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.
The body of proto-celadon was high-fired, the Chinese classification including porcelain, with an iron content below 3%. Firing temperature was around 1200 degrees Celsius. In Western terms the wares are stoneware. Surface treatment consisted of a lime glaze. The type of objects manufactured in proto-celadon were similar to the objects manufactured in bronze.
Inception of true celadon
From the Eastern Han period, true celadon ware (Chinese: 成熟青瓷) started to appear, with production focused in Zhejiang Province. 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.
- Kelun, Chen (1 January 2004). Chinese Porcelain: Art, Elegance, and Appreciation. Long River Press. pp. 3ff. ISBN 9781592650125.
- Shanghai Museum permanent exhibit
- A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics from The Metropolitan Museum of Art