In 1602, the Dutch East India Company started to bring Chinese porcelain to the Netherlands
In 1644 a war broke out in China which, although it was far away, had far-reaching implications for the import of Chinese porcelain into the Netherlands and for Dutch earthenware manufacture.
The was started when the Manchus, a people that lived to the north of China, succeeded in capturing the country from the Ming dynasty. The made Beijing their capital, but had great difficulty establishing their authority in the Southern Chinese coastal provinces.
The was was disastrous for the manufacture and export of porcelain.
Between 1644 and 1657 the volume of imports into the Netherlands fell from more then 200.000 to a mere 15000 pieces a year. In 1657 marked the start of a total standstill of official exports of Chinese porcelain to the Netherlands that was to continue for thirty years.
Porcelain had been made on a small scale in Japan since the early seventeenth century. The Dutch East India Company tried to make good the lost trade by importing Japanse porcelain painted in the Chinese style. The first porcelain exports from Japan were recorded in 1653. It was not until 1660 though, that exports to Europe rose to any sort of significant level. In 1661 11500 pieces of Japanese porcelain were imported into the Netherlands.
There are no known objects from the period up to about 1680 that bear a factory mark or the signature of an owner-potter or shopkeeper ( the manager of a pottery who had passed the tests required for guild membership) one of twenty-five or so companies operating in Delft during this prosperous era.