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Wine Bottle with Sgraffito Foliage Design

Accession Number

Wine Bottle with Sgraffito Foliage Design


Artist Nationality
Korean (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
15th century - 16th century

Medium & Support
stoneware with brushed incised decoration on white slip under colorless glaze

12 5/8 in. x 6 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. ( 32 cm x 16.5 cm x 16.5 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
Buncheong ware features the manipulation of white slip (liquid clay) on a clay body with diverse techniques such as incising, stamping, brushing, or dipping the vessel to create different effects. On this pear-shaped bottle, the decorative scheme is divided into four horizontal sections by double incised lines. The uppermost band appears only in white slip, and the lowermost band is left bare. An incised foliage design sprawls freely across the main register. Above this is a band of lotus petals rendered in sgraffito, a technique in which the surface layer of brushed slip was scraped away to create a pattern and expose a ground—in this case, the clay body—of a contrasting color. The vessel was then coated with a transparent glaze and fired.
(Label for UMMA Korean Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Wine bottle with stylized foliage design.

Physical Description
Pear-shaped stoneware wine bottle with white slip and sgraffito designs. Stylized foliage is incised across the main register of the body, separated from the register above by two incised bands. Above this are perhaps incised stylized petals, and separating them from the flared lip of the bottle are two more incised bands. The incisions reveal the gray clay beneath the white slip.

This bottle is painted with thick white slip on its entire body and lotus petals decorate below the neck using a sgraffito technique. With a sharp tool, white slip is carved away from the belly to form scrolls. Traces of fine grains of sand remain on the rim of the foot, while the outer base also retains the marks of an implement that is pressed again the base. These are common characteristics shared with other pieces of 15th and 16th century buncheong wares. The glaze is well fused, producing a shiny surface, pale green and transparent.
[Korean Collection, University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014) p.154]

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 for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
ceramics (object genre)
sgraffito (technique)
stoneware (pottery)

& Author Notes

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