Celadon Vase with Fish-like Dragon Handles

© The National Museum of Korea

This celadon bottle was made in the Longquan (龍泉) kilns in Zhejiang Province, China, and it was found at the bottom of the sea, from a shipwreck that is estimated to have occurred sometime in the early 14th century near Sinan, located in a cluster of small islands in southwest Korea. More than 30,000 artifacts were recovered from the Sinan shipwreck, which was a single merchant vessel sailing from China to Japan. The recovered items include personal belongings of the passengers and crew of the ship, as well as the ship’s commercial cargo, which consisted largely of earthenware and ceramics, much of which was produced from the Longquan kilns. Thus, the Sinan shipwreck artifacts provide us with a fascinating, in-depth look at the lifestyle of the period. This bottle is coated with a soft, light glaze, making it look almost like a piece of green jade. The distinctive color is indicative of ceramics produced during the peak of the Longquan kilns. In addition, the refined shape, modeled after bronzeware, exemplifies the elegance of ceramics used in the royal palace of the Song Dynasty.

Provenance: Dodeok-do, Bangchuk-ri, Jido-myeon, Sinan-gun, Jeollanam-do

Materials: Celadon

Dimensions: H. 15.8cm

Accession Number: Sinan 6558

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