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Jar with designs of tortoises and cranes
19th century

Joseon period

Porcelain with cobalt pigment under transparent, colorless glaze
H: 30.5 W: 31.8 cm
Korea

Purchase F1970.6a-c

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According to East Asian belief, the crane, depicted twice on this jar, becomes immortal at the age of two thousand, while the tortoise is said to live for ten thousand years. Auspicious symbols decorated many porcelain jars used for storage in the kitchens of nobility. Here, the tortoise rises from the waves in his role as messenger of the dragon king, who dwells in a palace at the bottom of the sea. The stylized "cloud collar" surrounding the neck is typical of cobalt-decorated jars made at the official Bunwon kiln.