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[National Treasure] White porcelain jar painted in Joseon style

June 19,2019
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Name: White Porcelain Lidded Jar with Plum, Bird and Bamboo Design in Underglaze Cobalt Blue

Period: Joseon

Location: Yonsang District, central Seoul

Status: National Treasure No. 170


This earthenware jar has a height of 16.8 centimeters (6.6 inches), mouth diameter of 6.1 centimeters and base diameter of 8.8 centimeters.

The handle of the lid is shaped like a lotus bud. The wide shoulder line is strongly emphasized, and the thin waist line slightly curves out to the base of the pottery.

The outer edge of the surface touching the ground is slightly slanted. Four leaves are painted on the handle of the lid; and around it, apricot flowers and bamboos are painted.

This technique of painting is similar to that of sujibeop, a style that was popular in the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

The edge of the mouth is decorated with a twisted vine pattern.

The structure and style of the painting are very refined, and cobalt-blue glaze was used in various degrees of light and shade, indicating that the surface was painted by a professional painter and not the potter.

The simple design of the wild chrysanthemums underneath the apricot tree makes it chohwamun, a popular design found between the late 17th and early 18th century.

The color of the two birds and the apricot branches are an almost brownish cobalt blue.

This earthenware jar excavated from an ancient tombstone is an important piece of work for studying the shape and design of pottery made in the period.