What’s the difference between Bone China and Porcelain and who really cares??
In the old days most brides would register for a particular china pattern at the David Jones bridal registry. This would then be displayed in pride of place in the china cabinet in the ‘good room’ and only used for special occasions. This set was eventually passed from generation to generation. That’s not to say that some couples don’t register for dinnerware these days, but the percentage picking a fancy pattern is far less now than in decades past. Brides (and grooms) prefer a more casual look over nana’s fussy china that has been stored in a box in the back of the garage.
But what’s the difference between porcelain and bone china? The word ‘porcelain’ comes from the Latin word ‘porcella,’ meaning seashell. It implies a product which is smooth, white and lustrous. The first porcelain used for vessels was made of kaolin clay combined with granite in China—hence the familiar name—many centuries ago.
It wasn’t until the early 1700’s that the German’s began combining clay with feldspar. At around 1770 kaolin clay was found in Cornwall, England, and the British began making porcelain as well. No matter where it is (or was) made, porcelain wares are all fired at a high temperature.
Then you have bone china, which has an added ingredient and a different firing temperature. The English made ceramics lighter in weight, more translucent, and stronger by adding ground bone ash from farm animals to wet kaolin clay in the late 1700’s. They were also able to fire the pieces at a lower temperature by adding the bone ash to their clay composition. Wedgwood commenced making bone china in the mid 1760’s in Worchester along with many others. Bone china is usually not as white as porcelain but it’s lighter and has a beautiful translucent look and touch.
And the choice is? It really depends on look, feel and budget. These days porcelain comes in an array of sizes, colours and patterns but if you’re after that elegant, timeless look then the bone plate is definitely the choice.
At Pages Event Hire, we understand that everyone has their own design and styling preferences to create the table setting to suit each unique occasion. To be able to cater for this diversity we stock an ever evolving selection of crockery in our range available for event hire. This ensures we maintain a strong selection of classic and elegant pieces while staying on trend to changing preferences.
In addition to the Rimless Royal Ascot and Wedgwood ceramics we also hold other popular brands in our crockery collection including Aura, Villaroy, Regent Gold and Chelsea and more as well as a variety of stoneware and feature plates such as our white leaf plate and green cabbage leaf plates which have been extremely popular for events that demand more creative table styling.
Check out the full range of Wedgwood and Rimless Royal Ascot bone china crockery here