Ewer in the shape of a melon with inlaid floral and butterfly designs

Accession Number

Ewer in the shape of a melon with inlaid floral and butterfly designs


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
early 12th century

Medium & Support
stoneware with celadon glaze

7 11/16 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (19.5 x 16.5 x 16.5 cm);1 7/16 x 2 5/16 x 2 5/16 in. (3.5 x 5.8 x 5.8 cm);6 13/16 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (17.3 x 16.5 x 16.5 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Caroline I. Plumer for the James Marshall Plumer Collection

Subject matter
broken handle not original, badly restored spout, lid is fake, a married piece
(visiting Korean curators from Ehwa University, notes by Min Li 7/07)

Physical Description
It is in the shape of a sectioned melon. The body is vertically divided into ten sections and to create an embossed effect, the grooves between each two sections were pressed down slightly. The lid has a loop attached at the top. It is decorated on all sides with black and white inlaid design of butterfly, chrysanthemum and peony with stem and foliage. The spout and handle was broken and restored. The lid seems to be fake.

This is a ribbed ewer in the shape of a melon. It is decorated with black-and-white inlaid designs of peonies, chrysanthemums, and butterflies on the body, and yeoui-head designs around the mouth. Also on the lower part of the body are inlaid scrolls with white slip. Its outer base is glazed thoroughly, and it was supported with quartzite spurs in six places. The handle in the shape of a bamboo stem is currently broken off, while the spout and stopper have been repaired in places. The overall state of the vessel’s glaze and decorative designs, however, allow it to be categorized as a high-quality object.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014) p.133]

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

celadon (glaze)
ceramics (object genre)
ewers (vessels)
inlay (process)
stoneware (pottery)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted