Vitrified pottery with a white, fine-grained body that is usually translucent. It was first made in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907) and in its advanced form during the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368). The three main types are true (or hard-paste) porcelain, artificial (or soft-paste) porcelain, and bone china. Attempts by medieval European potters to imitate true porcelain led to the discovery of soft-paste porcelain, which can be cut with a file. The secret of true porcelain was discovered c. 1707 in Saxony. Standard English bone china was produced c. 1800 when Josiah Spode II (1754–1827) added calcined bones to the hard-paste porcelain formula. Hard-paste porcelain, though strong, chips more readily than bone china. See also Bow porcelain; Chantilly porcelain; Chelsea porcelain; Meissen porcelain; Nymphenburg porcelain; Saint-Cloud porcelain; Sèvres porcelain; stoneware.

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