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Spittoon stoneware with Jun ware glaze, Song or Ming dynasty

The Five Great Kilns (Chinese: 五大 名窯, Wu da ming yao), also known as Five Famous Kilns, is a generic term for ceramic kilns or wares (in Chinese 窯 yao can mean either) which produced Chinese ceramics during the Song dynasty (960–1279) that were later held in particularly high esteem. The group were only so called by much later writers under the Ming and Qing dynasties, and of the five, only two (Ru and Guan) seem to have produced wares directly ordered by the Imperial court, though all can be of very high quality. All were imitated later, often with considerable success.[1]

All except Ding ware made celadon, and in Western terms the celadon kilns are stoneware, rather than the Ding early porcelain. The celadons placed great emphasis on elegant forms, and their ceramic glazes, and were otherwise lightly decorated, with no painting.

The five kilns produced respectively:


  1. ^ Rawson, 246
  • Rawson, Jessica (ed). The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, 2007 (2nd edn), British Museum Press, ISBN 9780714124469