Korean Antique White Porcelain Full Moon Jar - lot3 / Joseon Dynasty

This is a white porcelain jar from the mid-Joseon period, also known as a "Talhunari" or "moon jar". During the Joseon Dynasty, which was strongly influenced by Confucianism, the purity of white porcelain was particularly prized in its artistic expression due to its Confucian sensitivity. The defining characteristic of white porcelain during this period was its pure white color, but there were many subtle variations in the white hues, with some being classified as milky white, snowy white, ashen white, and bluish white.

The term "Talhunari" means "moon jar" in Korean, and it refers to the large, round shape of the jar, resembling a full moon. It was named by Kim Whanki, a representative abstract painter of Korea. The soft, curving lines and sturdy body that seems to embrace the full moon give the jar both power and tranquility. This type of jar was produced in large quantities during the 17th century.

The white of the moon jar is not the pure white of early Joseon porcelain, nor the ashen white of mid-Joseon period, nor the bluish-white often produced at the official kilns. Generally, it is referred to as milky white, but not all moon jars are the same. In many cases, a range of different white hues can be found within a single vessel. Additionally, some moon jars may have yellowish spots caused by oxidation or incomplete combustion, or discoloration caused by the seepage of liquids.

Moon jars always exhibit different tones of white and subtly change over time, likely due to their organic composition. The variety of these changing white tones may be what attracts us to them.

This piece is in excellent condition, maintaining its pristine form with almost no damage. It has a rich, creamy white color. Moon jars are often made by separately shaping the upper and lower hemispheres and then joining them together because they are too large to be made in one piece on a potter's wheel. This method of joining was first used in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is a highly effective way of making large Chinese jars. Most large jars made using this method have smooth trimming, so the connecting line in the center of the body is not visible. In contrast, the joining lines on Korean moon jars tend to crack or warp during firing, making it difficult to create a perfectly spherical shape like this piece. Due to this slight irregularity, most moon jars have a shape resembling a crescent moon rather than a full moon. However, this asymmetry adds to their beauty, creating a random and natural feel that evokes subtle changes and movements in the natural world.

This item comes with a purchase receipt from when the previous collector acquired it from an antique shop in the Taisho period. The paper is in poor condition and has some insect damage.
w44 x d44 x h43 cm
Joseon dynasty/1392-1897CE

1 piece in stock.

Ceramics_Korea | Early modern period|16th-19th century

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