True or 'hard paste' porcelain is made out of kaolin (china-clay) and petuntse (china-stone), which are both forms of decomposing granite. When fired at high temperature (over 1300°C), the ingredients fuse together to form a fine, white translucent ceramic perfectly suited for containing hot liquids such as tea, coffee and chocolate.
Hard paste porcelain was first made in China in the ninth century and was known as 'china' in the West. From the middle of the sixteenth century, China exported its blue and white porcelain wares to Europe, in ships also carrying consignments of tea and other exotic goods, through the English and Dutch East India Companies. By the end of the seventeenth century, European potters and entrepreneurs were attempting to discover the secret of making porcelain with local materials to satisfy the demand of the tea-drinking upper classes. There were huge profits to be made in china manufacture. In 1710 the Duke of Saxony's alchemist J F Böttger managed to recreate porcelain at Meissen near Dresden in Germany. The recipe was closely guarded but eventually the secret spread to the rest of Europe.
The Museum of London has significant holdings of eighteenth century English porcelain, particularly from the Chelsea and Bow factories. There are also some important pieces of Chinese export porcelain, mainly with armorial decoration. There are a number of donations of personal collections, including the J G Joicey collection, the Salting bequest, and the K H Macalaster collection of over 400 teacups.
|Other British (1700 - 1800)|
|Continental (1700 - 1800)|
|Oriental (1700 - 1800)|
|Bow (1745 - 1775)|
|Chelsea (1745 - 1770)|
|Other London (1745 - 1795)|
|St James's (Charles Gouyn) (1748 - 1759)|
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NN13066 pot; pot-pourri pot.