[National Treasure] White Porcelain Lidded Jar with Plum, Bird and Bamboo Design
Name: White Porcelain Lidded Jar with Plum, Bird and Bamboo Design in Underglaze Cobalt Blue
Period: Joseon (1392-1910)
Location: Yongsan District, central Seoul
Status: National Treasure
This earthenware jar is 16.8cm (0.55 feet) tall, has a mouth diameter of a 6.1cm and base diameter of 8.8cm. The handle of the lid is shaped like a lotus bud. The wide shoulder line is strongly emphasized and the thin waist line slightly curves out to the base of the piece. The outer edge of the surface is slightly slanted. Four leaves are painted on the handle of the lid; and around it, apricot flowers and bamboo are painted.
This technique of painting is similar to that of sujibeop, a style that was popular in the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The edge of the mouth is decorated with a twisted vine pattern. One side of the body is painted with a pair of birds resting on an apricot tree and wild chrysanthemums. On the other side bamboo shoots growing away from each other are painted. The structure and style of the painting are very refined, and cobalt-blue glaze was used in various degrees of light and dark, indicating that the surface was painted by a professional painter and not the potter. The simple design of the wild chrysanthemums underneath the apricot tree makes it chohwamun, a popular design found between the late 17th and early 18th century.
The color of the two birds and the apricot branches are an almost brownish cobalt blue. This earthenware jar excavated from an ancient tombstone is an important piece of work in terms of studying the shape and design of pottery made during that period.