History of Bone China


Simon Hoe found the translucence of bone china perfectly suited to the delicacy of the watercolours, and it’s strength means it remains robust even when cast very fine and formed into any shape. It is no surprise that bone china tableware has been a favourite wedding, Christmas and birthday gift since it’s mid 19th century beginnings.


What is bone china?

Bone china is the toughest of porcelains and does indeed contain bones. Bone ash makes up the greatest part of the formula, resulting in a material that is hard, resilient and ivory white in colour.

According to popular belief, the first person to introduce fine bone china to western culture was Marco Polo. Afterwards, several attempts were made to copy this, but they were unsuccessful until the eighteen-century when the present formula was developed in Britain. English potter Josiah Spode further developed the concept and significantly improved the formula of bone china, which has thereafter remained the standard for all English wares of this kind.


Bone China in Ireland

Fine bone china tea sets have long been highly prized as decorative additions to household tableware. Not only do they look the part, but bone china is also renowned for its strength and resistance to chips, as well as its characteristic whiteness. Traditionally associated with England, bone china in Ireland has been popular throughout the last century. As a nation of tea drinkers, the Irish delighted in beautiful tea sets, and fine bone china tea sets have been produced here since the 1800s.

Today, bone china tableware has become a part of Irish culture and heritage and continues to appeal to casual and fine china lovers alike.


Please see Killiney Arts collection here.