The fish depicted here seems to be a small yellow croaker, abundant off the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula.
This whimsical bottle is classified as Buncheong 분청 (literally, powdered green). Flourishing during the 1400s–1500s, Buncheong indicates pottery with iron-rich clay decorated with white slip. After firing, the color of the clay body usually became greenish-gray due to its high iron content. Korean artists tried to emulate the white porcelain wares of the Chinese Ming period, although the result was not the same. On the surface coated with white slip, the image of a smiling fish is carved in bold lines, a technique distinctive to Jeolla province, a southwest region of the Korean peninsula.
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