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  • Place of origin:

    Korea (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1850 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain, thrown, painted in underglaze cobalt blue and copper red

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. M. Tapp

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 18, shelf 8

White porcelain, made from a mixture of clay and crushed rock fired at a very high temperature, was first produced in Korea in the Koryo dynasty (918–1392). By the time this jar was made in the 19th century, such porcelain had come to dominate ceramic production. Plain white wares, with their connotations of purity and honesty, were popular in a culture embedded in Confucian philosophy. However, porcelains painted under the glaze with iron brown or, as in this case, copper red and cobalt blue were also prized.

The jar is decorated with two phoenixes – mythical birds with rich symbolic significance in Korean art. Here they may express a wish for long life.

Physical description

Jar, pear-shaped with slightly flaring neck. Painted in underglaze blue and copper red with phoenixes and jewels.

Place of Origin

Korea (made)


1800-1850 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Porcelain, thrown, painted in underglaze cobalt blue and copper red


Height: 22.2 cm, Diameter: 17.0 cm

Descriptive line

Jar of porcelain, painted in underglaze cobalt blue and copper red, Korea, Choson dynasty, 1800-1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wilkinson, Liz. Birds, Bats & Butterflies in Korean Art. London: Sun Tree Publishing, Singapore, 1996, pp.46-47.




Painted; Glazed; Thrown; Blue and white and red

Subjects depicted

Phoenix birds


Ceramics; Porcelain; Containers


East Asia Collection

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