The Collection of René & Barbara.
Velsen pottery (Keramiekfabriek Velsen Sassenheim).
René & Barbara from Delft show us some of their growing collection of Velsen starting with wall plates. Velsen Sassenheim never used year codes or date marks so René said the wall plates would range in date from the 1940's and 1970's. They are all hand painted.
René tells us "Some years ago my wife Barbara and I purchased a very large lidded vase. It was gorgeous to look at but we had no idea about the factory that made it nor who painted it. This is when the madness started! After a long search through the Internet and buying some books about pottery, we finally found it was made by Velsen pottery (the name has changed a few times in the years). From that moment on we tried to buy every wall plate or vase (or what ever we could find) in the same pattern or colours by Velsen. When the number of items reached 60, we felt the need to share our collection and the bit of knowledge we had about the company. So in May of 2008 we set up a web site about Velsen (www.polychroom.nl). Within a couple of days, some of the former employees or their family members started to contact us. They sent pictures of the factory with the marks and names of the painters. After publishing this on the site, more former painters started to contact us. Some of them wrote a short story and sent pictures of their work and of them working at the factory. Now the history of the factory and it former employees is getting more and more complete - but it will never be finished. The collecting has continued and at this moment (November 2008) we have over 175 pieces and still collecting the exquisite porcelain this factory produced."
Here is a brief history of Velsen - "At the end of the 1920s Eelke Snel and Koen Mertens started a ceramics factory in Velsen-north under the name 'Pottery Kennemerland'. Eelke Snel started out as a helper in making the moulds at the Amphora factory in Oegstgeest. From there he started working at St. Lukas in Utrecht. Then on May 20 1920 he together with Koen Mertens, Jan van Ham and Cees Muyens started a new pottery under the name 'De vier paddelstoelen' (The four mushrooms). This did not last very long and in December of the same year Eelke and Koen started their own company in Velsen. Some four years later Eelke went on alone and tried to make a cheap but beautiful kind of pottery and succeeded as shortly after many workers joined the factory. The first designs were hand painted with squares on a cream coloured and grey background. When the designer Karl 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 and it was relocated to Sassenheim. The name changed to 'Velsen'. Here they started out with the old moulds but soon came up with other forms of pottery, porcelain and ceramics."
Time frame: 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.
Decorated with a peacock.
Painted by Henk Boot.
Stylized bird of paradise decor.
Painted by Niek Turenhout.
The largest wall plate of our collection. One of two. Ribbed rim.
Painted by Jan Miedema.
Two of these in our collection both in different colours.
Painted by Marian Sobus.
Beautifully intricate floral decor.
Painted by Wim Pouw.
No painters mark.
Ribbed rim plate with two birds.
No painters mark.
Gert-Jan BreetveltPart 2