The production of Nevers continued to be inspired by Italian Renaissance maiolica until the end of the seventeenth century (cats. 22, 24, 25, 26, 27), even though maiolica production in Italy was in decline. Neverian potters and painters became inspired by ceramics from Persia (see, for example, the platter) and Delftware (cat. 21). Delftware was, in turn, inspired by Chinese porcelain, primarily blue and white, which the East India Company had been importing to Holland since its founding in 1602.
Potters and painters in Nevers also created new colors and a wide range of decorative styles, gradually developing a unique character. For example, they invented an emerald green that was used to decorate both borders and entire pieces, such as the pilgrim flask (cat. 23). They also produced pieces decorated with scenes mixing Chinese and Turkish influences, as seen on the gourd painted in monochrome blue with Chinese warriors on horseback on one side and Turks in an Asian-style landscape on the other (cat. 17). When pieces were painted with colorful mythological scenes, or istoriati, in the tradition of Italian Renaissance maiolica, these were now surrounded by decorative borders newly created at Nevers (cats. 21, 22, 26).
During the seventeenth century, faience was still very costly and therefore acquired, collected, and gifted exclusively by patrons at the highest levels of French society. These dishes, plates, gourds, and flasks were not intended for use but instead for display on a credenza. In rare instances, a coat-of-arms or a cypher, like the unidentified one on the dish (cat. 26), was added to celebrate the illustrious owner.