Antique porcelain and pottery

BADA is the leading trade association for the fine art, design and antiques community. Read our guide to caring for antique porcelain and antique pottery.

Handle with care

Common sense is the key when handling antique porcelain.

Decorative pieces may often be extremely fragile.

Before handling, remove any items of jewellery that could scratch or mark your items surface.

Always pick up a ceramic item by the main part of the body.

Take care never to hold porcelain or pottery objects by extremities such as a handle or spout.

Cleaning antique pottery

Pottery is porous, meaning air and water can pass through it.

Consequently, antique pottery should only ever be cleaned with a soft damp cloth or briefly immersed in cool water.

No matter how dirty, antique pottery should never be left to soak.

Cleaning antique porcelain

Antique porcelain can be washed gently in warm water with a dash of washing up liquid.

Never use abrasive cleaners as they may damage the enamel.

Antique porcelain and antique pottery

Home repairs

When attempting minor home repairs, never use adhesive tape to hold loose items in place.

Adhesive tapes can bind tightly to the enamel or gilding on antique ceramics, causing permanent damage on removal.

For temporary repairs, BADA recommends blu-tack as a much safer solution.


The safest storage solution for porcelain and antique pottery is behind glass in a display case or cabinet.

Be aware that vibrations from passing traffic or heavy footfall on uneven flooring can cause objects to move within a cabinet.

Store your ceramics a safe distance apart from one another to avoid any collisions.

You can avoid unwanted movement within a cabinet by placing your ceramic items on a piece of chamois leather.

To view dealers who specialise in antique pottery and porcelain click here

To browse objects of antique pottery and porcelain online click here

For advice on caring for antique Glass click here

For BADA recommended specialists in packing and shipping antiques and fine art click here