Porcelain brush pot
Choson dynasty, 19th century AD
Used by scholars
From the beginning of the Choson dynasty
These scholars spent much of their day reading and writing calligraphy ('beautiful writing'), and brush pots were produced to satisfy this new demand. The pots were mostly cylindrical in shape and made in porcelain, wood, bamboo, and stone. They were sometimes used to store rolled-up paper and are occasionally called paper holders.
This openwork porcelain brush pot is decorated with a dragon, a traditional symbol of power. In the early Choson period the dragon motif was used exclusively by the royal family, but it later became a common theme, which was often also associated with scholarly aspirations.
J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)