Height: 9.000 cm
Width: 8.000 cm
Purchased with the aid of the Hahn Kwang-ho Purchase Fund for Korean Art
Asia OA 1997.07-21.1-14
Room 67: Korea
Set of porcelain epitaph tablets
Choson dynasty, around AD 1849
When a prominent person died in Korea, it was traditional to erect a tombstone and bury a set of plaques inscribed with an epitaph, words written in memory of the deceased. If for any reason the tombstone was removed or destroyed, the epitaphs would still remain. The number of plaques reflected the importance of the deceased.
During the Koryo
dynasty (918-1392) black stone tablets were placed in front of the
grave. In the Choson dynasty (1392-1910) the epitaph tablets were
generally made of
fourteen tablets are one of the largest sets known. The
As well as providing information about the deceased, epitaph tablets are also interesting to the scholar because they help to date developments in the techniques of ceramics manufacture.
J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)