The celadon bowl is close in shape to a perfect hemisphere, and its rim is turned very slightly outward. There is a peony design on the wall and bottom. The color is olive grey. It has a small concave foot.
During the nearly five centuries of the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392), celadon constituted the main type of ceramics produced on the Korean peninsula. This exquisite ware typically appears gray-green in hue. The color of Goryeo celadon owes much to the raw materials—specifically, the presence of iron in the clay and of iron oxide, manganese oxide, and quartz particles in the glaze—as well as to the firing conditions inside the kiln. Temperatures were commonly around, or below, 1150ºC, and the level of oxygen within the kiln was dramatically reduced at some stage of the firing; this is known as a reducing, rather than an oxidizing, atmosphere. Goryeo celadon ranges from a plain, undecorated type to objects with incised, carved, mold-impressed, or inlaid designs, and to vessels embellished with colorful compounds like iron oxide (black or brown) and copper oxide (red), and also with gold.
A six panel folding screen depicting pairs of carp on each of the lower portions of each panel, and lotus blossoms.
The lotus flower, which emerges pristine from muddy surroundings, is the Buddhist symbol of purity, creation, and birth, and it often appears in Buddhist painting, sculpture, and architecture. Pairs of carp, signifying marital harmony and fertility, swim below the water. The Chinese word for lotus is a partial homonym with “harmony” and “union,” suggesting that this screen may have been commissioned for a wedding.