Dragon Turtle-shaped Celadon Pitcher

UnknownGoryeo, 12th century

National Museum of Korea

National Museum of Korea
Seoul, South Korea

This pitcher exemplifies a type of celadon called sanghyeong (象形), which is shaped like a person, plant, or animal. Sanghyeong celadon were a popular form in the 12th century. This particular pitcher takes the form of a chimerical creature seated on a thick pedestal of double-layered lotus petals, with a dragon head and a turtle shell. The handle is shaped like lotus flower stems, and the creature has a lotus leaf on top of its shell, with a hole in the middle where the pitcher could be filled, as well as a stopper that is shaped like a lotus flower bud. The grayish green glaze, which produces a jade hue, is relatively less glossy than some other Goryeo celadon, and shows some hairline cracks in places.
Inside the footring, there are noticeable marks from where refractory clay supports were attached. Treasure #452 was returned from Japan, along with a stone bodhisattva from the Hansongsa Temple site. National Treasure #96 is estimated to have been produced in a celadon kiln in Sadang-ri, Daegu-myeon, Gangjin in Jeollanam-do Province.


  • Title: Dragon Turtle-shaped Celadon Pitcher
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Goryeo, 12th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h17.3 cm
  • Original Title: 청자 거북이모양 주자
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Rights: national museum of korea

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