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Delftware owes its name to the city in which it was produced and came into being in 16th century Holland. Between 1600 and 1800 Delft was one of the most important European ceramic production centres. To start with, Delftware was a more affordable alternative to Chinese export porcelain. Other than its Eastern counterparts, the clay used to produce it was coated with a thin layer of tin which allowed for a crisp and smooth finish and Asian themes were replaced with Dutch sceneries and subject matter. Soon this charming new genre was sought after internationally and exported as far as China and Japan.