Gourd-shaped with lid; spade-shaped protrusion with opening on top of ewer handle; top of curl on lid handle is gilded; has lidded wooden box

Ewer in the shape of a gourd, 12th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
G206expand_more

The organic forms they encountered in the natural world inspired Korean potters of the Koryo dynasty (918-1392). They fashioned tea pots and wine vessels in the shape of a pumpkin-squash, a peach, and in this case, a gourd. In fact, dried gourds had long been used as storage containers and decanters. Because of the gourd's natural durability, it was believed that drinking liquid from a gourd would help insure a long life. And because ripe gourds contain hundreds of seeds, they also became symbols of fertility and bountiful offspring. The beautiful shape of this vessel, with its bulbous neck, generously swelling body, and elegantly formed spout and handle, is particularly noteworthy. Such finely formed, undecorated works were probably influenced by Chinese imperial Ru ware, although the glaze is somewhat thinner and more translucent. Like Ru ware, the vessel is carefully glazed even on the bottom.

Explore

Audio

Double Gourd-Shaped Ewer (#231)
Details
Title
Ewer in the shape of a gourd
Role
Artist
Accession Number
99.41a,b
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Gourd-shaped with lid; spade-shaped protrusion with opening on top of ewer handle; top of curl on lid handle is gilded; has lidded wooden box