The world famous Delftware has a rich and long history which goes back to the early 1600s. The V.O.C. (Dutch East India Company) ships not only brought back spices from the Far East but also large quantities of Chinese porcelain. This porcelain became very popular among affluent families such as the European Royals. When the import of Chinese porcelain declined as a result of civil wars in China, the Dutch potteries seized the opportunity and developed their own version of this blue and white porcelain. This was the start of the Dutch Delftware industry which is now known internationally as a typically Dutch product. From the approximately 32 potteries that were founded in the 17th Century, Royal Delft is the only remaining Delftware factory left in Delft.