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Round-Bottomed Jar


Artwork Details

Round-Bottomed Jar
3rd century - 4th century
unglazed earthenware with impressed decoration
7 7/8 x 9 1/16 x 9 1/16 in. (20 x 23 x 23 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
The earliest Korean earthenware was hand built. After forming the vessel from clay coils, the potter consolidated them by beating a wooden paddle against the outer wall, supported inside by a wooden anvil. With the introduction of the potter’s wheel toward the end of the Iron Age (circa 300 BCE–300 CE), it was possible to form pots on a slow wheel and finish with the paddle-and-anvil process to compact the vessel wall. Sometimes the potter wrapped his paddle with a jute-like fabric to create distinctive textures on the vessel’s surface, as on this example. Storage jars of this shape—with round bases, short necks, and slightly flaring mouths—are common among wares of the third through the fifth century.
(Label for UMMA Korean Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject Matter:

The grayish-blue stoneware is one of the earthenware of the Iron ages. Its clay is similar to that of the reddish brown earthenware. But Its hardness is harder. The design is usually cross stripes or check. It was almost excavated in the Iron age’s shell mounds of the southern coast of the Korea.

Physical Description:

Jar with a round base, short neck and flaring mouth. Fabric imprints and gently indented lines stretch across the round body of the jar.

This is a blue-gray, round-bottomed, high-fired stoneware jar with a short neck. Its neck curves outwards towards a widely flared mouth. The edge of the rim is slightly round, and the inner surface of the mouth is flattened. The inner and outer surfaces of the neck show traces of rotation and water smoothing. The body is widest at its upper-middle section, while its surface has been decorated with shallow horizontal lines after the rendering of a dense lattice design. The upper part of the vessel shows traces of an erased paddled pattern, and there are cracks on the inside of the base.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2017) p. 46]


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