VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Stoneware maebyong
1931,0618.1
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The celadon ware made for the court and aristocracy of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392) is typically grey-green in colour. Pieces like this, with a yellowish hue, were used mostly by the provincial lords. The kilns that produced them were not capable of achieving the more refined grey-green hue. The clay was less carefully sieved and the kilns were not sealed efficiently, letting in oxygen, which resulted in the different colour. However, the application of the underglaze iron demanded some skill, because if it was not done quickly, the iron would be absorbed by the clay body.

History of the Object
Wine bottles like this are known as maebyong, which comes from the Chinese mei-ping ('vase for plum blossoms'), a misnomer given by Chinese scholars. The chrysanthemum design is a common decorative motif of the Koryo dynasty.

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Type
Ceramics 
Materials
Stoneware 
Measurements
Height 25 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 12th century ~ AD 12th century 
Creation date
12th Century 
Function
Wine container 
Acquisition
Given by Miss Jean and Miss Rachel Alexander in 1918 
Copyright
Copyright the Trustees of the British Museum 
Acknowledgements
J. Portal, Korea - Art and Archaeology (British Museum Press, 2000) 
Owner
British Museum 
Museum
British Museum 
Credit line
Gift of the Misses Alexander 

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