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When it comes to china - that is, porcelain wares - it’s only natural that China be famous for it…I mean, where do you think the name came from?  It is true, though, that Chinese porcelain wares have historically been, and still are among the most highly respected in the industry, and are exported with high appraisals around the entire world. It is fitting that the Chinese should be such experts in porcelain wares, as porcelain has been a part of their society through a great part of their history. 

Porcelain began in China during the Shang and Zhou dynasties.  Though it was still a very primitive form of the wares, archaeologists have found simple porcelain in the middle and lower parts of the Yangtze and Yellow river regions. 

True porcelain wares, in the more modern sense appeared during the Han dynasty.  From the point where it was first developed, different styles formed throughout the different periods, and they became their own, individual styles.  The primary forms that sprung from the Han dynasty were celadon porcelain and black porcelain, as they were the types that were highest in production.  Celadon porcelain continued its development throughout the dynasties, reaching an important step in the late Tang dynasty, when celadon porcelain’s production techniques evolved and matured so that large scale manufacture became possible.  Simultaneously, white porcelain - having made its appearance in the later Northern and Southern dynasty - also reached its peak. 

Celadon porcelain is characterized by its simple, yet quite refined shapes, by its jade-like glaze, by its solid substance, and by its quite distinctive style.  As the wares of celadon porcelain were produced in the Longquan County, in the Zhejiang Province, it became the most valued, and became more generally known as longquan qingci. This is its Chinese name, and it means “greenish porcelain.”  However, you might wonder why then, it is known as celadon porcelain in the West.  Celadon, the person carrying the name, was the hero of a revered French writer Honore d”Urfe, in his romance L’Astrée, of 1610; Celadon was the lover of the heroine Astrée.  Celadon was depicted as a young man who dresses all in green, and this fashion became the rage in most of Europe.  It was just about this time that the Chinese porcelain qingci made its way into Paris, and won its first acclaims.  Therefore, people began to compare the color of the qingci with the color of Celadon’s suit, and began calling the porcelain “celadon,” which spread to other countries.


Chinese Porcelain Trade Jingdezhen Porcelain
Porcelain Along the Silk Road
Tall Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Tall Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Square Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Square Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Frog & Lily Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Frog & Lily Celadon Tea Set / Vietnam
Pair of Brass Foo Dogs
Brass & Bronze
Inside Painted Boxes

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