Vase with Inlaid Lotus and Reed Design

Vase with Inlaid Lotus and Reed Design

청자 상감 연꽃·갈대무늬 매병 (靑磁象嵌蓮蘆文梅甁)


Celadon ware with inlaid white and black slip decoration

Overall: 33 cm (13 in.)

Gift of John L. Severance 1918.472



A prunus vase (maebyeong in Korean; meiping in Chinese) was a tall flower vase meant to hold a single branch of plum tree blossoms. The maebyeong was especially popular among the elite classes of the Goryeo and Joseon periods as well as the Chinese Song and Ming periods. The lotus represents purity both in Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism. In the Goryeo period, the Buddhist interpretation was more influential and dominant because of the popularity of the religious text the Lotus Sutra. Here, a lotus blossom was inlaid with a lightly abstract, outlined design on one side of the vase and silver grass on the other. Tiny cranes in a flower petal-shaped curtain fly down toward the lotus.

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