Jar with grapevine decoration

Period: Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

Date: mid-18th century

Culture: Korea

Medium: Porcelain with underglaze copper-red design

Dimensions: H. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm); Diam. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975

Accession Number: 1979.413.2


This bulbous jar has an unusual, exaggerated lip and a band of double raised lines at the shoulder. The decoration, consisting of twisting grapevines punctuated by large leaves, is bold, rhythmic, and assured. Painting in underglaze copper-red was more difficult to accomplish than its counterpart decorative medium, underglaze cobalt-blue, because copper readily oxidizes and turns to shades of gray or black during firing, or even disappears entirely. This piece is a rare example of Chosōn porcelain with a successfully executed copper-red decoration.

There are other known porcelain jars like this piece in the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. Given the similarity in shape and decoration, these jars are undoubtedly products of the same kiln, though the site has not yet been identified.