Queen Mary II was an enthusiastic collector of plants and ceramics. She imported Chinese ceramics and commissioned a number of blue-and-white glazed ornamental pots from Delft in the Netherlands. Some of the original pots survive in the Royal Collection, but unlike in Mary's time, they are too fragile to display with plants in them.
Replica pots, commissioned from a pottery company in the Netherlands, are now on display in the King's and the Queen's apartments at Hampton Court. The company, based in Tichelaar, has been making pottery from local clay and tin glazing since the 16th century.
The pot seen in the picture was large and complicated to produce, taking two days to fire in the kiln - the first attempt cracked so the potter had to start again. The painting process had to be completed quickly and though the paint appeared grey at first, after firing it turned a bright blue to match the original very well.
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This object is one of many items either on display or in store at Historic Royal Palaces. Click here to explore more >