Celadon Melon-shaped Bottle with Peony and Chrysanthemum Design

  • Culture / Period

    Goryeo Dynasty

  • Materials

    Ceramics - Celadon

  • Dimensions

    H. 25.6cm, (mouth) D. 9.3cm

  • Designation

    National Treasure 114

  • Accession Number

    Deoksu 20


The Jesil Museum (the predecessor of the National Museum of Korea) began collecting cultural relics in or about 1908. Many royal tombs were being raided at that time, some dating as far back as the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). The Jesil Museum purchased a Buddha statue, paintings, calligraphic works, handicrafts, and other items that had been removed from historic temples or Goryeo celadon pottery. This celadon kettle was one of the first items purchased by the Jesil Museum. It was bought for 150 won from a Japanese collector named Kondo Sagoro. In 1909, the admission fee for the Jesil Museum stood at 10 jeon for adults and 5 jeon for children (1 won was equal to 100 jeon). It has a long neck that flares out near the mouth like a trumpet. The body is shaped like a type of Korean melon that is divided into eight sections and painted with alternating peony and chrysanthemum flowers. Black and white inlaid designs are harmoniously arranged across the piece. The bottom, which is formed like a crinkled skirt, lends a sense of stability to the overall structure. It resembles a celadon bottle unearthed from the tomb of King Injong of Goryeo (National Treasure No. 94) that is considered representative of 12th century celadon pottery.

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