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Stoneware spouted funerary cup in the shape of a duck


Height: 16.500 cm

William Gowland Collection
Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks

Asia OA OA+583

Room 67: Korea

    Stoneware spouted funerary cup in the shape of a duck

    From Korea
    Three Kingdoms period, 5th-6th century AD

    Symbol of prosperity and fertility

    In Korea, ducks are symbols of prosperity and fertility. Vessels like this were probably used in rituals and ceremonies. Duck-shaped vessels are known to have originated from Kaya (the birds are plentiful in the Nakdong region there). Kaya was a loosely bound confederation of states, situated in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, during the Three Kingdoms period (about AD 300-668). This tradition of using animal shapes as ritual vessels continued in Korea, even during the Choson dynasty (1392-1910), when animal-shaped vessels were produced in white porcelain.

    J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)


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    On display: Room 67: Korea

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    Korean art and archaeology, £9.99

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