After Joost Thooft took over De Porceleyne Fles in 1876, he and Adolf Le Comte conceived the plan to revive the old and honorable tradition of De Porceleyne Fles, namely the manufacture of hand-painted Delftware. The man who can actually implement that plan is the 73-year-old Cornelis Tulk (1803-1893). He is the only remaining pottery painter from the factory of Geertruida Piccardt, where he painted as an apprentice in 1813 – at the age of 10! – entered the business. Although he was over seventy years old, he took up his profession again with great enthusiasm.
Not only is Tulk completely familiar with the old Delft half-timbering, he also masters the peculiar technique of painting pottery. This is evident at the Amsterdam exhibition of Art applied to Industry in 1877, where his first products (dishes, mugs and pots) are presented in blue on white-firing English clays. He also trained new students.
By the age of eighty, things were getting tough for Tulk. Because he always had a cold, there was often a drop hanging from his nose. His students made bets among themselves how long it would take for the drop to fall. For example, a drop would have fallen on a freshly painted dish. As a result, the painting ran out and was baked in the oven. But the saucer has not been found … but Tulk is frequently depicted in paintings and plates where you can almost discover the drop.