In the British American colonies of the eighteenth century, fine European porcelain appeared only rarely. It was a special commodity even in the households of the affluent merchants and landowners. The only porcelains excavated at Williamsburg, for example, have been of lesser quality, blue-and-white transfer-printed porcelain.

In 1751 the Worcester Porcelain Manufactory in England was formed to meet the growing demand for white, soft-paste porcelain tableware. By 1755 the use of transfer-printing increased production at the manufactory and widened availability to a larger market. Benjamin Franklin purchased some Worcester porcelain while in London; he wrote to his wife Deborah in 1758, “I send you by Capt. Budden a large Case.... In the large case is another small Box, containing some English China [including] a Worcester Bowl, ordinary.”


  • Title: Cup
  • Date: c. 1760 - 1775
  • Physical Dimensions: w7.3 x h4.3 x d7.3 cm (overall)
  • Type: Ceramics
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Soft-paste porcelain with transfer print
  • Manufacturer: Worcester Porcelain Manufactory
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Mrs. Vernon Knight

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