Raman spectroscopy of Limehouse porcelain sherds supported by Mössbauer spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy



The Limehouse pot works, founded probably in the early 1745, was one of the earliest porcelain works established in England. It closed in June 1748. The factory site at 20 Fore Street Limehouse, London, was excavated by the Museum of London, Department of Greater London Archaeology in 1990, recovering 1402 sherds. A number of these sherds has now been examined by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and one by Mössbauer spectroscopy. Different porcellaneous formulations have been identified; namely, an experimental Si–Al body with a Si–Al–Ca glaze and a Si–Al–Ca body containing minor Pb and Mg and covered with a Si–Pb–Ca glaze. Several sherds were intermediate between these compositions. Most sherds failed to reach vitrification temperature and lack translucency. Mössbauer spectroscopy indicated that one sherd had been fired under mildly reducing conditions. These results have enabled conclusions to be reached in respect of the raw materials, body and glaze compositions and firing and glazing conditions used at Limehouse. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.