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Tea bowl
second half of 16th century

Unidentified, Korean
Joseon period

Stoneware (unvitrified porcelain) with clear glaze; gold lacquer repairs
H: 7.1 W: 15.7 cm
Jinju city or Sancheong county, Korea

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1905.28

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Provincial Korean porcelain bowls were prized as tea bowls in Japan. Discoloration of the clay of such bowls was caused by the tea's seeping through pores in the glaze. Japanese connoisseurs poetically compared the subtle variations in color to the rain-stained plaster walls of a dilapidated hut. Gold lacquer was the material customarily used in Japan for ornamental repairs of chips and cracks.