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profile: Bowl, used in Japan as tea bowl profile: Bowl, used in Japan as tea bowl interior: Bowl, used in Japan as tea bowl base: Bowl, used in Japan as tea bowl

Bowl, used in Japan as tea bowl

Historical period(s)
Joseon period, mid 15th century
Stoneware with white inlay under clear, pale green glaze; makie lacquer repair
Buncheong ware
H x W: 7.8 x 17.7 cm (3 1/16 x 6 15/16 in)
Korea, Gyeongsang-do province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Three Chinese characters stamped below the rim of this bowl name a Korean government office for which the work was made. Despite their intended use for serving rice or soup, some bowls of this type were exported to Japan, where they became teabowls. Tea tannin has stained the soft glaze deeply, creating a patina cherished by tea practitioners. The costly lacquer repair with relief design of autumn grasses echoes the stamped motif of wild aster flowers.

To 1904
Yamanaka & Company, New York, NY, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company, New York, NY, in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] Undated folder sheet note. Also see Original Pottery List, L. 1292, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel
Buncheong ware, flower, green glaze, Joseon period (1392 - 1910), Korea, lacquer repair, stoneware, tea, white inlay
Collection(s) Area
Korean Art
Web Resource(s)
Korean Ceramics, Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.