Similar jars formerly dated to the fifteenth-century have been reascribed to the late sixteenth-early seventeenth century. For other jars see Catalogue 14, Special Exhibition of White Porcelain Jars in Choson Period (Seoul: Ewha Womans University Museum, 1985), pl. 58 [Treasure no. 645] (54.8cm.); for the same jar, Hwang Su-young, The Masterpieces of Korean Art (Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 1988), pl. 158; Beth McKillop, Korean Art and Design (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1992), pl. 28 (34.6cm.); Richo tessha ten/White Porcelain of Underglazed Iron-brown, Yi Dynasty, Korea (Osaka: Museum of Oriental Ceramics, 1986), nos. 1, 2 (20.8cm. and 35.5cm.)
The high quality of the drawing and unusually large size of this early Choson jar combine to make it the ultimate masterpiece of Korean iron-decorated wares. Schematic and playful, the design is typical of Korean jars with this auspicious theme. Iron-decorated wares are not normally associated with the court. This jar is clearly an exception. By the eighteenth century dragon jars produced for the court as representations of the king's majesty and importance show five-clawed dragons. Earlier examples, such as this jar, still show the three-clawed version. The decoration of the neck, shoulder and foot is identical to a handsome sixteenth-century jar of similar quality with bamboo design in underglaze iron in the National Museum of Korea, Treasure no. 166 (Chung Yang Mo, Baikja [White wares], Hanguk mi [Korean beauty], vol. 2 [Seoul: Joong-ang Ilbosa, 1978], pl. 121). Jars with related designs of dragons in underglaze iron can be found in the National Museum of Korea, the Victoria and Albert Museum (Byung-chang Rhee, Masterpieces of Korean Art--Yi Ceramics [Tokyo: privately published, 1978], pl. 324), Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka (Richo tessha ten/White Porcelain of Underglazed Iron-Brown [Osaka: Museum of Oriental Ceramics, 1986], nos. 1,2) and the Ewha Womans University Museum, Treasure no. 645 (Chung Yang Mo, op. cit., pl. 123).