In the 18th century Europe, porcelain was such a phenomenon it became known as White Gold. The Europeans desired to produce their own to establish an internal market which could compete with Chinese and Japanese imports, but the key ingredient of porcelain – kaolin, a type of clay – was an unknown secret.
Meissen manufactury, in Germany, was the first to discover this secret and produce hard-paste “real” porcelain in Europe. Meanwhile, in France, Sèvres manufactury specialized in the production of soft-paste “fake” porcelain, whose creative use of material differences allowed them to become a competitive contender in the European porcelain market. Here, we learn more about these processes as they were back then.