The art of collecting luxury dinnerware set will never go out of style. However, if you are fairly new at this and want to create a substantial collection you need to understand the basic rules and to be able to determine Authentic bone china, fine China and which one is porcelain.
Because most of these dinnerware set collections look similar, but vary in price and distinction. Bone China like its name is made from cow bone, but there are rare cases wherein you might be eating off a plate that is made from a dead person. Porcelain, on the other hand, is created using the same process but is crafted at much higher temperatures leading to a harder base.
Fine Bone China
A Fine Bone China Dinnerware set is the bone of cows that are finely ground into bone ash, it is then mixed into ball clay, quartz, feldspar, and kaolin which is a type of clay that is usually added in skincare ingredients. The end product will contain varying mixtures, but a luxury or highly valued fine bone china must contain at least 30% bone up to 45% bone.
It is often described as having a translucent effect and it also contains calcium phosphate. Bone China is considered immensely pressure because it is stronger than porcelain and China ceramics, it is also highly resistant to chipping. Influenced by Asians chinaware, 18th Century English potters began to fashion soft-paste porcelain mixtures in London. Using Kaolin they created harder mixtures creating hybrid bone porcelains.
How to Identify a Real Fine Bone China vs Fine China
Fine Bone China dinnerware sets don’t always mean stronger china or piece of dinnerware. At some point, no matter how expensive the fine bone china is, it is still going to chip. The main reason why Fine Bone China is expensive is not because of the sturdiness, rather the material that is the cow bone ash.
The cow bone ash is what gives the plates and the teacups a fine color tone that is impressive and unique. Expensive fine bone china dinnerware sets have a creamy soft white color compared with a Fine China identified as Hampshire Gold. It is the bone ash that gives translucency and this is very noticeable when under the light compared with fine china.
Before purchasing a fine bone china dinnerware set, ask the manufacturers about the percentage of cow bone ash content inside. The really expensive ones should at least have 30% bone ash to be considered of value. Brands like Noritake bone china usually have high-grade bone ash content.
Another reason why fine bone china is so expensive is the workmanship. Authentic dinnerware sets made from Bone China is usually accompanied by hand-painted pieces. Most Fine bone China sets have a warm color, while fine china has a very bright white.
Culture of Using Fine Bone China Dinnerware
The practice of collecting Fine Bone China Dinnerware sets began somewhere in the mid-1900s. It is usually added as a dowry gift or a wedding gift for the bride. Many Asian families have their own set of heirloom coming from this era, as it was considered to be very luxurious to have them in the home. Today, however, the collection of Fine Bone China is usually for foreign dignitaries, Prime Minister and is already collected as a commemorative piece by high officials in the government. Many elite Asian in Japan, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines have their own private collection. While some of the most illustrious pieces are now kept inside museums.
How to Verify If Your Fine Bone China is Authentic?
Authentic dealers of Fine Bone China registers and trademarks their dinnerware sets. You should be able to see a pattern name or number that signifies the trademark of each piece. If the serial numbers and trademarks are not in place, the best way to know if it is authentic is to hold up the piece of bone china up to the sunlight and place your hand behind it, if it is authentic you should be able to see your fingers through it. Expert traders and buyers of fine bone china dinnerware sets are able to flick the edge of a cup or plate with their fingernails and listen to the sound that it creates. A unique sound is emitted by an authentic piece.
How to Properly Care for your Fine Bone China?
While fine bone china is made from strong materials, it doesn’t mean that it is indestructible, it will easily break it not given proper care. For this reason, you need to store it in a safe place where it won’t be easily disturbed, you need to have a special area for it. Do not put fine bone china dishes and wares in dishwashers as this could easily destroy it. Make sure to hand wash it and only use mild soap. Make sure to handle the piece one at a time and use the utmost care. Pay extra attention to the cup handles because they are prone to breakage. Older bone china coming from London need extra care as they are usually painted and could only withstand gentle washing.
Never put them inside microwaves, these dinnerware sets were not designed for modern-day appliances. Fine bone china also contains gold and metallic trim bands that could get damaged once you microwave them.
Process of Buying Bone China
The prices of fine bone china fluctuate especially English fine bone china. So when it comes to purchasing decisions you need to assess first what kind of events you will use if for, and how many people do you usually serve during festive events and parties. This would help you narrow down your choices, imagine a formal table where the fine bone china will be in and from there build your collection.
Traditionally, it would be best to purchase fine bone china set in person, but most of the time the finest ones still originate from the origin country. If you want to find something really special then it is best to use online resources.
You can start with a minimalist design for your first fine bone china collection like this Summertime Porcelain tea set with an average cost of $65 plus shipping.
If you want a fine bone china collection for your tea parties at home or in a special garden event then you can go for something more complex. An intricate dinnerware fine bone china piece set such as this could fetch around $200 plus shipping.
Enjoy having tea with friends and family, and entertain guests with a charming tea set that will remind them of Royalty. Fine bone China pieces such as this are usually decorated to depict fun and innocence, they are also designed to be romantic and playful. Some of these fine bone china pieces could include 22-carat gold along with the charm of roses and modern twists like plush scrolls, the more intricate the better.
A complete fine bone china set should include a teapot, at least 4 teacups, 4 saucers, sugar and creamer set and a set of four 8 inch dessert plates.
But if you are looking for something truly special and could become an heirloom piece you should consider getting a Gold dinnerware collection.
Collection pieces such as this are crafted with gold-banded bone china and usually priced at $500. They are highly treasured pieces and used for formal events.