Porcelain & China
Porcelain and china originated in China over 1,000 years ago. Porcelain is made from a combination of clay, feldspar, kaolin and quartz. After it is shaped, it is fired at high temperatures a number of times. Bone china is thinner than porcelain china and has a smoother glaze.
If you're a fan of chintzy florals, then Royal Albert tableware is a great choice. Old Country Roses is possibly their most famous design. Its pink, red and orange roses pattern is gilt-edged and instantly recognisable. Lady Carlyle is also popular. The outer rim is pink and gold, interspersed with roses and forget-me-nots, while the middle shows a blue, pink and yellow floral arrangement. If you're looking for something more delicate, Memory Lane's pale blue forget-me-not pattern may be just the ticket.
Established in London in 1815, Royal Doulton produces tableware and ornaments, although they're probably most famous for their figurines. These handcrafted pieces often feature elegant young women in long floaty dresses or crinolines and have been sought after by collectors for years. Royal Doulton dinnerware includes Berkshire with its simple pale green and gilt edging, or the Asian-inspired Indian Tree pattern in gold, pink, pale green and black. Character jugs and Brambly Hedge figures are also popular Royal Doulton items.
Royal Crown Derby
Royal Crown Derby items tend to be intricately patterned with strong colours and lots of gilt. Its Japanese-inspired Imari porcelain is orange, dark blue and gold and adorns a wide variety of items; from plates and cake stands to ornaments, trinket boxes and paperweights.
Other Famous Porcelain Producers
Wedgwood is famous for its pale blue, green or violet china decorated with white classical reliefs. They produce tableware, as well as delicate ornaments like trinket boxes, vases and urns in their Queen's Ware and Jasperware designs. Lladro figurines are popular with collectors for their pale pastel and white decoration. Royal Worcester tableware includes their fruity Evesham design, as well as a variety of figurines and mugs.