European porcelain 18th - 19th century

The secret of making porcelain was only discovered in Europe in the 18th century. The Meissen factory was founded in 1710 by the Augustus the Strong, the prince-elector of Saxony. It was the first factory to produce hard-paste porcelain, similar to that made in China, thanks to the discovery of kaolin in Saxony. In France, the Vincennes factory rivalled the German factory by making artificial soft-paste porcelain without kaolin, due to a lack of the essential clay ingredient of true porcelain. The factory was moved to Sèvres in 1756 under crown control. With its quality and style Sevres porcelain, marked with title of Louis XV, acquired an unrivalled reputation for its refined polychrome decorative details, coloured grounds including the famous lapis blue and celeste-blue, and gilded details; the absolute privilege of the royal factory. Kaolin was discovered in 1768 in Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, Limousin. This led to the commercialisation of the first hard-past Sèvres porcelain and the creation of new factories in Paris and Limoges.