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The Dutch tile industry began to thrive in the 17th century. Dutch potters wanted to imitate the blue and white porcelain from China in the early 1600s but porcelain was a very expensive material. Earthenware, which Dutch potters used was a less expensive material. The tiles were used as trims to fireplaces because they did not break under heat, were easy to clean and created a pleasing background. Kitchens were the most important room in Dutch homes because they served as a multi-purpose area where families could come together. Fireplaces were the center point of the kitchen. The wall tiles were not more than 11 millimeters thick. The wall tiles had many unique designs including flowers, fruits, and Biblical scenes. These tiles were from the home of Philip Schuyler, the great grandfather of the Revolutionary War General with the same name and they were placed on the second floor around his fireplace. Some other tiles we have here at the Albany Institute include fruits tulips and animals including mystical ones.