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White porcelain ‘moon jar’
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This large porcelain jar was made in Korea during the Choson dynasty (ad 1392-1910). The plain white porcelain of the period represents the epitome of austere Confucian taste.

The jar was bought by the British potter Bernard Leach (1887-1979) in Seoul. He was involved with the Japanese mingei (folk crafts) movement in the early part of the twentieth century. The group particularly admired the white porcelain of the Choson period for its lack of self-consciousness, and the beauty of its slight imperfections.

This jar is an exquisite example of such vessels, showing imperfections in the clay and the glaze, as well as in the bulge around the centre that marks the join between the upper and lower halves of the body.

Leach later gave the jar to fellow potter Lucie Rie (1902-95). A famous photograph of her by Lord Snowdon shows her, dressed in white, seated beside the pot.

White porcelain ‘moon jar’

From Korea, Choson dynasty, 17th-I8th century ad
Ht 47 cm
Purchased with the assistance of the Hahn Kwang-Ho Purchase Fund for Korean Art

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