Stoneware with traces of incidental ash glaze; H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1997 (1997.34.7a,b)
A hard, high-fired (around 1000°C) gray stoneware made of a fine clay consisting of decomposed granite began to appear in Silla in about the third century, replacing the soft, low-fired earthenware that had prevailed until then. The increasing use of the potter's wheel and an improved kiln technology imported from China, which made possible the higher firing temperatures required to produce stoneware, were important factors in the transformation of Korean ceramic wares in this period. Three Kingdoms stoneware displays subtle regional differences in shape and in decoration, ranging from simple incised lines or dots to perforations and applied figures or other sculpted elements. This pedestal dish and cover, one of the most characteristic ceramic vessels found in Silla grave sites, was designed to serve as a food container. The knobbed cover, when inverted, functioned as a separate dish.