Decorative pierced work was a feature of Korean high-fired, glazed ceramics from the Koryo dynasty (AD 935-1392), when it was applied to celadon-glazed stonewares such as the rectangular cosmetic box in the National Museum of Korea, Seoul (illustrated by B. McKillop in Korean Art and Design - The Samsung Gallery of Korean Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1992, p.50, and the brush rest with pierced lotus decoration in the Toksu Palace Museum of Fine Arts, Seoul, illustrated by C. and W-Y. Kim in The Arts of Korea, Thames and Hudson, London, 1966, p. 43, pl. VI). White porcelains were also made in the Koryo dynasty, but it is the white porcelains of the succeeding Choson dynasty (1392-1910) that have found particular favour with connoisseurs. Those, like the current example, with bold pierced decoration were much admired. Examples of this very attractive decorative technique used on porcelain can be seen in a number of different vessel types. It was favoured for elegant brush-pots and pipe-rests such as those in the Victoria and Albert Museum (illustrated by B. McKillop op. cit., pp. 86-7, nos. 36-7). The use of this technique to depict plant scrolls was particularly effective on pierced vases, like that in the National Museum fo Korea, Seoul (illustrated by C. and W-Y. Kim, op. cit., p. 225, cat. 68) and flowerpot stands, like the current example. Two similar stands, both dating to the 18th century, one with a bold lotus scroll and the other with a slightly more dense scrolling grape vine band are in the Rhee Byung-Chang Collection (illustrated by Itoh Ikutaro in Color of Elegance, Form of Simplicity - The Beauty of Korean Ceramics from the Rhee Byung-Chang Collection , Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka, 1998, pp. 132 and 213, nos. 91 and 183 respectively). The current flowerpot stand shares with the Rhee Byung-Chang pieces the same barrel shape with spreading foot and circular hole in the centre of the upper surface. It also shares with the lotus decorated Rhee example precisely the same arrangement of decorative bands. The current piece, however, includes both lotus and peony - both symbols of feminine beauty - in its main pierced band.
One may imagine these flowerpot stands may originally have been intended to stand on a terrace complementing some of the similar barrel-shaped garden seats also made of white porcelain with pierced decoration, like those illustrated in Sekai Toji Zenshu, vol. 14, Tokyo, 1961, nos. 133 and 134.