Royal Swan is a manufacturer and brand of lead-glazed china dish sets that come in a variety of colored patterns. Royal Swan china, like many brands of fine china, is created in Staffordshire, England.
China and porcelain pottery is made from earthenware clay, which is found in abundance in the subterrain of the geographical heart of England. It is in this area that the production of fine china, fired in kilns and heated by locally mined coal, first began. Craftsmanship and the refined artistry of working clay into elegant ceramics, creating sophisticated figurines and manufacturing exquisite dishes, developed into a superior skilled trade. The quality of these works was such that they took on the honored names of those tradesmen who mastered the craft, such as Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Whieldon. Wedgwood china, among other makes, became a traditional hallmark of royal families and nobility, and patterns designed on the pieces of china were sometimes named for various members of the monarchy throughout history.
The interest in fine china took hold in the 18th century, when it was first mastered, and has grown since then. There are currently many manufacturers and distributors of fine china, especially in the market of replacement, so that whole sets do not need to be purchased again should a few pieces be lost.