Korean / Bottle / Unified Shilla period, 8th-9th centuryKorean
Unified Shilla period, 8th-9th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Name-CRT: Korean
Title: Bottle
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 700
Creation End Date: 899
Creation Date: Unified Shilla period, 8th-9th century
Creation Place: Korea
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Stoneware with carved design
Dimensions: H. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); D. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1989.001
Credit Line: Asia Society: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Byung and Keum Ja Kang
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: Although Korean ceramics remain relatively unknown in the West, they have long been studied in East Asia. The history of Korean ceramics can be traced back to about 5000 BCE, when simple earthenwares were made and used. Some of the most appealing and charming Korean ceramics date to the period of the Three Kingdoms (c. 57 BCE-CE 668). During this time, Korea was controlled by three or four different kingdoms: Koguryo in the north and Shilla (or Early Shilla), Paekche, and Kaya in the south. The presence in this list of Kaya, which could be called a fourth kingdom, reflects the historical fact that this small kingdom was absorbed by Shilla in about 562, a century before Shilla united the Korean peninsula and established the Unified Shilla dynasty (668-935). Although little is known about Kaya, recent archaeological discoveries indicate that many of the shapes and types of decoration found in Shilla ceramics may have originated in Kaya and were incorporated into the art of Shilla during the 6th century.

The more refined body and dense fluted decoration found on this small stoneware bottle date it to the Unified Shilla period. The bottle was probably made sometime during the 8th or 9th century, when the Unified Shilla production of stonewares was at its height. During this time, Korea was part of an international culture that also included Tang-period China (618-906) and Nara-period Japan (710-794), when strong similarities among styles of painting, ceramics, and sculpture were found across East Asia. While the shape of this bottle has some parallels in East Asian pieces, the interest in a dark, thick body and heavily incised decoration is uniquely Korean and derives from the art of the Three Kingdoms period.

AMICA ID: ASIA.1989.001
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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