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Garden Seat

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
Koreans did not use chairs until the arrival of Western influences in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Ceramic garden seats, designed to be left outside and offering a place to rest without sitting on the wet ground, are a rare exception. The use of both iron-brown and cobalt-blue decoration on this piece is typical of Korean porcelains: blue and brown are rarely combined on Chinese wares of any period.
MEDIUM Porcelain with cobalt and iron decoration under glaze
  • Place Made: Korea
  • DATES early 19th century
    DYNASTY Joseon Dynasty
    DIMENSIONS 18 1/2 x 19 3/4in. (47 x 50.2cm) diameter at mouth: 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Greenberg
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION From Accession Card: White porcelain with cobalt and iron decoration under a clear glaze. A large porcelain Seat for a gentleman scholar's garden. Its carved, openwork decoration depicts grapevines, grape leaves and clusters of grapes. The surface of the grapes was painted with under glaze iron-brown wash. Stylized "precious things" (coins, jewels, treasure bags) a traditional Chinese motif, were drawn in under glaze cobalt blue on the border below the grapes. Grapes were a popular subject in the paintings and decorative arts of Yi Dynasty Korea. Unlike most of the other animal and plant motifs in Korean art, grapes had no auspicious or protective symbolism. Note: the dynasty is now known as Joseon.
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