Captivating Asian Art: Sotheby’s Unveils Rare Moon Jar

Sotheby’s, a distinguished name in the art world, recently announced a showcase of an unparalleled collection of Asian art that spans an impressive 4,000 years of history.

The highlight of this prestigious event is an exquisite white-glazed Korean moon jar, originating from the esteemed Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), dating back to the late 17th to early 18th centuries. This captivating vessel, known as “Everything is Transient – An Important White-Glazed Korean Moon Jar,” is expected to take centre stage during Sotheby’s Asia Week on the 19th of September, with experts anticipating it to fetch a remarkable sum exceeding $3 million.

A Glimpse into the Enigmatic Moon Jar

With exceptional preservation and towering at an impressive 44 cm in height, this moon jar stands as one of the largest known specimens, rivalling even the finest National Treasures of Korea and those housed in prestigious museums worldwide.

Notable for its voluminous spherical form, boasting an equally wide diameter, this moon jar’s minimalist design accentuates the richness of its glaze, making it an extraordinary rarity in the realm of ceramics. The absence of embellishments is a unique trait, as it is exceedingly uncommon to find vessels of such grand proportions left entirely unadorned in the global history of ceramics.

Captivating Asian Art: Sotheby's Unveils Rare Moon Jar

The Allure of the Moon Jar

This moon jar’s allure lies in its luminous white porcelain surface, captivatingly elegant proportions, and charming idiosyncrasies. Named “dalhangari” in Korean, it embodies the natural beauty and subtlety acclaimed in Korean ceramics.

Initially crafted for practical purposes during the Joseon dynasty, most likely for grain or liquid storage, the jar’s unassuming appearance and striking materiality brought about its rediscovery in the 20th century by art historians and artists alike.

From its humble origins as a utilitarian vessel, the moon jar transcended both geographical and cultural boundaries, eventually earning its place as an iconic and influential work of art in modern times. Its significance spans various realms, from the history of Korean ceramics to the development of modern studio pottery and global art history.

A Rare Public Display

Privately held by Japanese collectors for over four decades, the moon jar will soon be unveiled to the public in Seoul, marking its first public appearance in nearly 40 years. The last time it graced an exhibition was at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka. Art enthusiasts and historians alike eagerly await this rare opportunity to behold this masterpiece in person. Further details regarding the Seoul exhibition will be released in due course.

In conclusion, Sotheby’s upcoming showcase of Asian art promises to be a momentous event, with the centrepiece, the white-glazed Korean moon jar, undoubtedly capturing the attention of art connoisseurs worldwide. Its impeccable preservation, exceptional design, and historical significance make it an extraordinary piece, deserving of its prestigious position in the world of art. As this enigmatic moon jar emerges from its decades-long seclusion, it offers us a glimpse into the past and an opportunity to celebrate the artistic achievements of ancient civilizations.

Images: Sotheby’s