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Korean White Ware Bottle-Vase, Choson Dynasty

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Ceramics: Pre 1920: Item # 1039663

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Korean White Ware Bottle-Vase, Choson Dynasty

White wares from the earlier Koryo Dynasty are rare, and most examples found in Korea were imported from China. However, by the late Choson Dynasty both decorated and plain white wares were produced and highly sought after for ritual as well as domestic use. The aesthetic of plain, undecorated white porcelain appealed largely to the Korean elite enamored of Confucian and Buddhist ideas which promoted austerity, simplicity and purity. Whatever the Chinese intellectual or ideological influence then prevalent in Korea, the visual and material expression of these ideas took a distinctly Korean form. The plain Korean white wares are thus quite distinct from the ornate, decorated and pictorial ceramics produced in China during the late Ching Dynasty. The vessel offered here—although it has a distinctive neck and mouthrim that recalls much earlier Koryo vases—probably dates to the late Choson (Joseon) Dynasty. It is rather delicately potted and the concentric rings clearly visible on the lower body indicate that this vessel was at least partially hand-shaped at a wheel. The vase has a somewhat shiny, vitreous surface and a slighly smokey white slip or glaze extends approximately 2.5cm (1”) inside the neck revealing a rather pure white and finely levigated clay body beneath. The glaze shows the typical dark flecks and occasional burn marks typical of Korean pottery, and a very slight celadon color is visible where the glaze has pooled in the concentric incised rings where the neck attaches to the body. The underside shows the typical sandy kiln adhesions found on most Korean wares. The condition is excellent and the vase is without chips, cracks or restorations. Height: 21.5cm (8-3/8”); Diameter (mouthrim): 5.7cm (2-1/4”); Diameter (footrim): 7.3cm (3”). Weight: .850kg (1 lb. 14 ozs.). Copyright © 2010 by Robert McCaffrey for RuyiStudio San Francisco. All Rights Reserved.

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