Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Jar

Period:
Kofun period (ca. 300–710)
Date:
6th–7th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Stoneware with natural ash glaze and incised decoration (Sue ware)
Dimensions:
H. 19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm); Diam. 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm); Diam. of rim 11 in. (27.9 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:
1975.268.420
Not on view
This jar is an example of the type of stoneware containers and stands known as Sue ware, produced from the middle of the fifth until the fourteenth century. Because the word sue means offering, it is presumed that they were originally made for ritual use. Early examples of Sue ware are typically found in tombs, while later articles were also made for use in Buddhist temples.

This massive jar is striking in its size, dramatic contour, and the appearance of the mottled greenish glaze that unevenly coats the mouth and shoulders. The glaze, produced accidentally when ash and embers from burning logs settled on the objects during firing, drips down the sides of the jar, freezing the process of its formation. The rough look of the vessel's surface is accentuated by the pattern of incised lines and cord markings that cover it. In later centuries, ceramic objects such as this jar were highly prized for their irregular profile and rustic appearance, because it was felt that these characteristics conveyed a one-of-a-kind quality and captured the energy and spontaneity of nature.
Related Objects

Recumbent Bottle (Yokobe)

Date: late 6th century Medium: Stoneware with partial covering of natural ash glaze (Sueki, Sue ware) Accession: 2015.300.259 On view in:Gallery 229

Large Storage Jar (Ōtsubo)

Date: 16th century Medium: Stoneware with natural ash glaze (Tokoname ware) Accession: 2015.300.275 On view in:Gallery 229

Bowl with Dragons among Waves

Date: 10th century Medium: Stoneware with carved and incised decoration under celadon glaze (Yue ware) Accession: 18.56.36 On view in:Gallery 204

Serving Dish (Hirabachi) with Circular Patterns (Botan-mochi)

Date: early 17th century Medium: Stoneware with natural ash glaze (Bizen ware) Accession: 2015.300.264 On view in:Gallery 229

Bottle with flattened side

Date: 9th or 10th century Medium: Stoneware with accidental wood-ash glaze Accession: 1994.226 On view in:Gallery 233