Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Spreading knowledge: Velsen porcelain

WriteAntiques is all about spreading knowledge about old stuff, so when  René van Kralingen  and his wife, Barbara, contacted me, I was only too happy to help.

René writes: We’re proud collectors of Velsen pottery (the polychrome kind 1940’s - 1960’s). Maybe you could post our blog on your site too ? It’s hard to find anything on Velsen pottery on the Internet. Kindest regards, René.

According to René's blog, There's not much to be found about Velsen Polychrome Porcelain (polychroom porselein) on the Internet.....and that is too bad.

So, let's help out here folks.

According to René

At  the end of the 1920’s Eelke Snel (21 years old) and Koen Mertens (31 years old) started a ceramics factory in Velsen-north under the name “Pottery Kennemerland”. Eelke Snel started out as a help in making the moulds at the Amphora factory in Oegstgeest.
From there he started working at St. Lukas in Utrecht. Then on the 20th of may 1920 he, Koen Mertens, Jan van Ham and Cees Muyens started a new pottery under the name “De vier paddelstoelen” (The four mushrooms). This didn’t last very long and in December of the same year Eelke and Koen started their own company in Velsen.
This didn’t seem to be the right combination, because only four years later Eelke went on alone. Eelke tried to make a cheap but beautiful kind of pottery and succeeded , because shortly after this a lot of workers joined the factory. The first designs were hand painted with squares on a cream coloured and gray background.
When the designer Carl Gellings came into the picture, the simple designs turned a bit more to art. In the years to come the designs changed to more delicate objects.
In 1943 – during the second world war – the factory was ordered by the Germans to move. The factory moved to Sassenheim and changed the name to “Velsen”. There they started out with the old moulds, but soon came up with other forms of pottery, porcelain and ceramics.

Potterie Kennemerland, Velsen 1920-1924
Kennemer Pottenbakkerij, Velsen 1924-1929
N.V. Kennemer Potterij, Velsen 1929-1932
E. Snel voorheen N.V. Kennemer Potterij, Velsen 1933-1936
Kunstaardewerkfabriek Velsen, Velsen 1936-1942
Keramiekfabriek Velsen, Sassenheim 1942-2002

So please, anyone with any further information about this charming and highly decorative porcelain, do let René and me know.  Numerous Brownie points to anyone who can help