White porcelain full moon jar Tarhanali, Joseon Dynasty / 1392-1897

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 a sphere that is appropriately called a "Moon Jar". There's one place inside the jar where water retention has been repaired, and there are scythe scratches, stains, etc. on the top of the foot. However, I think this is a good quality piece for this type of jar. It is 48 cm tall and large in size, and it has a strong presence. Despite being a large Moon Jar, the top and bottom parts seem to have been made at once, rather than being joined together. It has a very attractive, languid whiteness.
w48 x d48 x h48 cm
Joseon dynasty/1392-1897CE
Ceramics_Korea | Early modern period|16th-19th century

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