New Bone China – Not just any old porcelain

What is new bone china? How’s it different from fine bone china or fine china in general? The Tea Centre answers to these questions and more below!

Table settings are being remade and reinvigorated with the fairly recent introduction of ‘new bone china’. Companies like Australian homewares label, Ashdene, are combining bold and fresh designs with contemporary materials like this one to enliven everyday living.

How is it different from Fine Bone China?

New bone teawares differentiates from its traditional counterpart by substituting bone ash for the new component of calcium oxide. Essentially, the inclusion of bone ash is what makes ‘fine bone china’. Although not as light or as translucent as fine bone china, the calcium oxide in new bone items makes them whiter, finer, and more durable than your standard porcelain or fine china.

Bone ash used in bone china stems from the bones of cows or oxen, and to a much lesser extent, pigs. When mixed with other porcelain components, bone ash gives fine bone china its translucency and strength. Very high-quality fine bone china may contain around 30 per cent bone ash with exceptional pieces containing up to 45 per cent.

The history of Fine Bone China

In tableware, the use of fine bone china has been an indication of quality and prestige since its initial development in the 1700s. At first exclusively English, the production of bone china then took off in the 20th century in other countries like Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Iran. With this prevalent manufacturing of bone china of course came the varying levels of quality, and price tags to match.

Two examples of fairly priced and pristine bone china would be our Ashdene Asteria tea sets and Chinoiserie teaware. You’ll notice how the bone ash in these products make their colours shine even brighter.

The rise of New Bone China

In the early 2010s, the cost of bone ash in China rose astronomically. This is due to bone ash now also being utilised in some cosmetics (particularly foundation). Consequently, the cosmetics industry was prepared to pay much more for precious bone ash over Chinese manufacturers to ensure supply. 

This is perhaps one of the main reasons the more economical new bone porcelain is more evident in tableware these days. Another one is the absence of animal products in new bone teawares. This vegan-friendly option is perfect for the steadily increasing amount of conscious consumers who would like something similar to the look of bone china.


How to shop for New Bone teawares

When shopping for teapots and teacups, new bone teawares measure up to be an inexpensive, attractive, and sturdy option. With the added adornment of new gorgeous designs, these pieces are a beautifully modern take on centuries of porcelain tradition.

Currently, The Tea Centre’s Broadhurst range from Ashdene is the perfect example of high-quality new bone teawares. Boasting a Japanese-inspired pattern, this collection is the brilliant work of Australian artist Florence Broadhurst. Be sure to shop the collection’s mug, teapot, plus the teacup & saucer sets in both black & white.

Alternatively, also making the precious centrepiece position on high tea tables across Australia have been other teaware materials altogether. Think the ceramic Ceylon teapot from Robert Gordon or The Tea Centre’s own range of signature breakfast teapots. Plus, who could forget the gorgeous teapots that The Tea Centre imports from Japan

Click here to view some of our range available on our website or here to learn more about the general history of ceramic teaware.

2 thoughts on “New Bone China – Not just any old porcelain

    • Caitlyn Pollard says:

      Hi there,
      New Bone China does not contain any bone ash, and is therefore a vegan-friendly product.
      Let us know if you have any further questions!

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