Q: Is this Delft urn worth anything? I’m getting ready for an estate sale at my mom’s place. She was 80 and this was her mother’s.
A: Delft has been made in Holland and England since the seventeenth century, but it wasn’t called “delft” until after 1840, when it was named for the city in Holland where much of it was made. It is originally a tin-glazed pottery, usually decorated with blue on white or with colored decorations. Porcelain became popular in the late eighteenth century and production of old delft gradually stopped. The stylized jar at the top of the mark on your urn was first used in 1697 by De Porceleyne Fles (Dutch for The Porcelain Jar), a porcelain factory founded in 1653. The stylized, superimposed letters “JT” are the initials of Joost Thooft, a Delft engineer who bought the factory in 1876. He began making more durable earthenware and also added the word “Delft” to the mark. De Porceleyne Fles was granted the rights to use “Royal” in its name in 1919 and is now called Royal Delft. The initials “uku” below the mark are the initials of the decorator or painter. The numbers “732” probably mean it’s one of a “limited” number made. The letters “cp” are the date code for the year 1971, making your urn not yet 50 years old. It’s not very old so would sell for a low price, for decorative value, depending on size. A 10-inch urn might sell for $25-$50.