Open main menu
Proto-celadon Zun wine vessel, Shang period, 16-11th century BCE.

Proto-celadon (Chinese: 灰釉陶, also 原始青瓷) was a type of Chinese ceramic which developed during the Shang period and Western Han periods. It is often described as "proto-porcelain", and was usually glazed in light yellowish green.[1]

Proto-celadon jar with ears and vertical stripes, Warring States period, 475-211 BCE.

The body of proto-celadon was high-fired, the Chinese classification including porcelain, with an iron content below 3%.[2] Firing temperature was around 1200 degrees Celsius. In Western terms the wares are stoneware. Surface treatment consisted of a lime glaze.[2] The shapes manufactured in proto-celadon were similar to the objects manufactured in bronze.[1]

During the Shang and Zhou periods, proto-celadon was mainly produced in the areas south of the Yangtze river.[2] Following this period, production greatly improved in quantity and quality.[2]

Inception of true celadonEdit

Celadon lion-shaped Bixie (Chinese: 辟邪), Western Jin period, 265-317 CE.

From the Eastern Han period, true celadon ware (Chinese: 成熟青瓷) started to appear, with production focused in Zhejiang Province.[1] Although still following the shapes and patterns of proto-celadon wares, these advances now represented the characteristics of porcelain, with refined clays and appropriate firing temperatures.[1]

These advances were followed by those of Yue ware, and the blooming of celadon production from the period of the Song dynasty.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kelun, Chen (1 January 2004). Chinese Porcelain: Art, Elegance, and Appreciation. Long River Press. pp. 3ff. ISBN 9781592650125.
  2. ^ a b c d Shanghai Museum permanent exhibit

External linksEdit