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The artisans who created tile designs are largely unknown; however, a few, like Pytter Grauda of Harlingen, can be identified.From the 1740s on, Dutch tile makers and their marks were well-documented.Blue and white corner motifs appeared in the Dutch tiles, and these combined to form secondary patterns in large tile installations.Early in the 17th century, the demand for tiles increased as successful merchants built houses with large fireplaces that were often covered with tile.The Dutch tile industry began in the 16th century in Antwerp, a thriving port with a diverse population that included many residents from other countries, including potters from Italy.Their work included tiles in vivid colors of blue, green, purple, yellow-orange and an orange-like brown.

The color was applied neither over nor under the enameled tin surface; instead, while the tin-enameled surface was still wet, the decoration was added.A person’s name might be substituted for a factory name, and this individual could be an artist or a factory owner.In the second half of the 17th century, Delft became the center of the earthenware tile industry, while the manufacture of tiles disappeared from most other cities in the Netherlands.Squares on the template were approximately 5.5 inches.Before 1860, the template contained nails to hold the clay in place for cutting, so nail holes in tile corners help identify the time of production.Online references can help research manufacturer marks.

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