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Joseon-era relics from the Tomb of Lady Jeong

July 18,2019
Name: Relics Excavated from the Tomb of Lady Jeong

Period: Joseon

Location: Yongsan District, central Seoul

Status: National Treasure No. 172

Yeongin (a title conferred on the wife of an official of the fourth court rank) Jeong of Jinyang-gun is the mother of Kim Yun, who was a prefectural governor under the reign of King Sejo.

Her tomb yielded 10 pieces of Joseon white porcelain, including cups, plates, bowls, a flask-shaped bottle and an epitaph slab.

The flask-shaped bottle, 2.17 centimeters (0.9 inches) in height and 7.7 centimeters in base diameter, has a round and flat body.

The mouth widens slightly at the top and the foot is slim and long, thus giving the bottle a peculiar figure.

The bottle has a dexterous black inlay of peony and vine and has a thin coat of white porcelain revealing fine net-like cracks.

The epitaph slab is inscribed with the record of the life of a deceased person and placed in their tomb.

This epitaph slab, 20.4 centimeter by 36.6 centimeter, has lotus leaves depicted in natural lines above and a lotus flower engraved between two oblique lines below.

The inscription is in seven lines: Written in the center in bold strokes is “Tomb of Yeongin Jeong of Jinyang-gun.”

The date of death and other items such as her family are written on both sides.

The form is almost identical to that of the Celadon Epitaph Slab with Inlaid Design (1435, during the reign of Queen Seondeok) in the possession of the Ewha Womans University Museum.

The black inlay of characters and patterns is coated with white porcelain, showing fine net-like cracks now.

Judging from the clay, these are thought to have inherited the tradition of Goryeo white porcelain.

The peculiar figure of the flask-shaped bottle suggests they may have been manufactured at Eonyang or Gichang in the Joseon-era Gyeongsang Province.

The cup and saucer are both white porcelain.