*Expected to Achieve in Excess of $3 Million*
Among the Most Significant Korean Ceramics to Ever Appear at Auction
Public Exhibition Opens Now, Ahead of Single-Lot Live Auction on 19 September
“We are honored to offer this superlative Korean moon jar to commence our Fall Asia Week sale series. Arguably one of the most important Korean ceramics to appear on the market in recent history, the moon jar evokes a sense of sublime elegance and beauty and continues to inspire, astound, and soothe those who stand in its presence.”
Angela McAteer, International Head of Chinese Works of Art, Americas & Europe
This month, Sotheby’s is privileged to present extraordinary and diverse collections of Asian art spanning 4,000 years of history. Poised to lead the week is an unparalleled white-glazed Korean moon jar dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), from the late 17th to the early 18th centuries. One of the most important Korean ceramics to appear at auction, the moon jar will comprise a single-lot sale – “Everything is Transient. An Important White-Glazed Korean Moon Jar” – to headline Sotheby’s Asia Week on 19 September, expected to achieve in excess of $3 million.
Exceptionally well-preserved and measuring 44 cm high, this captivating vessel ranks among the largest moon jars known and is comparable to the finest designated National Treasures in Korea or examples housed in museums and institutions worldwide. It is exemplary for its equally wide diameter and resulting voluminous, spherical form, as most related moon jars exhibit a slightly narrower, taller silhouette. Absent of design or decoration, the generous form is enlivened by the rich tonality and lustrous texture of the glaze, further exemplifying its rareness. In the global history of ceramics, it is exceptionally rare to find vessels of such large proportions completely unadorned.
Universally admired for its luminous white porcelain surface, elegant, gravity-defying proportions, and charming idiosyncrasies, the evocatively named moon jar (dalhangari) epitomizes the nuanced, natural beauty acclaimed in Korean ceramics. Completely unique to Korea, moon jars were produced for a short amount of time during the Joseon dynasty for practical purposes, likely for storage of grain or liquid. The jar’s deceptively simple form, plain surface, and striking materiality led to its rediscovery in the 20th century by art historians and artists alike.
From its humble beginnings as a utilitarian vessel, the moon jar has transcended geographic and cultural boundaries to become one of the most iconic and influential works of art in modern times, equally significant in the history of Korean ceramics, the development of modern studio pottery, and global art history.
Privately held by Japanese collectors for over four decades, the moon jar will be on public view in New York ahead of the sale for the first time in nearly 40 years since it was displayed at The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka.
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* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.
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SOURCE Sotheby’s; PRNewswire