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.

Find in the collection online

More information


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


Height: 16.500 cm

Museum number

Asia OA OA+583


William Gowland Collection
Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore