Cornish porcelain

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

WHEAL MARTYN. This little lopsided blue and white china cup and saucer was one of the first made of Cornish China Clay. Made by William Cookworthy or his business partner Richard Champion at Plymouth c.1768-80, the distortion occurred in the kiln during the firing process. These early experimental pieces were very important in the creation of English porcelain. This piece was later bought by Edgar Rees, a Penzance collector, who left his china collections to Truro and Plymouth museums.

China Clay was found at Tregonning Hill in Germoe parish by William Cookworthy c.1746. Born in Kingsbridge Devon soon after the start of the 18th century, Cookworthy was a Quaker and trained as a chemist. There was nothing accidental about his discovery; he had been looking for china stone since 1745. China Clay is Cornwall's major industry today. It has transformed acres of land in the St Austell area into something rather lunar.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Location

Plymouth

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
5.7cm
W:
6cm
D:
6cm
Colour
Material

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