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Large Korean Ceramic Jar with Magpies and Plum Design Joseon Dynasty

$ 12,800
  • Description
    A large Korean white porcelain jar with underglaze decoration circa late 19th century of Joseon Dynasty. The vase has a well-proportioned profile of a classic jar (known as Hangari in Korean and was being produced since 18th century from Punwon-ri Kilns) with a tall upright neck that extends to a generous opening and swelled rounded shoulder that tapers down toward the base. Many of these porcelain jars were decorated with underglaze cobalt blue painting that depicts dragons or phoenix and other auspicious symbols. Traditionally they were used to store liquors (with lids) or hold flowers on ceremonial occasions or in the halls of wealthy residences. This jar, however, distinguishes itself with a greyish-black underglaze paint that showcases a playful and lively design circumventing the entire surface. (It appears that the paint used was an iron-based/enriched pigment as there are oxidated spots with much stronger iron-brown colors). A flock of magpies were perching and flying amidst branches of plum blossoms, with some facing each other as a pair. If one observes closely, the leaves sprouting from the tree trunk are not plum but bamboo leaves, which were also found near the roots the trees. This artistic freedom was unique and refreshing. The imaginary composition, together with the sure-handed and spontaneous execution renders this piece a free spirit full of raw energy.
    Symbolically, in Korean culture and folklore, magpie is the harbinger of good news while the winter-time plum blossoms embody perseverance and endurance. The two motifs together indicate the auspicious arrival of spring, a season of awakening, growth and hope.
    The base is partially glazed and covered in kiln grits and sand residues. The foot ring is unglazed. The interior is partially glazed indicating it was made to be liquid-proof.
    For an earlier jar with similar composition, see item Sinsu 4522 in the collection of National Musuem of Korea.
  • More Information
    Origin: South Korea
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: ceramic glazed
    Condition: Good. Fine antique condition with age-appropriate wear and patina, aged crazing and crackles to glaze in areas as shown. Glaze kiln imperfection around the foot as made.
    Creation Date: 19th century
    Styles / Movements: Asian, Traditional
    Patterns: Animal/Insects, Asian/Oriental, Florals/Botanical, Handmade
    Incollect Reference #: 728810
  • Dimensions
    H. 15 in; Diam. 9.6 in;
    H. 38.1 cm; Diam. 24.38 cm;
Message from Seller:

Our collection ranges from Neolithic Art to 20th century collectible art and design. It spans 5000 thousand years of history and crosses many civilizations and cultures. Our aesthetic strongholds are Mid-century studio design, Japanese and Korean art, Asian Textile Art and Contemporary Aboriginal Art. The diversity is united behind our singular vision to seek for timeless beauty and driven purely by our passion

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