, half of which, on the city Centre side, is figurative. The Amsterdam graphic designer Irma Boom based her concept on a signed tile picture by the Rotterdam tile painter Cornelis Boumeester (c. 1652-1733), in the collection of the Rijksmuseum. It represents the man-of-war 'Rotterdam', with a herring fleet behind it. In the new tile picture the Rotterdam coat of arms on the stern has been replaced by that of Amsterdam.

Because of their outdoor situation the tiles were made of a different clay mixture from in Boumeester’s days. However, the trek (preliminary outline over the pricked design) was painted in the traditional way with the help of sponsen, and the tiles are all hand-painted. The intensity of the blue fades towards the middle of the tunnel until only the white colour remains. After the middle the blue colour gradually increases again until the tiles at the northern side have become almost uniformly blue.

This technical tour de force was produced by Royal Tichelaar at Makkum. The result is the largest hand-painted tile picture in the Netherlands.

Pieter Tichelaar: Ceramics Entrepreneur, Researcher and Stimulator

'Doing a good job - that's what gives me satisfaction'
Lejo Schenk

Pieter Tichelaar (1928) was until 1985 director of Royal Tichelaar Earthenware Factory in Makkum, the oldest family business in the Netherlands. He has published several books on earthenware production and technology. At present he is working on his final research project, a book about Northern Netherlands maiolica. In this interview with Tegel editor Leo Schenk he talks frankly about his childhood, his relationship with his father, and his son who succeeded him. Other topics include the history of the company during the Occupation, the choices the company is currently making, and his views on tile collecting.