Kintsugi at the MET

Last week I attended my first advanced Kintsugi class given by Gen Saratani, master Japanese lacquer restorer and artist. Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics using lacquer and gold. In the spring I took a beginner class with him and repaired a chipped plate, which I posted earlier.

Hoping that I would find examples for inspiration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I did indeed stumble upon these early pieces. They are all Korean pottery: stoneware, porcelain & Buncheong ware.

Oil bottle decorated with peony leaves Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), late 12th century. Stoneware with reverse-inlaid design under celadon glaze.


Maebyeong decorated with cranes and clouds Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), late 13th century. Stoneware with inlaid design under celadon glaze.


Small bowl decorated with chrysanthemum Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), 12th century. Porcelain with incised design.


Dish with inscription and decorated with chrysanthemums and rows of dots Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), mid-15th century. Buncheong ware with stamped design.


2 Responses to “Kintsugi at the MET”

  1. Diane Lindgren says:

    These are wonderful! Brings repair truly to level of enhancement!

  2. Louise Cort says:

    Wonderful choices. Korean ceramics of the Goryeo period were all but forgotten in Korea and elsewhere until the late 19th century, when they began to be found in looted Goryeo period tombs. These fine repairs were commissioned from kintsugi specialists by Japanese collectors or dealers, probably in the early 20th century.

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