( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The various wares known as earthenware china, or porcelain, are all compounds of clay with bone earth, flint, and other similar materials, ground together and baked. According to the proportion of clay will be tin toughness of the china, and the capability o being molded, while the flint and bone earth give hardness, whiteness, and transparency.
There are two main divisions of table-ware — glazed earthenware and china or porcelain. Nearly all are originally white, ant sorted after baking. The finer only are then decorated and re-baked. When glazed earth en ware chips, the exposed surface become; dark ; in porcelain it remains white.
The finer Oriental china, and that of Sevres and Dresden, cost from $300 up, for a set for twelve persons. The sets generally are fm eighteen. The ordinary decorated Freud china costs from $45 to $500 per set. The white French china costs from $35 to $300 depending on quality. The decorated English china costs from $150 up. Broken pieces can-not be duplicated here, as the decoration is printed on, from designs more elaborate than the handwork of the average French sets. Tilt French can be duplicated here at a few weeks notice. The English is heavier and much more durable. Both the French and the English make a decorated glazed earthenware that is very durable—more so than French china. and possibly than English china. It cost from $30 to $125 per set ; the various pieces can generally be bought separately, which is not the case with decorated china. For economy, plates and cups of this ware, with tureen, vegetable dishes, etc.. of plated silver, is probably the best possible arrangement. Still further variety in this or any service is desirable, and may be had through pickle dishes, compotiers, etc., of other kinds of ware.
The so-called Ironstone and Stone China are merely glazed earthenware undecorated. Sets cost from $20 to $40. As regards the finer porcelain, the following remarks may be of service : —
Oriental China, is remarkable for its close texture, its flinty hardness, fine surface, and capacity for bearing heat. It is supposed to take from ten to twenty years to get some of these wares into a state fit for baking. They are generally very expensive, but extremely durable.
Dresden China is finer in outline than the Oriental, and the best kinds are fully as durable.
Sevres China is of French manufacture and is not so close or fine in the grain as those above alluded to ; but it has a superior glaze, and is generally of elegant shape, with beautiful colors and magnificent gilding.
The common Red Earthenware is that used most extensively for cooking, dairy, and other purposes. It does not stand the heat well, and is very easily broken. Acids should never be put into any vessels made of this ware, as there is a poisonous ingredient in the glazing which the acid takes off. The common stone-ware is stronger and cleaner and better every way than any other kind.