The turning point came as the new year of 1708 dawned. A handwritten sheet in Böttger’s eccentric mixture of Latin and German dated 15 January 1708, recorded a list of seven recipes:
N 1 clay only
N 2 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 4:1N 3 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 5:1N 4 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 6:1N 5 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 7:1N 6 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 8:1N 7 clay and alabaster in the ratio of 9:1The results of the test firings were more startling than even he had dared hope. After five hours in the kiln, Böttger records, the first sample had a white appearance; the second and third had collapsed; the fourth remained in shape but looked discoloured. The last three held him spellbound.These small, insignificant-looking plaques had withstood the searing heat of the kiln; they had remained in shape and intact. More importantly they were ‘album et pellucidatum‘ – white and translucent. In the dank, squalid laboratory the twenty-seven-year-old Böttger had succeeded where everyone else had failed. The arcanum for porcelain for which all Europe had searched now lay within his grasp.
Gleeson, Janet. The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story. Transworld Publishers, London, 1998, p. 56.