Have you ever heard someone say that an item is Bone China and wondered what does that mean? Why bone?
Bone china and fine china share similar characteristics including strength. There is no definitive proof that bone china is any stronger or chip resistant than fine china although there are many who will argue that bone china is a stronger product. This isn’t to say that bone china is fragile. Did you ever see the race car that was set on top of the tea cups at William Ashley China in Canada? Now that's strong!
So, what is bone china? Bone china is made from a mixture of different ingredients such as China clay, Bally clay, flint, feldspar and include a high percentage of cow bone ash in order to create the clay that is used to form the products. The higher the total bone ash content, the higher the quality. The result after the tedious process of creating bone china is a warmer tone product, some describe as snow white or milky white, as opposed to the stark white appearance of fine china.
Identifying bone china is usually a matter of turning the item over and looking at the maker’s mark. You will find that most companies put Bone China on their products. You can also hold the item up to the light and you should be able to see the movement of your hand if waved between the item and the light source.
Creating bone china is a involved process that takes many processes to create each piece. Starting with raw ingredients, molds, polishes, glazes and decorations, it can easily take 36 hours for an item to become a work of art.
It’s easy to see why bone china commands the price it does after all the work that goes into making each piece.