Tea Bowl

분청사기 완 (粉靑沙器碗)

1700s
Overall: 8.1 cm (3 3/16 in.); Diameter of base: 5.5 cm (2 3/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

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.

Description

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 Busan, southern Gyeongsang province, this type of tea bowl was sold to Japanese tea bowl collectors. According to a historical record dated to 1641, one trading boat shipped more than 14,000 tea bowls to Japan.
Tea Bowl

Tea Bowl

1700s

Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

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