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Cinerary Urn or Reliquary with stamped “fish scale” designs


Artwork Details

Cinerary Urn or Reliquary with stamped “fish scale” designs
7th-8th century
4 3/8 x 5 11/16 x 5 11/16 in. (11 x 14.3 x 14.3 cm);2 1/8 x 5 11/16 x 5 11/16 in. (5.3 x 14.3 x 14.3 cm);2 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (6.6 x 13.9 x 13.9 cm)
Gift of Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp and Museum purchase made possible by Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam

On Display

Not currently on display


This deep bowl on a shallow foot is decorated with stamped vertical rows of a fish-scale pattern, while its high, domed lid is covered with radiating dotted lines. The fish-scale pattern has been found on crematory urns excavated from late seventh- and eighth-century tombs in the Chunghyo-ri section of Gyeongju, Silla’s capital city.
Maribeth Graybill, The Enduring Art of the Korean Potter, December 12, 2004-November 6, 2005

Subject Matter:

This bowl appears to be a burial item rather than an everyday bowl.

Physical Description:

This stoneware vessel consists of a bowl and lid. The curved hemispheric lid has a ring-shaped knob in the center and is decorated a lot of dot line design. The hemispheric bowl stands on the low foot with a flat base. This part is also decorated with stamped design.

This is a dark gray, high-fired stoneware lidded bowl decorated with a stamped design. A ring-shaped knob at the top of the lid is surrounded by vertically aligned dotted designs radiating outwards. The bowl rim is rounded, while two narrowly incised lines surround its widest part, located just below the lip of the rim where the lid rests. Below these lines, the body is stamped with a continuous, vertically aligned, horseshoe pattern. The short and broad horseshoe motif conveys a sense of stability.

[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2017) p. 78]

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