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Catalog Data

Porcelain with cobalt and iron pigments under transparent glaze
H x W x D: 25.5 x 29.7 x 29.7 cm (10 1/16 x 11 11/16 x 11 11/16 in)
Haeju ware
Haeju, Hwanghaenam-do province, Korea
ca. 1900
Joseon period
The jar has a forceful presence; it stands on a narrow base but has a wide mouth with short cylindrical neck above a high and even wider shoulder. It was shaped on the potter's wheel using impure, grayish porcelain clay, and when the potter turned the piece on its rim to cut the foot he also trimmed the body quickly all the way up to its widest diameter, in order to remove excess clay and make the vessel as light as possible. The broad cuts of the trimming blade are clearly visible on the lower body.
The jar was probably decorated while resting on a wheel or turntable; the decorator rotated the piece while stroking on the decoration with a fat, floppy brush dipped in cobalt pigment. The two sprays of the fruit called Buddha's hand scroll vigorously around the upper body of the jar from left to right. A second brush dipped in iron pigment (wielded by the same person? or someone else on an abbreviated assembly line?) added the brown leaf-shaped accents.
The jar was dipped into clear glaze which, because of a small percentage of iron, appears bluish, especially where thick. The interior is also glazed. For firing, the jar must have stood in a cool corner of the kiln since, although the upper body is well fired and the glaze is transparent and shiny, the glaze on the lower back and inside the footrim is dull and opaque due to a temperature insufficient to melt those areas.
From the early 1980s to 1996
Mrs. Keum-Ja Kang, the Kang Collection, New York, acquired in Seoul in the early 1980s [1]
From 1996
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from the Kang Collection, May 21, 1996 [2]
[1] According to notes in the object's record, Mrs. Kang acquired this jar in Seoul, South Korea in the early 1980s.
The base of the jar bears a paper label with stamped cancellation signifying that the jar was cleared through appropriate government channels before being brought to the United States.
[2] See Invoice issued by Kang Collection to the Freer Gallery on May 21, 1996, copy in object file.
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Exhibition History:
Korean Ceramics (February 4, 1997 to August 7, 2011)
Previous custodian or owner:
Mrs. Keum-Ja Kang
Joseon period (1392 - 1910)  Search this
cobalt pigment  Search this
iron pigment  Search this
Korea  Search this
porcelain  Search this
clear glaze  Search this
Korean Art  Search this
Haeju ware  Search this
Credit Line:
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
Korean Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery