Round porcelain jar with iron pigment under colorless glaze. An abstract dragon spirals around and up the body of the piece, marked by quick brushstrokes indicating scales and unrestrained swirls indicating features such as its head and feet. A slight valley in the contour of the jar marks where two separately thrown pieces were joined together.
The foot is rather small for the size of the body.
Jar with abstract dragon design.
It was made for use in ceremonies at the royal courts.
Stoneware jar with cobalt blue glaze dripping down vessel; foot and bottom ? of jar left unglazed
Cobalt glazes, no doubt inspired by imported Persian wares, first appear in China in the Tang dynasty (618–907). After the fall of the Tang, however, access to cobalt sources dried up with the changing political climate. Cobalt would re-emerge as an important element in Chinese porcelain decoration, after trade with Central Asia and Iran was re-established by the Mongols in the thirteenth century.
Covered jar of celadon glaze, body decorated with peony scroll, with base decorated with lotus petals. The circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar.
Peonies are associated with wealth, imperial splendor, and the erotic appeal of a beautiful woman. In this small but exquisite example of Longquan ware, the circular contours of a peony scroll have been slightly compressed to complement the squat belly of the jar. The Longquan kiln Zhejiang Province emerged as the primary center of celadon ceramics in second quarter of the thirteenth century, when the Song court established its southern capital at nearby Hangzhou. It reached its peak of production during the first quarter of the fourteenth century, when this jar is made, and were exported to markets in East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East.
A medium size, well potted jar with round shoulder and shorter neck. Inside is not totally glazed. On the body, pine, bamboo, and plum trees are finely painted with blue underglaze. Then a translucent glaze is applied, which turns into milky, white color. It has three floral decorations on the shoulder; the decoration is originated in functional elements of “ears” to which ropes were tied for transportation. The neck has a band of double lines and spray design of peony flowers and leaves. The rim of the neck is unglazed. The foot is unglazed; eye is glazed. Some imperfections of glaze are seen toward the bottom. Glaze is scraped off on one part. Many speckles on the surface.
The three plants depicted here, pine, bamboo, and plum, are called “three friends in winter,” and have been depicted in many forms of Japanese decorative arts throughout its history. They symbolize long life and cultured gentlemen.
Globular-shaped footed stoneware vessel with four looped handles at lip and white glaze
Chinese potters perfected white glazes by the seventh century. Sturdy, white-bodied stonewares with white glaze such as this impressive jar are known as Xing ware (Xingyao); the best of these were made at the Qicun kiln in Shaanxi province, near the Tang capital city of Changan (modern Xi'an), and sent to the royal court as tribute.
The most treasured of the Chinese ceramics were the white wares, like this storage jar, from the kilns in Henan province. While the best of these were given to the imperial court as tribute ware, others found their way abroad, where they inspired local potters to attempt white wares.
A medium size, well potted porcelain jar with wooden rid, round shoulder and neck. Floral designs are painted with blue underglaze and red and gold overglaze enamels. There are Chinese scholar and attendant boy with a fan on one side and Japanese lady in kimono on the opposite side, painted with enamels. Band of flowers on the neck, another broader band of chrysanthemums on the shoulder. There is also a band of leaf patterns on the bottom. A large crack from neck to the middle of the body; porcelain glaze has small cracks all over the body. The foot is unglazed; the eye is fully glazed. No glaze on the rim. The teak wood lid, a later addition, has a finial made of an ivory netsuke of laughing Hotei.
The Chinese sage with an attendant and flower maiden might be T’ao Yüan-ming, celebrated scholar and poet in Tang period. After his early retirement, he lived in his little estate where he planted many chrysanthemums and other flowers, and enjoyed drinking wine. The pot-bellied, half naked man Hotei is one of the “Seven gods of felicity,” the god of contentment and happiness. Partly Taoist and partly Buddhist origin, he is generally identified with the Chinese priest known as Pu-tai Ho-shang. The date is unknown; he is stated to have lived in the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries. He carries a bag which is said to contain “precious things” (takaramono).
This jar has a long and upright mouth with a robust shoulder that give way to a body tapering toward the base. The crane, cloud, pine tree and rock are painted with blue and red copper pigment.
This body shape has prevailed the entire Joseon period but the tall mouth is a unique end Joseon feature. The parallel use of these two colors started in the late 18th century to continue into the following century, and seem to have been influenced by colorful folk painting.