[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 terracotta pot is 16.8cm tall, has a mouth diameter of 6.1cm and a base diameter of 8.8cm. The lid handle is shaped like a lotus bud. The wide shoulder line is strongly emphasized and the thin waist line curves slightly towards the base of the piece. The outer edge of the surface is slightly inclined. Four leaves are painted on the lid handle; and around, apricot blossoms and bamboos are painted.
This painting technique is similar to that of sujibeop, a style popular in the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The edge of the mouth is adorned with a twisted vine pattern. One side of the body is painted with a couple of birds perched on an apricot tree and wild chrysanthemums. On the other side, bamboo shoots moving away from each other are painted. The structure and style of the painting is very refined, and a cobalt blue glaze has been used in varying degrees of light and dark, indicating that the surface was painted by a professional painter and not by the potter. The simple design of wild chrysanthemums under the apricot tree makes it chohwamuna popular design found between the late 17th and early 18th century.
The color of the two birds and the apricot branches is an almost brownish cobalt blue. This earthenware jar extracted from an ancient tombstone is an important work in terms of studying the form and design of pottery made at that time.