The Gouda Pottery Book - Plateel makers in Holland


A truly magnificent new book on Gouda plateel by our friend Ron Tasman from New Zealand. We are proud to be associated with this book which contains some of our collection. This book is the unsurpassed reference work in English about Gouda pottery. The book was launched in February 2007 and is in three volumes.

See www.goudapotterybook.com for current prices.

Optima in Rotterdam www.goudapotterybook.com are still working on setting up credit card transaction facilities but can handle payments via PayPal or Bank Transfer. For those who would like to buy a set of books via credit card, please have a look at the various dealers advertising on Google, eBay or Marktplaats.nl. This book is available now so get your copy!



Ron has worked for many years collecting exciting new information about Gouda pottery. Information never seen before in any book - Dutch or English.

The number of quality colour photographs including catalogue pages is huge (around 1,400) from Ron's own collection, museums, collectors and sources around the world.

From the author of "The Gouda Pottery Book" - Ron Tasman explains the philosophy behind the monumental work................

"Thank you Stuart and Kim for asking me to write the blurb about the Gouda Pottery Book.

It's a set of three volumes that have been seven years in the making and have become the most detailed account of 20th century Dutch Pottery ever to appear in English.

In the early days my focus was on the major Gouda potteries that operated in Gouda, Schoonhoven, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Steenwijk, Huizen and Amsterdam. That was about the limit of the original project but these things have a habit of snowballing. The more research I did the more it became apparent that writing the account of just seventeen major companies was never going to suffice. They were all linked to each other like the branches on a family tree. Now the work has grown to include overviews of around 50 manufacturers and a further 60 or so 'dwarf companies' that existed after World War Two.

There were so many questions to be answered. “Why did Gouda suddenly become home to a blossoming earthenware industry?” “How were pipes made?” “Where did the early designers and leading decorators learn their skills?” “What were the employment dates for hundreds of decorators?” “What were the PZH date marks after 1932?” “What happened in Gouda during World War Two?” “What was made after 1945?” “How can we accurately date the hundreds of models?” “Why are some items more valuable than others?” These questions plus dozens of others have all been answered.

Fortunately I have managed to retain a good hold on the Dutch language since my childhood in Holland and that has made it possible to go back to the original Dutch archives as well as pull together thousands of little details from existing Dutch publications.
Even more importantly, I am lucky enough to be distantly related to the Van der Want family who owned Ivora, Regina and Zenith. Thanks to their help, doors that had previously been closed to other researchers began to open. Otto van der Want, and the late Dirk van der Want (from Regina and Zenith respectively) have been particularly helpful. Leo van der Want who was a self-employed modeller came into contact with many of the post war firms and his contribution has also been significant. Digging out the history of these firms would not have been complete without also unearthing the history and marks of Gouda tobacco pipes.

It was an amazingly frustrating task to unscramble the details but in the end it has been possible to trace all of the pipe marks used by the Van der Want and Goedewaagen families between 1630 and 1945. A number of experts and museum staff in Holland and Belgium have also helped by proof reading the texts and providing many of the photographs.

Writing the text was the easy part. Taking the photographs, drawing the 2,000 factory and decorator’s marks, signatures and maps took up huge amounts of time. On top of that came 10 factory floor plans and more than 100 tables of décors, models and staff and two family trees. All had to be prepared and checked before publication.

Original catalogue pages from all of the major potteries have been included throughout the books and the 1,400 photographs display nearly 2,000 pieces of Gouda pottery. Together with the dozens of pages of company marks and decorator’s signatures the work has taken on a visual character of its own.

Gerard van Doorn (of Royal Goedewaagen) and Friggo Visser (curator of the Goedewaagen Ceramics Museum) have been incredibly helpful. Through the latter’s small army of contacts an amazing amount of material has come to light that has never been previously published in Dutch or in English.

To be honest, there were times when it was tempting to say, “This is just too difficult.” At other times, especially when some long lost material had surfaced, it all became worthwhile.

The team at Optima Graphic Communications in Rotterdam have done a terrific job in putting it all together so please have a look at the www.goudapotterybook.com website. I certainly value your interest and I know that the Uitgeverij Optima (Optima Publishing) will be only too pleased to receive your enquiries."

Cheers for now.

Ron Tasman - June 2007.



"Given the wealth of information, the high quality of the photography and the care with which it has been produced, this three volume, large format edition is indispensable for Gouda Pottery collectors around the world".


Our friend Friggo Visser, Conservator at Royal Goedewaagen is one of the editors. Here he tells us about the book and his role as editor...............

"As curator of the Goedewaagen Ceramics Museum since 1989, I correspond with collectors all over the world, concerning questions about the Dutch potteries and factories. In 2000 I decided to start with my own Gouda documentation thesaurus. I wanted to improve on the much used ´book of marks´ from Miep Singelenberg -Van der Meer. At the present moment my thesaurus consists of about 50,000 digital photographs and a complete ceramics library. About six years ago Ron Tasman, from Christchurch, New Zealand, started comparing notes with me. At first about my specialization of Royal Goedewaagen (Gouda), Plateelbakkerij De Distel (Amsterdam), Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (Gouda) and Amstelhoek (Amsterdam) - the last all merging into the Goedewaagen concern - and later on, about other factories. With Ron and I able to converse together in native Dutch we became great pen-pals, exchanging hundreds and hundreds of photos and documents each year.

Being the son of a art restorer, having studied history and art history in Amsterdam and being an art critic for more than 30 years, I wrote many catalogues and books about art and ceramic production. For example, the ceramics of ´New Art´, about the brilliant designer Carl Adolph Lion Cachet (1864-1945) for the monographs of the Drents Museum and Museum Boymans -Van Beuningen in 1994. Plus the many exhibitions produced for the Goedewaagen Ceramics Museum in Nieuw Buinen and the Municipal Musea in Gouda.

I became the editor for Ron’s Gouda Pottery Book and have written the short art history profiles of the different factories for him. The target is to publish a real companion for decorated Dutch ceramics after 1880. Ron who was born in the Netherlands in the 1950's, reads our language well and has done fine research work in the municipal archives. In the last five years he has met important collectors, is always inquisitive and is prepared to learn from their knowledge.

Ron has done a wonderful job and this book has to be the ideal guide for every serious Gouda collector."

Friggo Visser - June 2007.




"The Gouda Pottery Book – Plateel makers in Holland"

By Ron Tasman

Published by Uitgeverij Optima, Vianen, The Netherlands


These websites all have The Gouda Pottery Book for sale.





Pictures, text and any other are all copyright ©Gouda-Design, ©Ron Tasman, ©Friggo Visser, ©Uitgeverij Optima & all other copyright indicated in The Gouda Pottery Book as copyright ©


The inside story