Porcelain from the factories at Delft is beautiful to look at but it doesn’t come cheap. It is produced predominantly, but not exclusively, by three Delft-based firms: De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles; De Delftse Pauw, Delftweg 133, Rijswijk (www.delftpottery.com; tel. 015/212-4920); and De Candelaer, Kerkstraat 13 (www.candelaer.nl; tel. 015/213-1848). The first two offer tours; those at De Delftse Pauw are free but last just 10 minutes, so for the real deal, head to Royal Delft. At the modest De Candelaer factory, there’s a good chance you can catch the artists crafting pieces, though we can’t guarantee it.

Genuine Delftware is for sale in specialized stores through The Netherlands. Production methods have changed little down the centuries and most of the decorating is still done by hand, which of course accounts for the breathtaking price tags. Some copies of Delftware nearly equal its quality, while most miss the delicacy of the brush strokes, the richness of color, or the sheen of the glazes that make this porcelain so highly prized.

To be sure that you’re looking at a real Delft item look at the bottom of the piece. De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles will have a distinctive 3-part hallmark: an outline of a small pot, above an initial “J” crossed with a short stroke, above the scripted word DELFT. For De Delftse Pauw, look for three blue stars separated by a drafting compass, above the scripted text D.P. DELFT. And for De Candelaer, there will be the company’s candle-and-candlestick symbol, the scripted text D.C. DELFT, and the initials of the artist.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.