History of Bone China
Until the early 19th century, bone china was produced almost exclusively in England. Many of the significant English manufacturers were based in Staffordshire. The region was well-established in pottery production.
The First British Bone China Factory
Thomas Frye founded the first British bone china factory in 1747 in the Bow Porcelain Factory near London’s slaughterhouses. Frye used up to 45 per cent bone ash in his products, which made them stronger and lighter.
As bone ash was easy to obtain, other manufacturers in England adopted the recipe. In the 1800s, English potters developed a formula for bone china.
The Most Famous Bone China Pattern
The most famous bone china pattern is Spode’s Blue Italian. This design was produced for nearly two hundred years.
Another favourite bone china pattern is Wedgewood Wild Strawberry, which features a berry leaf and strawberry berries. This pattern is highly collectible.
Distinguishing Between Bone China and Porcelain
Compared to bone china, porcelain is more complex, thicker and heavier. Also, its white colour is not as bright as the milky white of bone china. However, porcelain quality has improved over time thanks to technological advances.
It was Marco Polo who supposedly invented the word porcelain. The Chinese ceramics wowed him. The Chinese use pegmatite granite to make porcelain. It is often mixed with quartz and feldspar.
The name “porcelain” comes from the Italian term for cowrie shell.
2. Bone China
Although, bone ash was not added to porcelain until the 19th century.
While not as expensive as most porcelains, it still has a price tag. You can find a bone china tea set from various manufacturers, including Royal Doulton, Minton, Worcester, Royal Crown Derby, and Wedgwood.
Despite its high price, it has an impressive reputation and is considered a quality product. Traditionally, English bone china is made of kaolin, but other materials are used. In the 18th and 19th centuries, other factories began making bone china, too.
Antique English Bone China
Antique English bone china is an exciting find for many collectors
An antique English bone china tea set is an excellent addition to any collection. They can be found inexpensively at thrift stores or in antique shops. Their delicate designs and beautiful translucency make them an exciting find for collectors.
Some of the most popular manufacturers of English bone china include Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Mintons, Aynsley, and Royal Worcester. Each of these companies has a story to tell. This guide gives a summary of the history of the leading firms.
The Most Popular Manufacturers of English Bone China
Wedgwood, initially established in 1759, is still one of the most popular brands of bone china today. It is known for its traditional patterns and hand-painted bone china. The company also makes a wide variety of contemporary designs.
Another famous manufacturer is Spode. This English firm is renowned for its Blue Italian pattern, which was produced for nearly 200 years. The company is also renowned for its Oriental designs in Ironstone.
In the 19th century, Rockingham ware was produced by 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. It was of the highest quality clay body and was a favourite among collectors. It was made using an underglaze red decoration.
Cost of Bone China Tableware
Buying bone china tableware can add a touch of elegance to your dining experience. These pieces are durable, making them ideal for everyday use. They are also collectible, meaning that they are valuable.
The cost of bone china tableware depends on its condition. Some antiques are worth thousands of dollars. However, most modern patterns may be less valuable. Choosing a set that is in good condition will ensure that you get the best value for your money.
How to Choose Suitable Bone China Tableware
You can tell if a piece of bone china is authentic by looking at its colour, weight, shape, and back stamps. The back stamps will provide information on the manufacturer and date of manufacture. You can also identify bone china by tapping the item with your finger to see if it makes a noise.
Some bone china is embellished with gold leaf or hand-painted designs. You can also identify bone china by the manufacturer’s hallmark. A mark may include the manufacturer’s name, initials, or country of origin.