This Korean Vintage Kansei Ware of a celadon porcelain suiteki or calligraphy water dropper in the motif of a Duck. While there are several blogs and discussions about Korean calligraphy- the word for calligraphy in Korean is seoye- not one of them mentions nor can I find a specific word for water dropper in the Korean language, and all the blogs use the word suiteki still. There are two types of calligraphy art in Korea and well known artists that produce fine works- they are called hangui and hanja. Hanja are Chinese characters adapted to and incorporated into Korean language. Korean calligraphy is also done in a rigid and dry painting technique, although an ink stone is also wet to be used. Water dropper translates to mul jeoggi in Korean, whether or not that is correct for use in calligraphy I am not sure. This very unusual and artistic celadon water dropper of a duck is well formed and decorated with a twisted rope. The porcelain is formed under the glaze showing details of the duck's feathers. This was a purchase from Japan, and they noted it to be a handmade piece by Kansei ware.
It is very similar to one seen on the cover of a book published 1964 called Korean Celadon and other Wares of the Koryo Period by G. ST. G. M Gopertz, so most likely and based on appearance and crazing, it is about 40-50 years old, if not older. We do not know much about dating Korean wares. It is signed, I do not know if with the Kansei ware or potter name. I do find the mark among historical Korean potter names, so is probably a descendant artist or company or both. It has some age crazing which is normal for Korean celadon, see the article excerpt below. It is in very good vintage condition, with no cracks or chips. It is larger than the suiteki we are used to seeing from Japan. It comes with an unsigned bako or the box, but I do not know if it is the original or newer, but a very good fit. I have also shared the seller's description of a suiteki below.
SIZE: Length: 5.51” or 14cm, Height: 3.15” or 8cm
A water-dropper in Japanese: 水滴 suiteki is a small device used in East Asian calligraphy. It's a container designed to hold a small amount of water. In order to make ink a few drops of water must be dropped onto the plain of the inkstone, by grinding an ink stick on the inkstone one can make ink. Due the grinding small particles comes off the ink stick and will mix with the water, these two components will form ink.
Do you often see crazing and wonder why people are telling you "it is not a problem"? Here is an excerpt from a blog by Potter Tom Turner and his site that should help understand further: Crazing- Here we have another border line issue-crazing. Is it a defect, or a decoration? Crazing is caused by the glaze shrinking more than the body during cooling of the glaze firing in the kiln. Crazing can be seen as a flaw, especially on low fired pottery where liquids will go through the craze, through the body, and onto furniture. Crazing is also called crackle, and has been developed to a high art by the Oriental potters. I have said before, "When does crazing become crackle, when you put ink in it". Crazing on a vitreous body such as porcelain, is not a flaw, or detriment. Some colors prefer the chemistry that causes crazing.
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