Published Sep 30 2013, by

Pedestal bowl

This extraordinary pedestal bowl, with its thinly potted walls and superbly balanced form, is a magnificent example of the high skill of the Three Kingdoms potters. Worked on a fast-turning wheel, the piece would have been made in two parts, the bowl and the stand, and then joined together to create the whole. The accidental dramatic surface of dark, nearly black natural ash glaze on one side, contrasted with the gray unglazed surface on the other, provides a stunning visual enhancement to the piece and was caused by the updraft in the kiln.

From several stylistic characteristics—the shallow bowl, the flaring foot, the elongated flame-shaped apertures, and the narrow waist—we know that this piece was made in the Gaya area. A similar pedestal bowl was discovered in a 5th-century Gaya tomb at Dohang-ri tumuli, Haman-gun, in South Gyeongsang province. It, too, had the flame-shaped perforations on the foot stand that are now recognized to be a characteristic of the Haman region.