Tea bowl

Historical period(s)
Joseon period, second half 16th century
Porcelain with transparent glaze; gold lacquer repairs
H x W: 7.8 x 15.3 cm (3 1/16 x 6 in)
Korea, probably Gyeongsangnam-do province
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl (koraijawan)

clear glaze, Joseon period (1392 - 1910), Korea, lacquer repair, porcelain, tea

Prince of Kaga Collection, Kanazawa, Japan [1]

To 1897
Yamanaka & Company, New York to 1897 [2]

From 1897 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka & Company in 1897 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]


[1] This is one of ten tea bowls (F1897.81 - F1897.90) acquired as a group from the former collection of the "Prince of Kaga." presumably the last head of the Maeda house, the daimyo family that had served as feudal lords of Kaga Province (now part of Ishikawa prefecture, centering around the castle town of Kanazawa) since the beginning of the 17th century (see Curatorial Remark 5, Louise Cort, 1982, in the object record, as well as F1897.89a-c, Curatorial Remark 10, Louise Cort, September 1982).

[2] Undated folder sheet note. See Original Pottery List, L. 687, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[3] See note 2.

[4] 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.

Previous Owner(s)

Maeda daimyo of Kaga
Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919


The size and shape of this bowl suggest that it may have been made to order for the Japanese market, for use as a tea bowl. Although its shape is quite typical for a provincial Korean kiln of the second half of the sixteenth century, its size is smaller than usual. Alternatively, the bowl may represent the "discovery" of the potential of an ordinary tableware bowl to be used as a tea bowl. Slightly later bowls, such as F1902.68, demonstrate changes made to agree more closely with Japanese taste.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Korean Ceramics
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum