Large jar with peony decoration

Period: Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

Date: late 15th century

Culture: Korea

Medium: Buncheong ware with incised and sgraffito design

Dimensions: H. 15 in. (38.1 cm); Diam. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1916

Accession Number: 16.122.1


This large jar, with a wide straight neck, a thick mouth rim, and a body that extends in an almost straight line from the shoulder to the flat bottom, is a type of vessel frequently found in punch’ōng (powder green) ware. Produced only in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this distinctive ware was developed as a result of the Korean potters' attempts to revitalize what remained of the Koryō dynasty (918–1392) celadon tradition.

The clay body of the vessel was covered with a white slip, and a design of peonies (in the central zone) and lotus petals (on the shoulder and at the base) incised into it. The slip was then scraped away in some of the areas surrounding the design to expose the grayish blue ground beneath. The piece was then covered with a transparent glaze, often referred to as a punch’ōng glaze, which contains a small amount of iron oxide and turns bluish green when fired. The sgraffito technique, used in the decoration of this piece, is typical of punch’ōng ware produced in the second half of the fifteenth century.

Incised on the neck of the jar is the Chinese character da (Korean: tae; large). The purpose of the inscription on this jar is not known.