Stoneware with white slip and overglaze
Overall: 8.1 cm (3 3/16 in.); Diameter of base: 5.5 cm (2 3/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1991.106
This type of rustic-looking tea bowl was produced in one of the kilns established by the trading office (Waegwan) in Buan, southern Gyeongsang province, for Japanese tea bowl collectors who admired the beauty of imperfection.
This type of wide-mouthed bowl was used every day in Korea, not exclusively for tea drinking. But when it was introduced to Japan around the early 16th century, its imperfect appearance, which evokes the aesthetics of wabi-sabi, caused it to be repurposed as a tea bowl. Korean tea bowls were circulated as a item of foreign luxury among Japanese military elites. Possibly produced in one of the kilns established by the trading office (Waegwan) in Buan, southern Gyeongsang province, it was sold to Japanese tea bowl collectors. According to a historical record dated to 1641, a trading boat shipped more than 14,000 tea bowls to Japan.
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