VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Celadon Chair with inlaid flower and bird design
GPM-5348
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This chair with tapering base is decorated extravagantly with designs that were created by a variety of decoration techniques including cut-outs, inlay, carving, and incision. Several different motifs are expressed, and the composition is well balanced and elegant. The peacock design, in particular, is very unique. It is not seen on earlier vessels. This makes it all the more valuable. At the mid-section of the body are four rhombic windows. The interior of each of these four areas is decorated with a carefully inlaid design of peacocks, chrysanthemums, apricots, bamboo, and cranes in white and red slip (which turns black during firing). The empty spaces between these motifs are cut out to change the form of this vessel, which is otherwise dull and stuffy. The highest and lowest parts are finished with lotus decorations. The center of the top side is ornamented with a design of two phoenixes in a circle, and the surrounding areas outside the circle are decorated with incised lotus leaves and flowers done in a spacious style. The calm deep-green glaze was evenly applied and shows some degree of crazing. Such even glazing is difficult for a vessel of this size. The bottom is indented, and the glaze on the base was wiped away before firing. The high-quality clay and glaze, good composition, and many different design techniques used make this vessel a masterpiece on par with Korea’s other national treasures.

History of the Object
This is a porcelain chair from the mid Goryeo Dynasty. This piece seems to have been made in the area around Buan city, Jeollanam-do province during the 12th century.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
clay, stain, enamel 
Measurements
Width 30.8 Height 41.6  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 12th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
12th Century-13th Century 
Function
a chair 
Acquisition
Acquired in 2004 by the Gyeonggi Provincial Museum at a Seoul Auction. The museum bought it because this type of piece is rare. It seems to be from the tomb of a King or noble person in Gaesung City which was the capital of Goryeo Dynasty. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Gyeonggi provincial museum 
Museum
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum 
Credit line
 

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