Korean Celadon stoneware

Celadon glazes are well known amount Chinese, Korean and Japanese stoneware makers creating beautifully decorated pottery in various shades of green, olive, blue, and gray. Different colours can be produced by addition a high proportion of iron applied to the body before glazing which interacts with the glaze during the firing and colours the item. In the Eastern world celadon were prized long before the were known to the West.

Popular because of its beauty, people believing in superstition count on celadon dish would break or change colour if poisoned food were put into it. To the Chinese, celadon resembled jade.

In China, the earliest celadon was produced in the Han dynasty (206 BCAD 220), most of the items glaze is olive or brownish green.

The first to reach Europe in the 14th century were the celadons of the Sung dynasty, produced in  the kilns of Lung-ch'üan. Still exisint items include large dishes, bowls, and large vases with a transparent green colour glaze, superb in quality with a well-marked crackle.

Kiln Korean Folk Village Suwon
Kiln (Korean Folk Village Suwon)

Kiln Korean Folk Village Suwon

Kiln Korean Folk Village Suwon

Kiln Korean Folk Village Suwon

Preparation of a Kiln (National Museum Seoul)

During the Goryeo-period (918–1392) Korean glazed the celadons in bluish green, designs are first incised into the clay then filled with black-and-white slip. Floral patterns and occasional bird were the dominating decoration. During the early part of the Yi dynasty (1392–1910), pattern were impressed by stamps rather than incised.


Celadon Vase

Celadon vase are appreciated as gift items looking very beautiful on top of a traditional Korean medicine chest or as displayed here on a Japanese Tansu. To present an Ikebana a celadon vase is most suitable to display the art of Japanese flower arrangement.

A Mirror box (Vanity) is display as well. Dressing tables were often used in old Japan. They must have had an important meaning in the life of women.

They were used to store combs, hairpins, powder and valuable oils. The mirror can be folded and disappears entirely into the box.



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This page was last updated May 2023


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