19) W. R. H. RAMSAY, AND E. G. RAMSAY, 2015. The evolution and compositional development of English porcelains from the 16thC to Lund's Bristol c. 1750 and Worcester c. 1752 - the Golden Chain
Abstract of Lecture given to the English Ceramic Circle, Kensington Town Hall and Library, London, November 21st 2015.
The compositional evolution of the English porcelain tradition is traced and elucidated from the production of refractory ceramic crucibles from Stamford and the Blackwater Valley in Elizabethan times.
Recipe types recognised and demonstrated to relate to early English porcelains include the silica-aluminium body (Si-Al), the silica-aluminium-calcium body (Si-Al-Ca), the magnesium (Mg), the magnesium-phosphorus body (Mg-P), and a range of phosphatic types. Both the Si-Al and the Si-Al-Ca bodies coupled with the associated aluminous-lime-alkali glaze were produced in London some 35 years before Meissen.
Bow is deduced to have been the conduit for these various ceramic recipes, which can be traced to subsequent derivative manufactories, yet still today Bow is the most misunderstood of all early English concerns being subjugated by the millstone syndrome and consequently has been regarded as producing little of significance prior to c. 1747. In fact, by the 1730's London was the world centre for porcelain experimentation and development.
These indigenous, technical developments, pre-eminent in the Western world, have been both obscured and overlooked in previous ceramic studies (prior to the work by Daniels in 2007), predicated on notions pertaining to the primacy of the artistic pursuit. Although considerable attention has been given to the Meissen influence, the Baroque influence, and the Rococo, little consideration or enquiry has been afforded the far more significant influence of the Royal Society of London on English porcelain development. We suggest that the father of the English Porcelain Tradition was Robert Boyle, FRS stretching back to Wadham College, Oxford in the 1650's.
This English achievement will only be appreciated and understood if and when rational science and ceramic composition are integrated with other forms of enquiry.