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Gallery Text

Chosŏn Punch’ŏng

Punch’ŏng ware represents a loose grouping of ceramics defined by inventive shapes and bold or whimsical decoration employing white slip (a mixture of clay and water) and various other techniques. Produced in the late 14th to 16th centuries, punch’ŏng was eclipsed by white porcelain, the favored ceramic type from the 15th century on. Esteemed for centuries by tea practitioners and collectors in Japan, where it inspired many revivals, punch’ŏng ware influenced modern and contemporary potters in Korea and beyond. Punch’ŏng has more recently gained recognition in the west for its often abstract and experimental designs.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Tortoise-shaped Bottle with Stylized Peony Leaves and Geometric Design
Work Type
second half of 15th century
Creation Place: East Asia, Korea
Chosŏn dynasty, 1392-1910
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Punch'ŏng ware with inlaid decoration and brushed white slip
H. 12.7 x Diam. 18.2 cm (5 x 7 3/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Gregory (1922-1988) and Maria C. Henderson (1923-2007), Medford, MA (by 1969-1988), inherited; by Maria C. Henderson, Medford, MA (1988-1991), partial gift and partial purchase; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1991.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of Maria C. Henderson and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for Asian Art
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Publication History

  • Robert P. Griffing, Jr., The Art of the Korean Potter; Silla, Koryô, Yi, exh. cat., Asia Society Museum (New York, NY, 1968), p. 106, no. 87; p. 127, no. 87
  • Gregory Henderson, Korean Ceramics: An Art's Variety, exh. cat., Ohio State University, Divisions of Art Gallery (Columbus, Ohio, 1969), p. 47, no. 91
  • Christian Boehm, Korean Celadon and Buncheong Ware in the Harvard Art Museums, Arts of Asia (Hong Kong, Autumn 2023), pp. 106-, pp. 116-118, fig. 27

Exhibition History

  • A Decade of Collecting: Asian Acquisitions 1990-1999, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 03/11/2000 - 11/05/2000
  • Cultivating Virtue: Botanical Motifs and Symbols in East Asian Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/08/2006 - 04/08/2007

Subjects and Contexts

  • ReFrame

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at