Bluish White Porcelain Flat Bottle with Stamped Flower and Scroll Design

© The National Museum of Korea

This is a qingbai (bluish white) bottle, produced in the Jingdezhen (景德鎭) kilns located in Jiangxi Province, China. The Jingdezhen kilns first produced porcelains for export during the Tang and Song Dynasties, and by the Yuan Dynasty, they had become the center of ceramic production in China. Qingbai ware are known for their extraordinary translucency, which was achieved using kaolin (a special clay mineral) and fine-grained porcelain stone, which allowed for the creation of vessels with very thin walls. The thin white porcelain would then be covered with a light bluish-green glaze. When properly lit, qingbai ware looks exceptionally smooth and glassy, as if it is glimmering with a bluish green shadow. This bottle has a flat body and a relatively wide mouth that stretches straight up, with an elephant-shaped handle attached to each shoulder. Two decorative bands circle the shoulder and the lower body (respectively), each with a vine design. Its high footring is flared out into an oval base, and the interior of the footring is not glazed. The form is modeled after bronze bottles that were used for the game of “pitch-pot” (where players try to toss objects, usually arrows, into a large bronze bottle) during the Han Dynasty. Thus, it demonstrates the cultural trend of collecting bronze antiquities, which was popular at the time.

Provenance: Dodeok-do, Bangchuk-ri, Jido-myeon, Sinan-gun, Jeollanam-do

Materials: White Porcelain

Dimensions: H. 19.6cm

Accession Number: Sinan 6683

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