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Cosmetic box - Celadon Box with Inlaid Boys and Flower Design
  • Celadon Box with Inlaid Boys and Flower Design
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Celadon Box with Inlaid Boys and Flower Design

  • Object:

    Cosmetic box

  • Place of origin:

    Korea (a kiln site in Gangjin, made)

  • Date:

    1200-1250 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    stoneware inlaid under a celadon glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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In Korea during the Koryo dynasty, 918-1392, inlaid decoration was introduced on green glazed ceramics. As well as vases, bottles, cups and jugs, small circular boxes like this one were made in considerable numbers, often bearing repetitive decorations incorporating plant, animal and figural designs. Here, two naked babies make part of the scrolling pattern that surrounds the centre of the lid. The sloping, ridged edge of the cover echoes a type of ceramic box made in Song dynasty China, and which was certainly known in Korea.

Physical description

The box has a flat lid with rounded shoulders, and is inlaid with a motif of alternating chubby babies and flower-heads.
Colour: Green, black and white

A design of boys and flowers is symmetrically inlaid in black and white clay around a central device featuring a chrysanthemum in the middle. The sides are delicately incised with vertical grooves and the glaze is a greenish-blue colour. The underside of the foot is recessed and bears the marks of four spurs made of refractory clay mixed with sand. It is thought that the box was produced at a kiln in Gangjin in the early 13th century.

Place of Origin

Korea (a kiln site in Gangjin, made)


1200-1250 (made)


unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

stoneware inlaid under a celadon glaze


Height: 6.3 cm, Diameter: 7 cm Mouth, Diameter: 4.6 cm Base, Diameter: 8.3 cm Widest

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Beth McKillop.
Korean Art and Design.
London: V&A,
National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Daejeon: National Research Institue of Cultural Heritage, 2013, p. 132.


Stoneware; Celadon



Subjects depicted

Flowers; Boys; Subject

Collection code


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