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Minerals 2018, 8(7), 269;

Archaeometric Analyses of European 18th–20th Century White Earthenware—A Review

Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 6, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 2 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mineralogical Applications for Cultural Heritage)
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This study provides an overview of the few archaeometric analyses of European white earthenwares from England, France, Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland. White earthenwares were an extremely successful mass-product between ca. 1750 and 1900. They became “the porcelain of the poor man” and replaced the older traditional pottery such as faïence. The invention of this new ceramic type took place simultaneously in England and France shortly before 1750. Contemporary recipes can be compared to the analytical results of these products. The ceramic bodies are, according to the chemical (X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscope-energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), particle-induced X-ray emission-proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE-PIGE) and microscopic analyses (scanning electron microscope-back scatter detector (SEM-BSE), artificial mixtures of clay + quartz + flux. Various techniques can be recognized. In England, a blend of a CaO-poor clay (with illite flux) + calcined flint is typical of the so-called creamware, whereas supplementary fluxes (Cornish stone) resulted in the Queen’s ware. In France and Central Europe, CaO-poor clays were mixed with grog (Paris) or with calcined flint/quartz pebbles/sand or with carbonates + Alk-/Pb-frits (Lorraine). Swiss CaO-rich bodies may contain bone ash or dolomite as flux. The products of the individual factories can be differentiated on the basis of their chemical composition. Micromorphological and chemical analyses revealed intensive physico-chemical reactions between the glaze and the body. View Full-Text
Keywords: white earthenware; ceramic body; glaze; chemical analysis; microscopic analysis white earthenware; ceramic body; glaze; chemical analysis; microscopic analysis

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Maggetti, M. Archaeometric Analyses of European 18th–20th Century White Earthenware—A Review. Minerals 2018, 8, 269.

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