The finest porcelain ever made – says who?

08/06/2017

Ok, ok ... so we accept that such a statement is subjective but many of the world's leading porcelain experts tend to agree; not least the celebrated porcelain specialist and expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow Henry Sandon who describes Nantgarw as the 'finest porcelain in the world'

When we say finest porcelain we are not necessarily referring to the decoration or shape, although with Nantgarw, both of these are often exceptional in their own right, but the body and glaze themselves. The Nantgarw body is of exceptionally fine and even grain, pure white and more translucent than any other porcelain body.

The body and glaze also have an uncanny ability to enhance painted decoration so that the enamel paints blend into the glaze rather than sit on top of it.

So why have you never heard of Nantgarw?

Probably because of its scarcity – it was only producing porcelain for four years and at one stage up to 90% or it was destroyed in the kiln.

Nantgarw porcelain was also very expensive to produce with the raw ingredients needing to be fired to extremely high temperatures just to make the clay slip before it could be slip or press moulded.

The timing was also not ideal for Nantgarw as factories were just starting to produce the much cheaper and easier to produce bone china which was to become, for the next two hundred years, the dominant ceramic body used for tableware and decorative items.

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