White Porcelain Bottle with string Design in Underglaze Iron-brown
Ceramics - White Porcelain
Food - Tableware - Foods and Drinks - bottle
- Accession Number
Buncheong Ware and White Porcelain Gallery
Along with buncheong ware, the other type of ceramic ware that represents the Joseon Dynasty is white porcelain. But while the golden era of buncheong ware was rather brief, white porcelain was produced and loved throughout the Joseon era. Members of the ruling class of Joseon, including royals and literati elites, were charmed by the simple, refined forms of white porcelain, combined with the pure white surface; they felt it was a perfect symbol for the clean, austere life of Neo-Confucianism that they revered. They were so deeply attracted to ceramic ware that the royal family and the government of Joseon operated their own ceramic kilns (Gwanyo, meaning “official kiln”) in today’s Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do, and in some other areas. These kilns were closely supervised by their own government agency, Saongwon. This bottle displays the solidity and curvature that are characteristic of white porcelain from the early Joseon period. A strand of rope, expressed in iron-brown underglaze, is twined around the narrow neck, dangling down with a loop at the end. The simple design—with an abundance of open space and bold, unhesitant strokes—still manages to convey a strong impression, and attests to the superior craftsmanship of the period. In fact, the heightened control of the rendering and the balance between the design and blank space transcend craftsmanship to become fine art. Some Korean characters (Hangeul) are written in iron-brown glaze on the bottom of the base, but their meaning cannot be deciphered. One can nonetheless reliably conclude that this bottle was produced after the invention of Hangeul (1443).