It seems that porcelain was not a sudden invention, although some claim that Tao-Yue (c.608 - c.676 AD) was the legendary inventor of porcelain. He used so-called 'white clay' (kaolin) which he found along the Yangzte river where he was born. He added other types of clay to produce the first white porcelain, which he sold as 'artificial jade' in the capital Chang-an.

But archeological finds push back the date of true porcelain before the third century AD. and by the Sung Dynasty (960-1279) porcelain had reached the height of its artistry.

European 'porcelains' in the sixteenth century were not true ones; in Europe, true porcelain was finally developed in the eighteeenth century.