• Japanese & Korean Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 2296

    Japanese & Korean Art

    24 March 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 649

    A Rare and Important Blue and White Porcelain Jar


    Price Realised  


    A Rare and Important Blue and White Porcelain Jar
    Joseon dynasty (18th century)
    Expertly balanced, the massive jar with swelling shoulders rising from the cylindrical base to the upright rim, the body painted in underglaze cobalt blue in pale washes and darker blue outlines with arabesques of lotuses, peonies and chrysanthemums above a tall band of stiff leaves, in turn set on a band of fretwork and a band of clouds directly above the foot, the neck painted with a band of lightning bolts above a cloud collar, the jar finished with a transparent glaze of even lustre and dense craquelure
    19 5/16in. (49cm.) high; 14 15/16in. (38cm.) diameter

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    Jars of this scale and quality were made for the royal family and were decorated by court painters. The jar is massive, but not the largest of its type. There are taller Korean jars, but they are all of the more familiar five-clawed-dragon and cloud design. Further, they bulge from the shoulder of the pot, in the traditional manner of the Chinese baluster vase. The jar shown here bulges toward the waist, creating a quite different, more robust profile.

    There is a slightly smaller blue-and-white porcelain jar (47.2 cm) of similar proportion and date, but with design of five-clawed dragon and clouds in the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (see image on this page). What distinguishes both is that they bulge toward the center, contributing to a sense of mass and weight.

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