Long before New-York style subway tiles were in vogue, the distinctive blue and white pattern of Dutch Tiles was the choice of discerning Dublin houseowners.
Several beautiful, well-preserved ceramic Dutch Tiles were discovered close to the foundations of the 17th – 19th century ‘Dutch Billy’ house. While these tiles are believed to have been produced locally their blue and white designs repeat the imitation of Chinese pottery first seen on Dutch Delft tiles.
The Delft style was influenced by huge shipments of Chinese pottery brought to Amsterdam by the East India Trading Company in the 17th century. Local potters attempted to replicate the style of the Chinese ceramics by producing white earthenware tiles decorated with Chinese-style blue designs, a practice which was continued in Ireland in the 18th century.
Tiles were painted with scenes from everyday life such as men and women at work, children playing, ships under sail and landscapes.