Stoneware wine ewer

From Korea
Koryo dynasty, 13th century AD

In the shape of a melon or gourd

The development of celadon ware during the Koryo dynasty (918-1392) is closely related to Son (Zen) Buddhism, which gained huge popularity during the late Unified Silla dynasty (668-935) and early Koryo dynasty. Son Buddhism placed a strong emphasis on meditation through tea drinking and it was believed that tea tasted better when drunk from a celadon bowl than white porcelain.

However, celadons soon became popular at the royal court and among the aristocracy. Many ewers, bowls, wine cups and even pillows were made in celadon. At one point, records show that King Uijong (reigned 1146–70) even decorated his palaces and pavilions with celadon-glazed roof tiles.

This melon-shaped ewer was used as a container for wine. Celadon ewers were made in a variety of shapes, with naturalistic fruit and vegetable shapes the favourite. This ewer is decorated with lotus flowers and chrysanthemums in the sanggam inlay technique. The lotus flower is a Buddhist symbol of purity and the chrysanthemum design is a common motif in the art of the Koryo dynasty.

Find in the collection online

More information


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


Height: 22.000 cm

Museum number

Asia OA 1936.10-12.202.a, b


Eumorfopoulos Collection


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore