This website will help you in your search for those special pieces of collectible porcelain. Check out the list of brands on the left.It includes many popular and famous porcelain manufactures and brands like Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, Royal Worchestor, Meissen, Spode, Noritake, Shelley. Bus also many smaller porcelain brands, some of wich stopped manufacturing their collectible porcelain long ago. Here you can find out more about them and keep track of online auction listings.
A Short History
Porcelain was first made in China, in the 9th century AD during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 906 AD). Although some experts believe the first true porcelain was made in the province of Zhejiang during the Eastern Han period (100 to 200 AD). Chinese experts emphasize the presence of a significant proportion of porcelain-building minerals (china clay, porcelain stone or a combination of both) as an important factor in defining porcelain.
China exported porcelain (especially blue and white) to Europe in ever increasing quantity from the 16th century, mainly through the English and Dutch East India Companies. By 1700 there was a vast trade in porcelain. Especially the porcelain from the Ming DYnasty (1368-1644) was very expensive, so the Europeans tried hard to discover the secret of porcelain manufacture. After a number of false starts, such as the so-called Medici porcelain, the European search ended in 1708 with the discovery by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich BÃ¶ttger of a combination of ingredients, including Colditz clay (a type of kaolin), calcined alabaster and quartz, that proved to be suitable for making a hard, white, translucent porcelain, first produced at Meissen.
In English china became a commonly used synonym for the Franco-Italian term porcelain. Porcelain was named after its resemblance to the white, shiny cowry, called in old Italian porcella (little pig), because the curved shape of its upper surface resembles the curve of a pig’s back. Properties associated with porcelain include low permeability and elasticity; high strength, hardness, glassiness, durability, whiteness, translucence, resonance, brittleness; high resistance to thermal shock.