Porcelain, or China-Ware, a most refined, and almost vitre-fied, species of earthen-ware, which is not only manufactured in China, but likewise in England, France, Holland, and Germany : the most esteemed and beautiful, both for its painting, and the taste displayed in shape and figure, is that imported from Meissen, in Upper Saxony.
As a detail of the manner in which porcelain is manufactured, would be foreign to our plan, we shall concisely relate the simple, but valuable, method of converting common green glass into porcelain, discovered by M. Reaumur. it consists in exposing such glass, surrounded with white sand, plaster of Paris, chalk, or gypsum, in a luted crucible, to a degree of heat equal to that of potters' furnace so as not to alter its form or shape. At first, it will assume various shades of blue ; become gradually white ; and, at length, no appearance of glass will remain. By this process, entire green bottles and other vessels may be converted into the finest china-ware.
Porcelain, if not properly annealed, is extremely brittle, and liable to crack : to prevent such accidents, it ought to be well boiled in pure water, before it is used ; and, when cold, no hot fluid should be put into it, unless there be some sugar, or a tea-spoon in the vessel. Another method of obviating casualties, is that of holding china-vessels over steam, immediately before tea or coffee is poured into them. Such accidents, however, often deface the beauty, or otherwise diminish the value of a set of china : hence, it becomes a desirable object to join or cement the fragments, so as to be. imperceptible to the naked eye. Under the article Cement, and likewise on other occasions (for which the reader is referred to the General Index of Reference), we have stated the most proper expedients for this purpose : we shall therefore only remark, that all china-ware, imported by the East-India Company, pays 2l. per cent, on being deposited in their warehouses ; and is subject to the farther prohibitory duty of 109l. 8s. 6d. per cent, according to its value, when taken out for domestic use.