Gouda is a city in The Netherlands, well known for its cheese and for its hand-decorated art pottery. Most of the Gouda pottery which I buy is from the 1910’s and 1920’s—and hews more closely to the “typical Gouda style” with colorful, swirling, exotic botanical motifs. When I found this piece, I did not know who had made it. All I knew was that I loved it. The restrained, masculine coloration, the crisp 1930’s Art Deco decoration, and the quality of the hand-painting makes this piece of Dutch pottery a handsome homerun (in my eyes).
Gouda (pronounced “How-da”) has been a center of ceramics pottery production for at least three centuries. The city enjoys the three tangible preconditions for suitability as a ceramics manufacturer: clay (found along the banks of the rivers), a source of fuel for the kilns (originally peat), and shipping lanes (originally the canals and rivers, later train tracks).
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