Step into a Dutch kitchen, and you're likely to encounter a colorful and lively sight: Boerenbont. This beloved Dutch pottery pattern has a rich history and a deep connection to Dutch culture.
Boerenbont is a traditional pattern used on pottery from the Netherlands. Translated from Dutch, "Boer" means farmer and "bont" refers to a mixture of colours. The distinctive floral pattern is hand-painted with simple brush strokes of red, yellow, green, and blue. An option for the origin of the name is that the decorations reflect farming landscapes: the green grass, blue sky and red with yellow flowers. It is also said that between world wars one and two people started calling it Boerenbont because it was affordable for the poor farmers.
Petrus Regout produced the first Boerenbont in 1841. Soon after it was copied by many others. Before it was called Boerenbont it was called 'nr. 15' and/or 'decor Zeeland'. According to the Royal Boch website, a variety of patterns have followed the path of Dutch merchants all over the world, from Sumatra to Zanzibar via Goa. Petrus started making Boerenbont on industrial scale.
Photo: Wife of the gudang madur (market supervisor) drinking tea from Boerenbont tableware in Java in 1922; Photo: Tropenmuseum
The Boch family build up this know-how since 1748, the year François BOCH decided to abandon his occupation of iron caster to make ceramics in Audun-le-Tiche (Lorraine), assisted by his son in law Pierre Valette and by his three sons. They decided to produce simple pieces, cheap and for the largest possible public, made with loam from Luxemburg. Royal Boch was also known as Boch Frères S.N.C., Villeroy & Boch and (Boch) Keramis.
Boch found quality of the products always important. At that time they already engaged artists such as Charles van der Stappen and Theo Van Russelberghe. It is said that Eugene Boch knew Vincent van Gogh!
Photo: Former Dutch queen Juliana drinking from Boerenbont tableware;
Because the there is no copyright on the pattern many other manufacturers have made it but the bulk is from Royal Boch. Their wares are also always hand painted.
Boerenbont has become an integral part of Dutch culture, adorning not just kitchens but also tableware, tiles, and even clothing. It represents the Dutch appreciation for warmth, homeliness, and tradition. Boerenbont adds a touch of nostalgic charm, connecting generations and preserving a slice of Dutch heritage.
Be part of that heritage and check out our Boerenbont keep cups and milk mugs.