While many of the forms and decorative techniques of Goryeo pottery are inherited from China, the method by which this bowl is decorated was unique to Korea. The technique is called 'sangam', and involved in sizing the unfired clay and filling it with a white and or black slip which is then covered in a thin celadon glaze for firing.
The technique was probably inspired by bronze vessels inlaid with silver and lacquer-work inlaid with iridescent shell.
In the centre of this larger bowl a chrysanthemum bloom is surrounded by floral scrolls. It was probably used for holding tea, which was drunk socially as well as being used by Buddhist monks as a kind of stimulant to keep them awake during long ceremonies. According to an eighth-century Chinese scholar, the drink tasted better taken from green glazed bowls than from white.
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Sophie Wilson, Adi Levin, Terence Gould and Roger Willmot