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Keywords:

  • glaze;
  • glass;
  • porcelain;
  • archaeometry;
  • processing;
  • 16th century

Abstract

On-site Raman analyses were performed at the Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres, France, on the rare, first-known European porcelain dishes, produced from 1575 to 1587 in Florence, under the patronage of Grand Duke Francesco I de Medici. The results are discussed in the light of previous chemical analyses. The different identified phases are α-quartz, feldspar, calcium phosphate and β-(and α-) wollastonite, i.e. the fingerprints of both hard- and soft-paste porcelains. The presence of feldspar is consistent with the high potassium and aluminium content, evident from previous composition analysis. The good dissolution of quartz grains and the signature of β-wollastonite (CaSiO3) are consistent with a frit-ware technology. Calcium phosphate in the enamel indicates that the Islamic technique of opacification with calcined bone was used. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.