Stoneware with carved and incised decoration of bamboo under celadon glaze; H. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Roger G. Gerry, 1996 (1996.471)
The graceful form, refined decoration, and lustrous blue-green glaze distinguish this ewer as one of the finest products of the Goryeo celadon kilns at the peak of their production. The carved and incised decoration emulating the natural forms of melon and bamboo exemplify the Korean practice of drawing on nature for inspiration when working in clay.
This ewer, probably made to hold wine, originally may have been accompanied by a bowl-shaped basin, which, when filled with hot water, would have kept the contents of the ewer warm. Luxurious utilitarian celadon wares such as this example were favored by the aristocracy. Because they were from aristocratic families and had wealthy patrons, many Buddhist monks in the Goryeo period also followed the practice of the nobility in using celadon ware.