- Culture & Tourism
- Cultural Heritage
- Earthenware Horn Cups with Horse Head Decoration
Earthenware Horn Cups with Horse Head Decoration
The unique horn cup has a tapered bottom that twists up into the shape of a horse’s head. The clay cup is supported by two sets of legs which hints at the creativity and humor of the craftsman.
The cup was made by rolling up a flat sheet of fine clay, then shaped with a sculpture knife using strong, confident strokes. The horse head is complete with eyes, nose, ears, and mouth with a slight smile on its face. It is a simple figure that embodies an unsophisticated yet approachable aesthetic. Two horn cups were discovered in the 7th tomb out of the many situated in the Ancient Tombs in Bokcheon-dong of Dongnae-gu along with other pots in various shapes and sizes, weapons such as a long iron sword, decorative golden earrings, silver bracelet, beads, and other relics.
The horn cups differ in size but have been made in an overall similar shape using the same technique. The larger is part of Dong-A University’s collection, while the smaller is kept at the National Museum of Korea. Horn cups usually refer to cups made from animal horns, but it also includes those made from clay or metal. Clay horn cups are often found in ancient tombs from the Silla Dynasty and Gaya Confederacy, often accompanied by a holder or attached to a support.
Horn cups with horse heads were used in ancient Greece and Persia in the form of a rhyton. Those found in Korea were noted for its similarity to rhytons from the Sasanian Empire (present-day Iran). The horn cups are thought to have been used in ceremonies or for drinking wine and other beverages as seen in Scythian art and tomb murals from the Han Dynasty of China.
- Designated Number : Treasure No. 598
- Designated Date : August 4, 1975
- Category : Pottery, horn cup (horn cup with horse head decoration)
- Material, Size : Clay, 14.4㎝ high, 20.8㎝ long, 8.7㎝ in diameter
- Period and Maker : Three Kingdoms Period (5th century), unknown person
- Location : Dong-A University Museum