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Pedestal Bowl with Cover


Artwork Details

Pedestal Bowl with Cover
5th century
unglazed stoneware with stamped decoration
6 3/16 x 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. (15.7 x 13.2 x 13.2 cm);2 3/16 x 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. (5.5 x 13.2 x 13.2 cm);4 1/16 x 4 3/16 x 4 3/16 in. (10.2 x 10.6 x 10.6 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


March 28, 2009
Following the Chinese imports of the climbing kiln and the fast wheel, potters of Gaya and Silla in the fifth to the sixth century turned out tens of thousands of high-quality, thin-walled, stoneware pedestal food vessels like these. These two examples retained their original lids. One lid is surmounted by a Buddhist chattra (a canopy-shaped knob) and decorated with a herringbone pattern of small incised dots. The other has a button-shaped knob and is decorated with incised saw-toothed patterns and stamped bands of circles. Although they were also used in elite households, such pedestal bowls have survived in large numbers because they were buried with the deceased.
The incised and stamped designs on these vessels are thought to derive from cast-bronze artifacts. The shape is likely based on a Chinese bronze vessel known as a dou, which was probably transmitted to the Three Kingdoms through pottery examples in Manchuria and the Chinese colony of Luolan in northern Korea. Bowls of the same shape and pattern have also been found in tombs near present-day Osaka in Japan: the Yamato clans who ruled during the Tumulus Period (300–552) in Japan were close relatives of the Gaya people, who were conquered by Silla in 562.
(Label for UMMA Korean Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject Matter:

It would be Used for food storage or funerals.

Physical Description:

Flared base with rounded food storage bowl on top. The base is cut with evenly spaced rectangular holes. The lid is incised with a repeating herringbone, or dotted design. The know on the lid is the shape of a Buddhist canopy, or chattra.

This is a dark blue-gray, high-fired stoneware lidded stem cup. The lid is crowned by a pearl-shaped knob, while both the inner and outer surfaces of lid have traces related to the attachment of the knob to the lid. A v-shaped pattern of engraved dots, made using a sixtooth comb, surrounds the central knob. The cup’s flange slopes inwards and has a sharp edge. The cup body has a horizontal gallery that holds the lid in place. The stem is perforated by rectangular openings, below which is a sharply protruding circular raised band. Traces of rotation and water smoothing are visible on the body and stem of the cup.

[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2017) p. 59]

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