fine bone china
Clean and classic design is perfect for any home.
History of Fine Bone China
Josiah Spode has been credited with the ‘discovery’ of bone china. This is not completely true. The idea of putting the ash of calcined or burnt animal bones into the clay mix had been around for centuries. It had first been done in medieval days and fairly frequent experiments had been undertaken since about 1700s. Josiah Spode can most definitely be credited with perfecting the mixture.
During the early 1790s he experimented by adding a very high percentage of finely ground ox bone ash into his existing fine bone china formula and in so doing came up with the perfect recipe for a translucent ‘hard’ paste china mix. This was strong when fired and had a beautiful milky white translucence (the hallmark of good bone china).
Very small amounts of this were first marketed in London. All the big London merchants fell in love with these samples because they saw it as an answer to their breakage problems when they shipped fine china overseas. The general public also loved it and felt it to be superior to anything they had seen before. This new formula was not subjected to import duties since it was made in England thus it would be feasible for much larger cross-section of the population than imported porcelain from the Orient.
Josiah Spode could undoubtedly have patented his new recipe but for some reason he did not do so. Nor did he go to any great lengths to keep his ‘discovery’ secret. By the end of 1796, Minton was producing their own bone china. Derby followed suit. By the turn of the century, the new recipe was in full production at Coalport, Chamberlains of Worcester and Davenport. Within a few years, all of the major manufacturers had converted most of their production to the new recipe. The only one to hold out was the Flight and Barr factory in Worcester (the successor to the Worcester Royal Porcelain works) who were still having great success with their soft paste recipe and did not take up bone china production until about 1830.