Porcelain

Porcelain is a type of pottery made by firing the clay mineral kaolin and other raw materials at very high temperatures in a kiln. Porcelain is often considered the finest type of pottery, on account of its bright white colour, delicacy and strength. Porcelain can be easily modelled and combines well with both glazes and paint, meaning that a huge range of decorative treatments are available for porcelain creations, such as vases, tableware and figurines

The ceramic material porcelain can be broadly divided into two different types: hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain. The difference between these depends on both the firing conditions and the composition of the paste that is used to make the porcelain.

Hard-paste porcelains originated in east Asia, which was responsible for some of the finest hard-paste porcelain wares available. Porcelain was initially developed in China, around the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD.

The production of porcelain took a long time to develop, and it was not until the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) that China began to produce truly impressive, high quality porcelain wares. It was during this time that the manufacture of porcelain became thoroughly organised, meaning that one kiln site could fire as many as 25,000 wares.

Despite the progress made during the rule of the Song Dynastry, it is the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD) that is truly associated with antique Chinese porcelain. During this time, porcelain began to be exported to Europe, and some of the best know Chinese porcelain decorative styles became know, such as the blue-and-white wares. Porcelain wares produced during the Ming Dynasty remain exceptionally highly prized today, and such works sell for staggeringly high figures at auction.

In 15th Century Europe, Chinese imported porcelain was regarded so highly that the term 'china' became synonymous with any porcelain ware, and remains in use today. Astonishingly, given the widespread use and immediate popularity of Chinese ceramics, porcelain production did not begin in Europe until the 16th Century. When it did begin, the techniques and materials used to create Chinese porcelain were not yet understood, and so second rate, soft-paste creations were made. 

16th Century soft-paste porcelains represent the earliest attempts by European craftsmen to replicate Chinese hard-paste porcelain wares. These tenacious European potters used mixtures of clay, frit, soapstone and lime to make the soft-paste creations. However, these first soft-paste wares were of low quality, uneconomic and often problematic to produce, with many works losing their shape when fired. Technically and aesthetically superior soft-paste porcelains were soon created using a range of alternative materials; these type of soft-paste porcelain wares continue to be produced today.

Europe did not start producing hard-paste porcelain wares until the early 18th Century. These were formed of a paste comprising alabaster and kaolin, and produced porcelain items of a great strength, hardness and translucency when fired. It was Meissen, the famous German porcelain manufacturer, who was responsible for producing these very first hard-paste porcelain wares in Europe, which quickly became hugely popular among wealthy European royalty and nobility. The French firm of Sèvres, which was founded slightly later than its German counterpart, soon began to create fine hard-paste porcelain items too. Once porcelain production had become established as a European craft, it flourished, and the output of renowned makers reached unsurpassed levels of quality and beauty.

Today, fine antique European and Asian porcelain remains as highly prized as ever, with examples held in prestigious museums and galleries across the world.

Filter

Sort

  • Recently Added
  • Price - Low to High
  • Price - High to Low
  • Height
  • Width
  • Depth
Filter
List Price
Style
  1. Figurative Art 74
  2. Rococo 70
  3. Sèvres 69
  4. Floral 50
  5. Neoclassical 50
  6. Chinese Interest 25
  7. Louis XVI 23
  8. Meissen 22
  9. Animal / Animalier 20
  10. Louis XV 20
  11. Classical 16
  12. Mythological 16
  13. Birds / Ornithology 15
  14. Chinoiserie 13
  15. Renaissance 13
  16. Orientalist 12
  17. Belle Époque 11
  18. Genre 11
  19. Empire 10
  20. Religious 10
  21. Fête Galante 9
  22. Old Master 8
  23. Biblical 7
  24. Napoleon III 7
  25. Portrait 7
  26. Romantic 7
  27. Royal / Monarchy 7
  28. Academic 6
  29. Christian 6
  30. History Painting 6
  31. Japonisme 6
  32. Landscape 6
  33. Russian Interest 6
  34. Japanese Interest 5
  35. Marine / Seascape 5
  36. Militaria / Military 5
  37. Urban Views / Townscapes 5
  38. 20th and 21st Century Design 4
  39. Baroque 4
  40. Equestrian / Horses 4
  41. Islamic 4
  42. Napoleonic 4
  43. Victorian 4
  44. Gothic 3
  45. Music / Musical 3
  46. Persian interest 3
  47. Hunting 2
  48. Jewish 2
  49. Meiji 2
  50. Shakespeare, Theatre & Literature 2
  51. Abstract 1
  52. Arabesque 1
  53. Art Deco 1
  54. Battle / War 1
  55. Capodimonte 1
  56. Contemporary 1
  57. Louis Philippe 1
  58. Moorish 1
  59. Ottoman 1
  60. Régence 1
  61. Restauration 1
  62. Satsuma 1
  63. Transitional 1
  64. Neo-Grec 1
  65. Neo-Gothic 1
Material
  1. Porcelain 295
  2. Ormolu (Gilt Bronze) 127
  3. Gilt 39
  4. Giltwood 30
  5. Wood 10
  6. Brass 5
  7. Ebonised Wood 5
  8. Marble 5
  9. Velvet 5
  10. Lapis Lazuli 4
  11. Bronze 3
  12. Enamel 3
  13. Enamel - Champlevé 3
  14. Gilt Metal 3
  15. Kingwood 3
  16. Mahogany 3
  17. Marquetry 3
  18. Cut Glass 2
  19. Glass 2
  20. Mirror 2
  21. Onyx 2
  22. Parquetry 2
  23. Rosewood 2
  24. Satinwood 2
  25. Silver 2
  26. Amboyna 1
  27. Bisque (biscuit) porcelain 1
  28. Cast Iron 1
  29. Crystal 1
  30. Enamel - Cloisonné 1
  31. Gilt Brass 1
  32. Hardwood 1
  33. Lacquer 1
  34. Leather 1
  35. Metal 1
  36. Oak 1
  37. Precious Stones 1
  38. Semi-precious stones 1
  39. Silk 1
  40. Silvered bronze 1
  41. Turquoise 1
Colour
  1. Multi-coloured 235
  2. Gold 204
  3. Blue 95
  4. White 91
  5. Green 46
  6. Red 34
  7. Brown 33
  8. Pink 23
  9. Cream 15
  10. Turquoise 12
  11. Black 10
  12. Purple 7
  13. Yellow 7
  14. Orange 6
  15. Grey 4
  16. Silver 4
  17. Clear 1
  18. Metallic 1
Country Of Origin
  1. French 146
  2. German 68
  3. Chinese 23
  4. English 20
  5. Austrian 15
  6. Continental 15
  7. Russian 11
  8. Japanese 4
  9. Italian 3
  10. Asian 2
  11. Bohemian 2
  12. British 2
  13. Danish 2
  14. Belgian 1
  15. Czech 1
  16. Swiss 1
  17. Turkish 1
Period
  1. Late 19th Century 135
  2. 19th Century 87
  3. Early 20th Century 32
  4. Early 19th Century 18
  5. 20th Century 16
  6. 18th Century and Earlier 6
  7. 21st Century 1
Artist / Maker
  1. Sèvres 56
  2. KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur 28
  3. Meissen Porcelain Manufactory 28
  4. Royal Vienna Porcelain Manufactory 11
  5. Picard, Henri 6
  6. Royal Worcester 6
  7. Samson et Cie 6
  8. Dresden Porcelain Manufactory 5
  9. Petit, Jacob 3
  10. Ross, Donald 3
  11. Copeland 2
  12. Dagoty and Honore 2
  13. Edwards & Roberts 2
  14. Minton 2
  15. Popov Manufactory 2
  16. Raingo Frères 2
  17. Royal Copenhagen 2
  18. Royal Dux 2
  19. Royer, Ernest 2
  20. Sitzendorf 2
  21. Volkstedt Porcelain Factory 2
  22. A. M. E. Fournier 1
  23. Alex'r M. Hays 1
  24. Barbedienne, Ferdinand 1
  25. Bergman, Franz Xaver 1
  26. Besche 1
  27. Dasson, Henry 1
  28. Dihl et Guérhard 1
  29. Dursley 1
  30. Gardner Porcelain Factory, 1
  31. Gerold Porzellan 1
  32. Grade, Louis 1
  33. Imperial Porcelain Factory 1
  34. Julius Greiner & Sohn 1
  35. Kreisser, Edouard 1
  36. Landry, Eugêne-Auguste 1
  37. Le Roy et fils 1
  38. Mariotte, Charles-Ernest 1
  39. Miroy Frères, Paris 1
  40. Nast Porcelain Manufactory 1
  41. P.A.L.T, Porzellanfabrik Adolf Laufer 1
  42. Pauly & Co. 1
  43. Raphael 1
  44. Rihouet 1
  45. Sévin, Louis-Constant 1
  46. Silvani 1
  47. Skerrett, James 1
  48. Tahan 1
  49. Tétard Frères 1
  50. Vezzini and Chen 1
  51. Wahliss, Ernest 1
  • Showing 1-30 of295 results

    • Recently Added
    • Recently Added
    • Price - Low to High
    • Price - High to Low
    • Height
    • Width
    • Depth
    Set Ascending Direction
  • Filter
  • Sort

Showing 1-30 of295 results

  • Recently Added
  • Recently Added
  • Price - Low to High
  • Price - High to Low
  • Height
  • Width
  • Depth
Set Ascending Direction
Page
per page