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Chinese teapot
MFA# 1982.99


A white, thin, translucent, Ceramic fired at temperatures above 1260 C. Porcelain was first made in China as early as the T'ang dynasty (618-907 CE). It was eventually made in Europe in 1707 by Johann Bottger in Meissen, Germany. Porcelain is made from a fine-grain mixture of Kaolin clay, Quartz, and Feldspar. At the high temperature, feldspar vitrifies to form the hard, dense, ceramic.

Qing dynasty bowl
MFA# 61.1255

Synonyms and Related Terms

Porzellan (Deut.); porcelana (Esp.); porcelaine (Fr.); porselein(Ned.); porcelana (Port.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Composition 4K2O - Al2O3 - 3SiO2
Mohs Hardness 6 - 7
Density 2.41

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 428
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=2.3-2.5

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