Korea / Bottle (kundika) / Koryô dynasty (918?1392), 10th centuryKorea
Bottle (kundika)
Koryô dynasty (918?1392), 10th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Dates/Places: Korea
Creator Name-CRT: Korea
Title: Bottle (kundika)
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 900
Creation End Date: 999
Creation Date: KoryƓ dynasty (918?1392), 10th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)

This type of vessel, known in Sanskrit as a kundika, was originally used in Buddhist ceremonies for sprinkling water for purification. The form originated in India, the birthplace of Buddhism, and was later transmitted to China and Korea. The kundika is one of the usual attributes of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. In the painting of the Water-Moon Avalokiteshvara in the Museum's collection (14.76.6), for example, a kundika bottle, placed in a clear glass bowl and holding a willow branch that symbolizes healing, appears to the right of Avalokiteshvara.

The kundika, as seen in this example, typically has a long neck, above which rises a slender tubelike mouth, which functions as the spout. Attached to the shoulder is another spout, with a small removable lid; it is through this opening that the bottle is filled with water.

A standard vessel type in the KoryƓ period, kundika were produced in celadon ceramic ware as well as bronze. The Chinese envoy Xu Jing (1091?1153), who visited the Koryo capital in 1123, noted that kundika were "used by the nobility, government officials, Buddhist temples, and common people alike for storing water," indicating the popularity of this vessel type as a utilitarian object in daily life.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 23.115
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1923
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/education/er_photo_lib.asp
AMICA ID: MMA_.23.115
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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