The striking, abstract designs on this bowl closely resemble those found on so-called Kraak ware, Chinese export blue-and-white porcelain from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The style is unusual in Korean porcelain. Based on the Korean-character (Hangeul) inscription drilled over the glaze above the foot, we can surmise that this was one of thirty bowls for use at Sunhwa Palace on the occasion of the royal wedding in 1847 of King Heonjong (r. 1834–49) to his formally selected concubine.
Inscription: "Made in the year of Jeongmi [the cyclical date corresponding to 1847], for [use on the occasion of the royal wedding banquet of] Queen Sunhwagung [second wife of King Heonjong, r. 1834–49]; thirty [of these bowls were made] for Jungso, [the residential quarters of certain groups of court officials]."
뎡 미 가 례 시 순 화 궁 요 간 이 듕 쇼 삼 듁
Private collection , Japan (early 1980s–2010; to Christie's) ; sale, Christie's, New York , March 24, 2010, lot 654; to MMA