Flattened Bottle with Lion-head and Turle Lugs

Accession Number

Flattened Bottle with Lion-head and Turle Lugs


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
10th century - 11th century

Medium & Support
unglazed stoneware with appliqued decoration

9 1/16 in. x 7 1/16 in. x 6 5/16 in. ( 23 cm x 18 cm x 16 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Bruce and Inta Hasenkamp and Museum purchase made possible by Elder and Mrs. Sang-Yong Nam

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Although the Buddhist Goryeo dynasty is perhaps best known for its celadon-glazed wares, production of unglazed gray stoneware continued; these were the utilitarian counterparts to the more expensive celadon wares. This flattened bottle functioned as a flask for wine or water. Projecting lugs in the shape of lions’ heads on the upper body and turtles on the lower body were once threaded with cords that served as handles for the vessel. The animal motifs are thought to have symbolic significance; the flask might have been used in shamanistic or Daoist rituals. No other examples of this vessel type are known, making it both unique and difficult to date.
(Label for UMMA Korean Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Flask for water or wine with lion and turtle designs. Could have been used in shamanistic Daoist rituals.

Physical Description
Unglazed gray stoneware flattened bottle with two lion-head lugs near teh upper corners, and two turtle shaped lugs on the bottom.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
wine jar

Collection Area

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ceramics (object genre)
flasks (bottles)
stoneware (pottery)
wine bottles

2 Related Resources

Daoism / Taoism
(Part of: Religion and Spirituality)
Fifth Grade: A Single Shard
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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