Archive item - not for sale
Korean celadon stoneware oil bottle, Koryo dynasty (12th-13th century) of flattened, circular form with short neck, the shoulder decorated with a band chrysanthemum flower heads in inlaid white slip.
A similarly decorated oil jar is illustrated in 'The World's Great Collections: Oriental Ceramics Vol. 9, The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.' (1981), pl. 235. Also see Gompertz, G.St.G.M., 'Korean Celadon' (1963), PL. 47A. There are several examples of celadon stoneware oil bottles in the British Museum
This oil bottle has been decorated with an inlay technique called 'sanggam', which was invented by Korean potters in the twelfth century. The design, in this case chrysanthemum heads, was incised into the clay body of the vessel and then filled with slip (diluted clay). Excess slip would have been removed before the piece was biscuit fired, then the bottle was covered with a translucent celadon glaze and fired again. The development of the sanggam inlay technique signifies the elegance and innovativeness of Koryo (918–1392) ceramic production; no similar inlay technique was used by Chinese craftsmen at this time. Stoneware oil bottles were used in Korea during the Unified Silla and Goryeo periods to keep perfumed oils for the mixing of pigments used in cosmetics. These oils were generally made from fruit stones, rice bran and castor seeds