Joseon Dynasty Ido Ware Footed Tray | Korea, 16C


A footed tray came out from an old house in Niigata prefecture, Japan. It has a faintly loquatish color and is covered with specific type of crackle glaze, so it is thought to be a so-called “Ido ware” made on the Korean Peninsula. It says that a North Korean ship stowaway to coast of Niigata and sold antiques and this item is the one brought across the sea at that time.

The Ido ware Chawan, which was once prized by tea masters, was later explained to be a “poor peasant daily utensils” in the folk art movement as known as “Mingei movement” in Japan. However, the number of excavations was extremely small compared to Buncheong of the same period, and there are many disagreements because there are no traces of its use as a daily utensils, and the another opinion that it was a ritual vessel. For some reason, the Ido ware that had been handed down in Japan were mostly tea bowls which looks like daily utensils, but this footed tray clearly shape of ritual vessel, so it could be an evidence to divulge another face of the “Ido ware”.

Recent excavations have revealed that the Ido ware was produced in today’s Jinhae-gu, Changwon, S.Korea where was called Ungcheon in the Joseon era. There was a Japanese settlement in the area from the beginning of the 15th century to the middle of the 16th century. It coincides with the time when Confucian rituals became widespread in Korea and the time when Wabi-cha was established in Japan. Perhaps the kiln was making ritual utensils for the domestic market and tea utensils for Japan in response to the demands of both sides.

If so, the fact that as Mingei movement said, the Ido ware is a poor peasant daily utensils, would be a misread to reinforce the theory by them. Another side of Ido ware which was not absorbed by the tea ceremony. It was a prayer tool that accurately captured the demands of the times.

There are two chips on the foot, but there are no other notable defects. Except for the foot, it is almost the same as the Ido ware Chawan, such as the three-tiered pottering mark and the dynamic kiln marks.

W11cm × H4.5cm
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