China tea sets consist of kaolin, a "fine usually white clay that is used in ceramics." The earliest tea sets made of china date back to ancient China and 1368 to 1644 BC. The tradition of drinking tea from China came to England in the 17th century. It is possible to collect vintage tea sets in three types of china: porcelain, bone china and fine china. Find out where to buy vintage china tea sets.
Definition of porcelain
Porcelain is defined as being a "hard, fine-grained, sonorous, non-porous, and usually translucent and white ceramic ware that consists essentially of kaolin, quartz and feldspathic rock. It is fired at a high temperature."
Chinese "taste" porcelain Vintage tea sets made in porcelain include Chinese "taste" porcelain, Chinese export porcelain as well as porcelain made from other parts of the world. Chinese "taste" porcelain refers to porcelain that was made for the market in Asia. It sometimes included "Guan yao - Imperial kiln/ware" as well as
"Min yao - peoples ware", both of which can be identified by marks on the bases of the china. Chinese exported porcelain was meant to be sold in Europe as well as the US, the Near East and India, Japan and South East Asia. The last two can always be identified by marks on the base, while this is not always the case for the first two. Tea sets are available at antique stores, Swedish Interior Design, Everything Stops for Tea, eBay and more. If you're buying from eBay, try to get a good look at the marks on the bases of the vintage crockery to determine their authenticity.
Highest grade of china Bone china is defined as "translucent white china made with bone ash or calcium phosphate and characterised by whiteness." It is considered the highest grade of china available. It is more durable than china made of soft paste. English invention Bone china is an English invention. J Spode (born in 1754) used ox bone in the making of his china, creating a "hard paste porcelain" that consisted of 25% china clay, 25% Cornish stone, 50% bone ash." Notable names in bone china include Spode, Crown Staffordshire, Royal Dalton, Royal Winton, among others. You can find vintage bone china at antique stores, Everything Stops for Tea, Cake Stand Heaven, eBay, and so on.
Fine china is very similar to porcelain, except that it is more translucent. Notable makers of vintage fine china are Royal Stanley and Staffordshire. You will be able to find vintage tea sets in fine china at antique stores, Everything Stops for Tea, and eBay.