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백자 규화배 (白磁葵花盞)
Overall: 3.6 cm (1 7/16 in.)
Anonymous Gift 1969.85
This very rare porcelain cup is called a hollyhock cup because its rim resembles a hollyhock blossom. This type of cup was produced only in the state-owned kiln for a limited time from the late 1400s to mid-1500s. Like sunflowers, hollyhocks also open their blooms toward the sun, signifying loyalty to the king. According to Korean royal archives, hollyhock cups were used during state banquets when the king offered wine to court officials. Also, a hollyhock-shaped cup was used in tea ceremonies to welcome visiting Chinese diplomats. In comparison to ceramic works of the late Joseon period that favor natural and rustic sensibilities seen in this gallery, this hollyhock cup illustrates the precision and perfection that were core aesthetic values of early Joseon period art.
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