European Success at Creating Porcelain

In the course of experiments in England during the 18th century, a type of soft-paste porcelain was developed by Josiah Spode II in which bone ash (a calcium phosphate made by roasting the bones of cattle and grinding them to a fine powder) was added to ground glass. The resulting body, known today as bone china, has since become the standard in porcelain.

The first European hard-paste or true porcelain was developed in Saxony (Germany) by an alchemist named Johann Boettger. After many attempts, he figured out the Chinese kaolin-feldspar formula in 1709. A year later, the famous Meissen factory was founded - the first to produce hard-paste porcelain in Europe. Although the factory went to great lengths to keep the formula secret, word eventually got out by the end of the 18th century and spread throughout Europe.