Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Stoneware tea bowl with underglazed copper red decoration of peony scrolls inside and panels of floral scrolls on the outside and under the glaze. Japanese gold lacquer repairs.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 13thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 6.1 centimetres
    • Diameter: 17.4 centimetres (mouth)
    • Diameter: 4.2 centimetres (foot)
    • Weight: 0.3 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

    Portal 2000:
    Painting in copper-red under a celadon glaze was a Korean innovation. Extant vessels painted in red are extremely rare, but the British Museum is fortunate in having one of the best examples of the very difficult underglaze copper-red technique. Although underglaze red was used on Chinese porcelain in the fourteenth century and as early as the Tang dynasty on Changsha wares, it was never successful because it was difficult to ensure a good colour. Underglaze red was never used on celadons in China, although underglaze iron-brown was used sparingly, particularly in the Yuan dynasty.2016 National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage catalogue entries:

    'This celadon bowl from the mid-Goryeo period is unique for its oxidized copper pigment. The area around the rim, measuring 2cm in width, is colored with the pigment, and the inner surface is decorated with four peonies as well as a leaf and scroll design. The outer surface is painted with four peony and branch designs. The dark spots are areas where the copper pigment burned off during firing. The narrow foot shows traces of three silica stone spurs that were used to support the bowl in the kiln during firing. Although oxidized copper pigment was known to have been used from the twelfth-century onward, this bowl is presumed to have been made in the thirteenth-century based on the decorative designs and their arrangement. The bowl was partly broken and repaired with gold. With the volatility of copper, this bowl is one of the few surviving examples of high-quality underglaze copper decoration.'

    '마치 삿갓을 엎어놓은 것처럼 측사면이 사선으로 벌어진 완이다. 고려 중기의 일반적인 청자완에 비해 넓게 벌어져 있다. 입술 끝 안쪽에는 폭 2cm의 띠 모양을 채색하였고 내측사면에 모란꽃 네 송이를 중심으로 그 주위에 당초를 채워 넣었다. 외면에는 산화동 안료로 네 곳에 모란절지문을 그려 넣었다. 산화동 안료는 팥죽색을 띠며 일부 검은 반점이 나타나 있다. 문양 윤곽은 번조 과정에서 살짝 번진 모습이다. 유색은 연한 푸른 색조이며 동화 문양은 팥죽색을 띠고 있어 환원이 완전하게 보장되지 않은 상태로 구워진 듯하다. 좁게 깎은 굽의 직경 안에는 규석을 받쳐 구운 흔적이 세 곳에 남아 있다. 산화동 안료는 12세기부터 시도된 것으로 알려져 있으나 문양 구성과 배치 방식으로 볼 때, 이 유물은 13세기의 작품으로 볼 수 있다. 깨어진 파손 부위를 접합하고 금색으로 칠한 수리의 흔적이 있으나 국내에도 유례가 적은 동화 청자라는 점에서 학술적 가치가 대단히 높다.'


  • Bibliography

    • Portal 2000 figure 54 bibliographic details
    • National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage 2016 p.14; Cat. 46; p.303, no.106 bibliographic details
    • 국립문화재연구소 2016 p.14; Cat. 46; p.303, no.106 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G67/dc6

  • Exhibition history


    2003-2004 18 Oct-11 Jan, San Francisco, Asian Art Museum, Goryeo Dynasty: Korea's Age of Enlightment
    2005 11 Apr-10 Jul, Seoul Arts Centre, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 25 Jul-8 Oct, Busan Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2005 27 Oct-2006 31 Jan, Haengso Museum, Keimyung University, Daegu, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2006 18 Mar-4 Jun, Beijing, Capital Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2007 3 Feb-27 May, Taipei, National Palace Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2007 14 Sep-2 Dec, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2009 1 May-20 Sep, Victoria, Royal BC Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2009 11 Dec-2010 10 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2010 30 Jul-2014 Nov, BM, Gallery 67
    2014 17 Dec - onwards, BM Galleries, Korea Foundation Gallery, Room 67

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


COMPASS Image Caption: Side view

Back:Left Side

COMPASS Image Caption: Side view

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