In the first half of the twentieth century Gouda was home to a flourishing earthenware industry which acquired a world-wide reputation. Many of the potteries recalled in this work began as small family-owned enterprises with their roots in tobacco pipe making.
Gouda’s designers, clay workers and artists made a huge economic impact on the town and left a legacy of art highly prized to this day.
Ultimately their work has come to those enthusiasts who appreciate and value the wares. So, while it is nice to quietly sit back and consider the value of a collection or just a single item, it is well worth remembering that those who earned their daily bread in its making, only earned enough for a very thin sandwich.
The company names of Ivora, Goedewaagen, Regina, Zuid-Holland and Zenith are still vivid in the memory of Gouda’s older inhabitants, while the new wave of residents scarcely seem to know of their existence or the heritage of the buildings in their street.
Some small earthenware enterprises remain, but the heady days of international success have faded. Traces can still be found in Gouda’s museums, but even here literature in English about the exhibits is sadly lacking.