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White Porcelain Square Water Dropper with Openwork Cloud and Crane Design

Accession Number

White Porcelain Square Water Dropper with Openwork Cloud and Crane Design


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
late 19th century

Medium & Support
porcelain with copper underglaze painting

2 3/8 x 3 3/16 x 3 9/16 in. (6 x 8 x 9 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp and Museum purchase made possible by Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam

Label copy
A crane silhouetted against an openwork background soars across the top of this square water dropper, while clouds painted with underglaze copper adorn three sides. A lizard climbs up the fourth side, his open mouth forming the spout. The extraordinary workmanship of this piece suggests that it was made for a special patron.
Maribeth Graybill, The Enduring Art of the Korean Potter, December 12, 2004-November 6, 2005

Subject matter
The crane is a symbol of nobility, spirituality, and long life, making it a creature of symbolic significance to a scholar or the patron who commissioned the water dropper.

Physical Description
A square porcelain water dropper. The porcelain is white and there is an image of a lizard or dragon on the top. Clouds are depicted on the sides with the image of a flying crane on the front of the square. The white glaze has chipped of or is thin in places, revealing the copper underglaze.

This is a cubic water dropper featuring an openwork design of a crane with wings spread on the upper face. The spout is in the shape of a newt; it is designed in the way that water drops from the mouth of the newt. The side walls feature cloud designs in copper red which were blackened during firing. The entire foot was glazed, but the glaze was wiped away from the foot, on which were placed fine sand support during firing.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014) p.182]

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
water dropper

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Chosen (ancient)
ceramics (object genre)
vessels (containers)

& Author Notes

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