The development of bone china is generally attributed to the British ceramics entrepreneur Josiah Spode II around 1800. Created from a combination of bone ash, china stone and china clay, the porcelain would take a translucent appearance while also increasing its strength, making the material less brittle than traditional porcelain. Bone china offered a less costly and more durable alternative and from 1812, the Wedgwood manufactory introduced its use for the production of tea and tablewares.
This teacup and saucer is decorated with a silver overlay in an open fretwork design typical of the French Art Nouveau style that was popular at the turn of the 20th century. This movement influenced design and the decorative arts in Western Europe and the United States, prompting designers and artists to take inspiration from the flowing lines and sinuous curves of the natural world.