In the period after 1600, the newly-formed East India Companies brought to Europe – in addition to valuable consignments of tea, spices and silk – large quantities of Chinese and later Japanese porcelain, often as ship’s ballast. In the early years of the 17th century, valuable porcelain consignments from Portuguese galleys captured by Dutch sailors were sold at auction in Amsterdam and Middelburg, and went to customers who included Henry IV (Bourbon) of France (1553–1610) James I of England and IV of Scotland (1566–1625). Those who saw them were amazed by their lightness and refinement. Delft was the centre of faience making in the Netherlands at that time, and some forty manufactories operated there in the first half of the 17th century. In an attempt to imitate the brilliant snow-white glaze and fine colours of oriental porcelain, they produced tin-glazed faience of a kind that resembled porcelain, at first with blue glaze on the model of Ming porcelain, and from the second half of the 17th century, decorative ware with coloured painting and, frequently, gilding. The Delft workshops were set up in former breweries, whose names were retained. This decorative lidded vase was the product of De Grieksche A, (The Greek ‘A’) factory, founded in 1658. It probably belonged to a set consisting of an odd number of vases and decorative vessels with lids. The eight-sided pot has painted decoration in the “Kakiemon” style, an asymmetric composition of stylised plants, flowers, branches with berries, birds, and a squirrel. This style was created by the Japanese artist Sakaida Kakiemon (1596–1666) of Arita, who produced porcelain painted on top of the glaze in vivid tones, floral ornamentation or figural compositions.