VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Jar
C.83-1927
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This enormous blue-and-white dragon jar is painted with two five-clawed dragons and flaming pearls among the clouds. The foot has two rows of vertical decoration and an elongated lotus band, where the centre of the lotus leaf is blue, outlined in white. The dragons' scales are skillfully painted in varying intensities, and the clouds trail across the jar in wispy formations. At the neck is a ru-yi band surmounted by a scrolling linear pattern.

History of the Object
In Korea, porcelains covered with a nearly translucent glaze and fired at high temperatures of approximately 1300 degrees Celsius were first made in the 15th century. Cobalt-blue pigment was used to paint designs on the white porcelain, then the piece was glazed and finally fired. Underglaze iron oxide was used for creating designs on celadons during the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), but this became especially popular in the 17th century. Underglaze copper-red decoration was first developed in the 12th century, but was virtually unused until the 18th century.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Glazed porcealain 
Measurements
Diameter: 40.6cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
18th Century - 19th Century; 1750-1850 
Function
 
Acquisition
Gift of W. M. Tapp, Esq. (1859-1936). Tapp was believed to have personally travelled to Korea around 1912-1913 and formed his own modest collection of Korean art. However, through a complicated legal process he acted on behalf of the missionary, Rev. Stanley Smith in the donation of this and other Korean ceramics in 1926. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Credit line
© V&A Images, Victoria and Albert Museum, London 

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