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Large Ovoid Jar


Artwork Details

Large Ovoid Jar
late 19th century
porcelain with colorless glaze
14 11/16 x 6 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (37.3 x 15.5 x 15.5 cm)
Gift of Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp and Museum purchase made possible by Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam


March 28, 2009
Porcelain clay is difficult to shape on the potter’s wheel, so the upper and lower halves of this jar were thrown separately and then joined together by hand. Jars of such size tend to be somewhat irregular in form, but this one is almost a perfect ovoid. The porcelain body is a bit coarse and the glaze contains many pinholes, suggesting an origin in a regional kiln.
In well-to-do households in the late Joseon period, solidly built jars of glazed stoneware or porcelain would have held grains, beans, or condiments for everyday use. They were placed adjacent to the kitchen in the women’s quarters, their contents protected by a sheet of heavy paper tied over the jar’s mouth with twine. The storage jars entered the house as a new bride’s dowry and were passed on to her daughters as heirlooms.
(Label for UMMA Korean Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject Matter:

Ovoid jar.

Physical Description:

Large porcelain jar with course ovoid body, cylindrical foot, flared mouth and colorless glaze.

This elongated ovoid jar is presumed to have been produced at a regional kiln. It is shaped by joining the upper and lower halves, which were made separately on the wheel. High-quality clay and glaze were used, but the glaze was poorly fused. The foot was repaired after a partial damage. The lower body features red spots on some parts, which occurred during firing.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014) p.170]

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