INTERESTING LISTING OF KOREAN COLLECTIONS IN AMERICAN MUSEUMS:
https://www.museum.go.kr/site/eng/exhiForeignMuseum/list/all WEISMAN ART MUSEUM – Minneapolis, MN
The collection includes about 200 examples of Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) furniture, 80 Silla dynasty (668–935 B.C.) stoneware pieces, some 150 folk paintings and wooden bowls and utensils, in addition to other folk arts and crafts. The collection came to the Weisman Art Museum as a bequest from Dr. Edward Reynolds Wright Jr. in 1988.
During the years he lived in Korea, and in the years after he left Seoul for Japan and San Francisco, Wright put together a collection of traditional Korean furniture and accessories that is both beautiful and varied.
He collected carefully, to make sure he had all regional styles, all kinds of wood, and all types of boxes represented. His collection includes clothing storage chests for men’s and women’s quarters, bed, headside chests, tray tables for eating and for food offerings to ancestors, boxes for documents and writing instruments, letter holders, desks, kitchen cabinets, rice and bean storage chests, wedding gift boxes, beds, coin chests, medicine chests, make-up boxes and mirrors, tobacco boxes, sewing boxes, book shelves and book chests, and a palanquin (a coach carried by poles on the shoulders).
Nearly every wood, decorative material, and joinery technique is represented in the collection.
This collection has been published in the book “
Korean Furniture: Elegance and Tradition” by Edward Reynolds Wright, Man Sill Pai. Published in 1984 (First Edition).
KOREAN FURNITURE Elegance and Tradition
Lacquered box. Black and red lacquer on wood, mother-of-pearl, yellow brass fittings H. 42cm, W. 69cm, D. 38cm. DATE 1950s
Wardrobe chest. Persimmon, pear, and paulownia woods with nickel fittings and oil finish H. 170cm, W. 94cm, D. 42cm. DATE 20th century
Wooden boxes covered with paper. Paper over wood, wrought iron fittings, natural lacquer H. 36,8cm, W. 62cm, D. 30,5cm. DATE circa 1900
Bandaji. Zelkova and pine woods, wrought iron fittings H. 50,8cm, W. 87,6cm, D. 38cm. DATE 1800s
Bedside chest covered with paper. Colored paper, lacquer finish, pine wood, wire, tin fittings H. 60cm, W. 76cm, D. 32,4cm. DATE circa 1900
Stationery chest. Persimmon and chinaberry woods with brass fittings H. 38,7cm, W. 94,6cm, D. 27,9cm. DATE 19th – 20th century
Bed (Pyeongsang) Zelkova frame, bamboo slats, brass fittings. Date: 1800s H. 31,75cm, W. 198,12cm, D. 94cm.
Bedside chest. Zelkova, pine, and paulownia woods, brass fittings H. 78,7cm, W. 111,7cm, D. 47cm. DATE 1800s
Headside chest Zelkova wood, iron fittings H. 71cm, W. 92,7cm, D. 42cm. DATE circa 1900
Front-opening chest (bandaji). Persimmon wood with wrought iron fittings and oil finish H. 90cm, W. 106,6cm, D. 45,7cm. DATE 1800s
Desk. Pine and zelkova burl wood, brass fittings. Date 1800s. 14 × 28 1/4 × 15 1/4 in.
Box. Paper on pine wood, iron fittings, oil finish H. 38cm, W. 58,4cm, D. 33,6cm. DATE 1900s
Writing desk. Pine wood & zelkova burl veneer on drawers. Brass fittings. 13 1/4 × 25 1/4 × 12 3/4 in. Date 1800s.
Two-level stacked chest. Pine wood, brass fittings, lacquer finish H. 122cm, W. 69,8cm, D. 36,8cm. DATE 1800s
Two-level stacked chest. Paulownia and pine woods, wrought iron fittings H. 120,6cm, W. 78,7cm, D. 38,7cm. DATE 1800s
Two-level chest. Zelkova wood, lacquer, brass fittings. Date: Late 1700s. 53 1/2 × 40 1/2 × 18 1/2 in.
Two-level stacked chest covered with paper. Colored paper on pine wood, iron fittings H. 86,4cm, W. 52cm, D. 26cm. DATE after 1910
Two-level stacked chest covered with paper. Oiled paper, pine, iron fittings H. 85cm, W. 70cm, D. 37cm. DATE circa 1900
Wedding box. Wood, nickel fittings, lacquer finish H. 43,2cm, W. 82,5cm, D. 39,3cm. DATE 1850-early 1900s
Stacked chest. Pine wood, brass fittings H. 115,5cm, W. 73,6cm, D. 35,5cm. DATE 1960s
Stacked chest. Paulownia, pine, and persimmon woods with yellow brass fittings. H. 97,8cm, W. 80cm, D. 36cm. DATE mid-1900s
Round tray table Chestnut wood with oil finish H. 14cm, W. 43,8cm. DATE circa 1900
Bedside chest. Paulownia and pine woods with lacquer finish, brass fittings H. 89cm, W. 90cm, D. 45cm. DATE 1800s
Table for incense burner. Pine wood with lacquer H. 48,8cm, W. 47cm, D. 30,5cm. DATE 1800s
Tall chair for displaying an ancestral tablets Black lacquer on wood with gloss finish H. 125,7cm, W. 65,7cm, D. 38cm. DATE 1700s
Kitchen cabinet. Zelkova and pine woods with cast iron fittings H. 165cm, W. 113cm, D. 48cm. DATE circa 1900
Stationery chest. Paper over wood, brass fittings H. 44,4cm, W. 73,6cm, D. 39,3cm. DATE 1800s
Writing desk Pine and paulownia wood, cast iron fittings H. 29,2cm, W. 55,8cm, D. 29,2cm. DATE 1800s
Kitchen cabinet Zelkova panels, pine frame, cast-iron fittings H. 134cm, W. 89,5cm, D. 40,6cm. DATE 1800s
Document chest Persimmon doors and drawers marquetry, zelkova molding, pine H. 94cm, W. 118cm, D. 43cm. DATE 1900s
Bedside chest. Persimmon and pine woods with wrought iron and nickel fittings and oil finish H. 91,4cm, W. 98cm, D. 48cm. DATE 1800s
Pyeonggyoja (sedan chair) wood, metal H. 44,7cm, W. 94cm, D. 70cm. DATE 1800s-1900s
Wooden box covered with painted paper over pine, iron fittings, oil finish. H. 23,5cm, W. 66cm, D. 36cm. DATE: circa 1900
Lunch box pine and bamboo woods H. 9cm, W. 19cm, D. 19cm. DATE 1800s
Bandaji. Zelkova and pine wood, iron fittings. H. 66cm, W. 102cm, D 43cm. Dated 1800s
Bandaji. Zelkova, pine and other woods. Iron fittings. H. 98cm, W. 89cm, D. 41cm. Dated 20th century.
Bandaji. Zelkova, pine woods. Iron fittings. H. 102cm, W. 89cm, D. 39,7cm. Dated 1960s
Jewelry box. Pine wood, brass fittings, oil finish. 1800s. H. 19cm, W. 43cm, D. 43cm.
Inkstone box. Recycle pine, brass fittings, oil finish. Dated after 1970. H. 23cm, W. 25cm, D. 35cm.
Women incidentals box. Persimmon and pine wood, brass fittings, oil finish. H. 27cm, W. 36cm, D. 25cm.
Large document chest. Persimmon, red oak and pine woods, Yellow brass fittings. Date 1960 -1967.
Bandaji. Pine, persimmon and other woods. Iron fittings. H. 95,5cm, W. 109cm, D. 48cm. Date. 1800s
Bandaji. Basswood and pine wood. Brass fittings and oil finish. H. 85cm, W. 88cm, D. 43,18cm. Date. 1800s
Paper box. Lacquer over wood and paper. Brass fittings. Date 1800s. H. 17,8cm, W. 38cm, D. 20,95cm.
Wicker box covered with paper. Iron fittings. Date1800s. H. 42cm, W. 76,2cm, D. 39,3cm.
Budamnong (horseback carrying trunk). circa 1900. Paper over wood, brass fittings. H. 30,4cm, W. 55,8cm, D. 28cm.
Nong. Lacquer paper over wood, brass fittings. Date 1970s. H. 37,5cm, W. 52cm, D. 26cm.
Box. Recycled wood with brass fittings. Date 1970s. H. 22,8cm, W. 68,5cm, D. 38,7cm.
Nong. Paulownia & pine wood, iron fittings. Date 1970s. H. 111,8cm, W. 77,5cm, D. 33cm.
Bandaji. Pine wood, iron fittings. H. 58,4cm, W. 92,7cm, D. 31,7cm.
Bandaji. Pine wood, brass fittings, oil finish. H. 48cm, W. 71cm, D. 35,5cm.
Stationery chest. Zelkova & pine woods, yellow brass fittings. 19th – 20th century. 13 3/4 × 28 3/4 × 11 1/4 in.
Tobacco tray. Maple & zelkova wood, brass fittings. Dated 1870. 10 × 27 1/2 × 14 1/2 in.
Two-level stacked chest. Persimmon, zelkova & paulownia woods. Brass fittings. 20th century. 46 1/4 × 32 1/4 × 15 in.
Stacked chest. Pine & paulownia woods, brass fittings. Date: 1900s, 45 × 30 1/2 × 14 1/2 in.
Bandaji. Zelkova wood, iron fittings. H. 52cm, W. 50cm, D. 25,4cm.
Coin chest. Pine wood, iron fittings. 16 × 30 1/4 × 14 1/4 in.
Coin chest. Pine wood, iron fittings. 6 1/2 × 14 3/4 × 6 1/2 in.
Small safe. Zelkova, paulownia, pine & chestnut woods, iron fittings. 14 5/8 × 30 1/8 × 12 13/16 in.
Safe (gakkesuri). Zelkova burl wood with brass fittings. 19th century. 16 × 20 1/2 × 14 in.
Coin chest. Pine wood, iron fittings. 13 3/4 × 23 1/2 × 15 in.
Coin chest. Pine wood, iron fittings. Mid 20th century. 5 1/2 × 8 × 5 in.
Bandaji. Basswood, nickel fittings. Early 20th century. 40 1/2 × 35 1/2 × 18 in.
Bandaji, Zelkova & pine woods, iron fittings. Late 19th century. Namhansanseong area, Gyeonggi do province. 34 1/2 × 41 1/2 × 17 in. LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
LACMA. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
LACMA” known as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has the largest Korean art galleries of any museum in the United States. The collection include mainly Korean paintings, ceramics, textiles, and Buddhist art. However some Korean furniture and wooden Works of Art are also featured in the collection.
The Korean art galleries have been closed to the public on July 28, 2019 for collection inventory and packing. This work is in preparation for the construction of the new proposed building for the permanent collection, which is expected to open by the end of 2023.
Royal Seal Box. Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century. Shark skin on wood core with hammered, cut, and cast iron fittings with silver wire inlay 15 x 11 x 11 in. (38.1 x 27.94 x 27.94 cm)
Bamboo Pillow Carved wood with lacquer Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 10,16cm, W. 20cm, D. 12,38 cm.
Bandaji Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 85,73cm, W. 106,68cm, D. 46,04cm
Red-lacquered Bookcase with Decorative Paintings Red lacquer on wood core with green, orange, and yellow painted decoration and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 139,7cm, W. 109,22cm, D. 61,6 cm.
Box with Phoenixes Chasing a Flaming Pearl. Brown lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl, brass wire inlay, and metal fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century. H. 22,86cm, W. 36,83cm, D. 22,23 cm.
Black-lacquered Box with Auspicious Designs. Brown lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 14,61cm, W. 47cm, D. 13,34 cm
Yongmok Document Box Burl wood veneer on wood core with brass fittings. Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century H. 7,6cm, W. 35,5cm, D. 12,7 cm.
Three-Tiered Cabinet Carved wood with red and black lacquer and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century H. 105,41cm, W. 66,04cm, D. 39,37cm.
Tobacco Case Cast iron with silver wire inlay. Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century. H. 6,03cm, W. 7,94cm, D. 6,35 cm.
Lacquer Box with Plum Tree, Bird, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum and Arabesque Design Brown lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty, 1392-1910, 18th century H. 17,78cm, W. 45,72cm, D. 35,56 cm.
Lacquer Box with Flower, Bird, Plum and Bamboo Design. Brown lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century H. 8,89cm, W. 27,94cm, D. 27,94 cm.
Red-Lacquered Floor Lantern Carved wood with red lacquer, gilding, and Chinese silk gauze Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century H. 90,50cm, W. 27,94cm, D. 27,94 cm.
Black-lacquered Mirror Stand with Tortoise Shell Design Brown lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay, brass fittings, and silvered glass Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 12,07cm, W. 26,35cm, D. 18,1 cm.
Box with Painted Ox Horn Reverse painted ox horn veneer on wood core with ivory inlay and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 14,92cm, W. 22,23cm, D. 22,23 cm
Red-lacquered Headrest Paper maché on wood core Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 13,02cm, W. 35,24cm, D. 13,02cm.
Red-Lacquered Reading Table Carved wood with red lacquer and brass fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 31,11cm, W. 78,74cm, D. 46,35 cm.
Flower-shaped Box Red and black lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century H. 16,51cm, W. 21,27cm
Tiger-legged Dining Table with Shark’s Skin and Phoenix Design Brown lacquer on wood core with shark skin inlay and brass fittings Korea, Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), early 20th century. H. 38,42cm, 57,79cm x 57,79 cm.
Box Covered with Mother-of-pearl Tiles Crushed mother-of-pearl over fabric on wood core Korea, Early 20th century H. 14,61cm, W. 31,43cm, D. 21,59 cm
Sutra Table Carved wood with metal fittings Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), 18th century H. 27,94cm, W. 58,42cm, D. 27,94cm THE MET – The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York.
Shell and Resin: Korean Mother-of-Pearl and Lacquer
Trefoil-shaped covered box with decoration of chrysanthemumsca. 12th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell over pigment and brass wire Dimensions: H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); L. 4 in. (10.2 cm); D. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Ceramics and metalwork of the Silla kingdom (57 B.C.–A.D. 935) and paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and lacquers of the Goryeo (918–1392) and Joseon (1392–1910) dynasties, together with thematic exhibitions featuring loans from collections in the United States and abroad, provide a comprehensive overview of Korea’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Stationery box decorated with peony scrolls. 15th–16th century. ) Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl; brass fittings Dimensions: H. 3 5/8 in. (9.2 cm); W. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); L. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm
Stationery box decorated with peony scrolls. 18th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl Dimensions: H. 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm); W. 15 in. (38.1 cm); L. 22 3/8 in. (56.8 cm)
Box decorated with auspicious symbols. 19th century. Lacquered wood inlaid with flattened and painted ox horn Dimensions: H. 6 in. (15.2 cm); W. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm); L. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm)
Clothing box decorated with dragons. 19th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and ray skin Dimensions: H. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm); W. 17 3/4 in. (45.1 cm); L. 28 3/4 in. (73 cm)
Palanquin. 20th century. Rectangular housing (incl. domed top): 43 1/2 × 33 3/4 × 29 3/4 in., 88 lb. (110.5 × 85.7 × 75.6 cm) Dims & weight of the poles (each): 1 1/8 in. × 8 ft. 9 5/8 in. × 1 1/2 in., 7 lb. (2.9 × 268.3 × 3.8 cm, 3175.179g)
Clothing box decorated with peony scrolls 17th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell, and brass wire Dimensions: H. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm); W. 18 1/8 in. (46 cm); L. 31 1/8 in. (79.1 cm)
Box decorated with phoenixes, floral scrolls, and insects. 19th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl Dimensions: H. 6 3/8 in. (16.2 cm); W. 11 in. (27.9 cm); L. 16 1/8 in. (41 cm)
Small chest of drawers decorated with flowers, birds, and insects. Early 20th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl, with incised design Dimensions: H. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm); W. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm); D. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm)
Box decorated with flowers and clouds. 18th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl Dimensions: H. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); W. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); D. 12 9/16 in. (31.9 cm)
Table decorated with floral scroll. 19th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl and metal wire Dimensions: L.16 5/8 in. (42.2 cm); W. 12 1/8 in. (30.8 cm); H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
Ogival tray decorated with floral scroll. 15th–16th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl Dimensions: H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm); W. 12 in. (30.5 cm); L. 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm)
Table decorated with floral scroll. 19th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl and metal wire Dimensions: H. 10 in. (25.4 cm); W. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm); D. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm)
Box decorated with dragons. 19th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ray skin, and brass wire Dimensions: H. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm); W. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm); L. 24 3/8 in. (61.9 cm)
Chest decorated with phoenixes, colored roundels (taegeuk), and flowers. Late 19th century. Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ray skin, and brass wire; brass fittings Dimensions: H. 42 3/4 in. (108.6 cm); W. 35 5/8 in. (90.5 cm); D. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm)
Chest decorated with phoenixes, colored roundels (taegeuk), and flowers. Late 19th century. . Lacquered wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ray skin, and brass wire; brass fittings Dimensions: H. 34 in. × W. 27 5/8 in. × D. 16 3/4 in. (86.4 × 70.2 × 42.5 cm) Other (Door): W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Cosmetic box: 나전 대모 칠 꽃 구름 무늬 함 조선 Box decorated with flowers and clouds. Period 18th century. Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and brass wire Dimensions: H. 8 in. (20.3 cm); W. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm); L. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm)
Cosmetic box. Top view.
Tobacco box19th century. Iron inlaid with silver; brass fittings. H. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm); W. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm); D. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm). Smoking became prevalent during the late Joseon period, and led to the production of small boxes, such as this iron example with silver inlay, to hold tobacco leaves. In addition to the bird-and-flower imagery, this box shares many motifs with those found on lacquerware, including peony blossoms and hexagonal geometric patterns. It also features auspicious symbolism, evident from the large double-happiness character (囍) on the lid.
THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
Chest (Bandaji) Late 19th – early 20th century. Linden wood; iron fittings H. 85,1cm, W. 94cm, D. 51,1 cm.
Chest (Bandaji) 19th century Zelkova wood; brass fittings H. 82,9cm, W. 83,2cm, D. 43,2 cm.
Blanket Chest (Bandaji) Late 19th – early 20th century Pine with iron fittings. Auspicious symbols, many signifying longevity, frequently decorated the metal hardware. Indeed, the large hinges on this bandaji feature the Chinese character “shou,” meaning long life. H. 66,7cm, W. 109,2cm, D. 40,6 cm
Chest with Two Drawers 20th century Zelkova wood; brass mounts H. 64,8cm, W. 85,7cm, D. 40,6 cm.
Chest (Nong) 19th century Pine and zelkova wood; brass fittings H. 109,9cm, W. 80,5cm, D. 39,5cm.
Rice Chest with Cupboard 19th century Pine wood. H. 76,8cm, W. 65,4cm, D. 39,4cm.
Treasure Cabinet (Kap-kae-suri) 20th century Paulownia wood(?); brass fittings H. 34,9cm, W. 38,7cm, D. 30,2cm.
Document Cabinet 20th century Paulownia wood, brass H. 62,2cm, W. 68,9cm, D. 40cm.
Tray Table (Soban) 19th century Lacquered wood. H. 27.6cm, Diameter: 41,3cm.
Three-Tiered Wardrobe (Jang) Mid- to late 19th century Wood with brass fittings H. 168,3cm, W. 109,2cm, D. 52,1cm.
Two-Tiered Wardrobe (Jang) 19th century. Wood, wood veneer; brass fittings. H. 138,4cm, W. 107,3cm, D. 52,7 cm.
Scholar’s Box Lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl and brass wire inlay; brass fittings 9 1/2 x 17 x 11 3/4 inches (24.1 x 43.2 x 29.8 cm) 18th century Although the history of lacquer work goes back at least two thousand years in Korea, the majority of surviving lacquer objects date from the Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) dynasties. Most Korean lacquer pieces are decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay, and they often include twisted brass wires. Korean artists preferred to use abalone shell for their mother-of-pearl inlay because of its luminous colors. This scholar’s box is an excellent example of its kind; a scholar would use such a container to store an inkstone or different kinds of stationery.
Chest (Bandaji) with Stand Wood; white brass fittings with incised decoration 42 15/16 x 45 1/4 x 19 inches (109 x 115 x 48.3 cm) 19th century The Korean name bandaji (literally meaning “half closing”) derives from the hinged door in the front of this chest. This type of chest was one of the most essential, and most commonly found, pieces of furniture in a Korean household. Clothes would be stored inside while folded blankets would be placed on top. This chest, with its richly decorated fittings and extensive metalwork, is the type that was produced in the northern provinces of the Korean peninsula.
Treasure Cabinet (Kap-kae-suri) 19th century. Lacquered wood with brass wire and dyed ray skin inlay; gilded metal fittings H. 61cm, W. 66cm, D. 43,2 cm.
THE SAN FRANCISCO ASIAN ART MUSEUM
Painted ox-horn and lacquer on wood. H. 14cm, W. 22,2cm, D. 22,2cm. Date: approx. 1800-1890
Sung Sun I Bandaji. Lacquered elm wood, iron, and paper. H. 95,3cm, W. 98,1cm, D. 48,9cm.
Box with dragon and phoenix motif. 용∙봉황 무늬 상자. Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, ray skin, and metal wire. Joseon dynasty, 19th century
Dragon, phoenix, deer, tiger, crane, and peonies 길상 무늬 병풍 Six panel folding screen Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, brass wire, and ray skin. Date: 1850-1950. This combination was common in lacquerwares during the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Each screen features a motif that is deeply symbolic in traditional Korean art. From right to left, a dragon, phoenix, deer, tiger, crane, and peonies are depicted.
Small chest with peach and crane motif 복숭아학 무늬 벼루상자 Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl. Joseon dynasty 19th century. This box was used as a chest to store scholarly objects such as brushes, ink, and inkstones; along with paper
Box with grapevine motif 포도 무늬 상자 Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings. H. 11,4cm, W. 49,5cm, D. 31,7cm. Date: 1700-1800. Joseon dynasty.
Garment box with peony motif 모란무늬 옷상자 Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl. H. 19,7cm, W. 48,3cm, D. 84,5cm. Date: approx. 1700-1800. Joseon dynasty.
Two-tiered chest with stand 이층농 Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings. H. 137,5cm, W. 73,8cm, D. 36,8cm. During the Joseon dynasty, a red-lacquer chest such as this was for upper-class women.
Cosmetic box with grapevine motif 포도 무늬 화장품 상자 Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings. H. 19,1cm, W. 23cm, D. 16 cm.
Table with phoenix motif 봉황 무늬 상. Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ray skin, and metal wire. H. 25,4cm, Diam. 69,9cm
Table with phoenix motif 봉황 무늬 상 Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ray skin, and metal wire. H. 40cm, W. 63,8cm, D. 64,5cm.
Chest (bandaji) 반닫이 Pine wood, iron fittings. H. 86,4cm. W. 105,4cm, D. 47cm.
Table with fish motif 물고기 무늬 밥상 Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl. H. 21cm, W. 34,9cm, D. 29cm.
Reading desk with motif of the Ten Symbols of Longevity 십장생 무늬 책상 Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl. H. 26,7cm, W. 54,6cm, D. 27,9cm.
Table with phoenix, crane, and peach motif 학∙봉황∙복숭아 무늬 큰 상 H. 35,6cm. W. 99,7cm, D. 69,2cm.
Scholar’s desk. Date: 1850-1910. Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). H. 33 cm, W. 63.5 cm, D. 29.2 cm.
Medicine cabinet. Date: 1875-1910. Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1910). H. 115.6 cm, W. 81.3 cm, D. 42.5 cm.
Cabinet 장롱. Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ray skin, and metal wire, and metal fittings. Date: 1800-1900. H. 120.3 cm, W. 87.6 cm, D. 36.5 cm.
Box with plum tree motif. Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings. Date: 1800-1900. H. 17cm, W. 75cm, W. 42,5cm.
Box with lotus motif. Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, and brass wire, and metal fittings. Date: 1500-1650. H. 20.6 cm, W. 33.0 cm, D. 21.6 cm.
THE BOSTON MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
Tobacco Box 나전연당초문연초합 Joseon dynasty Late 19th to early 20th century. 21.0 x 19.5 x 15.0 cm
Box 나전국모란당초문상자 Joseon dynasty Late 19th to early 20th century. Lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay. 8.2 x 34.1 x 24.6 cm
Box 나전부용당초문상자 Joseon Dynasty 18th century. Lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay. 10.0 x 38.7 x 27.0 cm
Bowl 나전모란문완 Joseon dynasty 17th–18th century. Lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay. Height: 6.7 cm, Diameter of Rim: 11.5 cm
Red Lacquered Workbox. Joseon dynasty 18th century. Wood body with red and black lacquer and metal fittings. 12.5 x 30.3 x 19.5 cm
Lacquer Box 나전국모란당초죽문상자 Joseon dynasty 17th–18th century. Lacquer with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings. 10.7 x 33.8 x 33.8 cm
Box with mother-of-pearl inlay 나전매죽문상자 Joseon dynasty 17th–18th century. Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl decoration and metal fittings. L. 26.5 cm, w. 26.5 cm, h. 9.5 cm
Tray 나전쌍어문반 Joseon dynasty 19th century. Lacquer with inlaid mother-of-pearl decoration. Height: 7.7 cm, Diameter: 34.3 cm
Box 나전연당초문함 Joseon dynasty 18th century. Lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay, metal fittings. 11.8 x 35.0 x 25.8 cm THE PORTLAND ART MUSEUM.
Bandaji (Storage Chest), 19th century, zelkova wood with iron fittings. 28 1/4 in x 15 in x 34 5/8 in. This example features a simple, handsome design, with three large spool-shaped hinges embellished with cut-out swastika patterns. The swastika is an ancient solar symbol that in East Asian secular contexts is associated with prosperity and good fortune.
Oxhorn box, 화각함 with designs of auspicious plants and animals. Joseon period (1392–1910), late 18th century/19th century, pine wood with reverse-painted ox-horn. 5 3/4 in x 8 3/4 in x 8 3/4 in
Comb box. Gyeongsangnam-do province, Tongyeong area , Korea. 19th century, persimmon wood with white brass fittings.
Small cabinet, 나전칠함 19th/early 20th century, Korea, Lacquered wood with shell inlay and metal fittings. 10 1/2 in x 11 1/2 in x 11 1/4 in.
Samcheungjang (Three-tiered chest), Joseon period (1392–1910), 19th century, wood with brass fittings, Korea, Gyeonggi-do province, Korea. 65 7/16 in x 40 1/2 in x 20 1/4 in. Chests for clothing storage were an essential part of the furnishings for the anbang, or women’s quarters, in an upper-class home during the Joseon dynasty. This three-tiered chest, or samcheungjang, is exceptional for the beautiful use of grained wood.
Storage Chest, late 19th/early 20th century, wood with amber lacquer, inlaid with sharkskin, tortoise shell, mother of pearl, and copper wire; brass fittings, 43 1/2 in x 36 in x 14 in. This cabinet is unusual in its form, which combines a set of drawers with a traditional bandaji clothing chest, and in its elaborate decoration, which combines both Korean and Japanese elements. On the lower bandaji chest, two pairs of phoenixes, symbols of immortality and of queenly authority, are executed in tinted sharkskin outlined with inlaid gilt copper wire. They fly toward a flaming pearl of tortoise shell, and the surrounding clouds are fashioned from mother-of-pearl. The doors on the upper chest feature the taegeuk (interlocking spirals) and eight trigrams—ancient Daoist emblems of universal harmony—and bats, symbols good fortune. The drawers feature chrysanthemums, a traditional Japanese design element. Japanese influence appears also in the use of maki-e, a technique of sprinkling fine flecks of gold or silver over lacquer, for the ground pattern. All the materials used here were rare and expensive and accessible only to the elite. With its harmonious blend of traditional and newly fashionable foreign designs, this chest would have been made for a woman of the highest social rank.
Yeonsang (Inkstone Table), 연상 19th century, zelkova and persimmon wood. 9 1/2 in x 16 in x 8 1/2 in. The scholar’s most prized piece of furniture, the yeonsang is a small compartmentalized box designed to store calligraphy tools: an inkstone, ink sticks, and water dropper, as well as paper. When the lid is closed, the yeonsang also serves as a side table, providing a place to put the inkstone when writing calligraphy.
SEATTLE ASIAN ART MUSEUM
WEDDING BOX (HAM) MID-LATE 19TH CENTURY This fine box would have been presented as a wedding gift from the groom to the traditional Korean bride. The emblems on the front are stylized Chinese characters for long life, and the Buddhist swastika on the lid-an ancient motif of both India and China-is a symbol of good luck and many happy returns. Wood, paper, and iron with an oil finish. 20.96 x 44.45 x 21.59 cm.
COVERED BOX EARLY 20TH CENTURY Laminated and painted paper. 13.3 x 46.4 x 30.5 cm.
SCHOLAR’S TABLE TOP CHEST 19TH CENTURY. (Photos left & right) Wood, H. 10 in, W. 30 1/2 in, D. 8 1/8 in.
COVERED BOX. LATE 18TH-EARLY 19TH CENTURY Black lacquer on wood, mother-of-pearl inlay, 18.5 x 37 x 23cm
CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART.
Scroll Box with Dragon and Phoenix Design 나전 용·봉황무늬 서류함 (螺鈿龍鳳文書類函) 1700s-1800s. Lacquered wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl and twisted brass and copper wire Overall: 11.5 x 11.6 x 87 cm.
Box with Painted Oxhorn 화각함 (華角函) 1800s. Painted wood with flattened ox-horn inlay Overall: 16.5 x 28.6 cm
Incense Box with Dragon Design 용무늬 화각함 (龍文華角函) 1900s. Painted wood with flattened ox-horn inlay Diameter: 7.2 cm, Overall: 3.6 cm
Tray for Sewing Tools 나전 칠기 반짇그릇 (螺鈿漆器箱子) 1800s. Lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay Diameter: 33.1 cm Overall: 9.6 cm.
Footed Tray 지승사각반 (紙繩四角盤) 1900s. Lacquer over twisted and coiled paper Overall: 34.2 x 9 x 9 cm
Brush Holder with Bamboo and Landscape Design 대나무 산수무늬 팔각필통 (竹山水文八各筆筒) 1800s. Carved bamboo. 10.1 x 9 cm
Spirit House 감실 (龕室). Late 1800s. Iron inlaid with silver and copper decoration
Spirit House. 철제 은입사 감실 (鐵製銀入絲龕室) late 1800s. Iron inlaid with silver and copper decoration. 30 x 35 x 14 cm Many homes in premodern Korean society had a memorial shrine for preparing and holding ancestral rites. Placed on the top of a tall chair, this miniature edifice (called the spirit house) served as a temporary residence for visiting ancestral spirits. On the table, a variety of delicacies such as fruits, rice, meat, and wine would be placed to treat those spiritual guests.
Folding Table (Che-Sang) for Memorial Service. 제사상 (祭床) 1900s. Pine nut wood 97.5 x 116 x 82.5 cm
Altar High Chair (Kyo-Yi) 영좌교의 (靈座交椅) 1800s. Pine nut wood 128.4 x 52 cm
THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM
NOTE FROM THE MUSEUM.
Throughout its history, the Korean peninsula has been home to lively, innovative, and sophisticated art-making. Long periods of relative stability have allowed for the establishment of spiritual traditions, societal values, and artisan technologies specific to the region.
Furnishings for Official Use in the Joseon Dynasty For the five hundred years of its rule, the Joseon dynasty promoted Confucianism as the official religion and guiding ethos of the Korean nation. Under Confucianism, indulgence in frivolous luxury was strongly discouraged and men in particular were expected to adopt a very restrained style in both personal garments and home furnishings. However, for the official ceremonies and regalia of the royal court, a degree of pomp and beauty was deemed appropriate. The items displayed in this case would have been worn or used by men of the yangban, or aristocratic, class, who served as military and government officials. All of these men would have received their education in Confucian academies, and as civil servants they were expected to maintain the social and political order set out in Confucian and Neo-Confucian teachings. In these teachings, the government is a macrocosm of the family, with the king and queen serving as the esteemed parents of the nation, and the previous royal families serving as its hallowed ancestors. Both government and military men were required to participate in a busy schedule of court rituals that celebrated the Confucian social order and were expected to conduct smaller ancestral rituals at home.
Decorative Furnishings for the Women’s Quarters In the strict social order dictated by Joseon-period Confucianism, women led lives that were almost entirely separate from those of men. The homes of wealthy Koreans were designed to allow men and women to entertain visitors of their own gender without ever interacting or even seeing each other. In addition to a division of labor—women took care of the home and children while men pursued public roles and engaged in lifelong scholarship—Korean domestic life witnessed a division of aesthetics. While the men’s quarters were sparsely equipped with simply finished wood furniture and paintings with strong didactic messages, the women’s quarters could be decorated with bright embroidered pillows, elaborately inlaid cabinetry, and paintings bursting with birds and flowers. Because furnishings made for women were so much more decorative, Western museums—including the Brooklyn Museum—often collected them, neglecting the more staid and minimalist pieces that were designated for men. It is only in more recent history that Western collectors have come to understand that male connoisseurs would have rejected the ornament of women’s furnishings as frivolous and distracting. In addition to the pieces that would have graced the rooms where women lived, this display includes several objects that relate to traditional Korean wedding ceremonies. Weddings were a major rite of passage, especially for women, who had to leave their own families to join the husband’s household. As in so many cultures, weddings gave the bride a brief taste of aristocracy, allowing her to dress and be served like a princess before returning to the realities of daily life.
Mandarin Duck Cabinet. Lacquer on wood, zelkova burl panels, brass fittings. Early 20th century. 160.3 x 113.7 x 56.5 cm.
Funerary Sedan Chair. Wood, metal, paper. 19th century. 87.6 x 52.1 x 64.1 cm
Sutra case. Wood covered with black leather bound with engraved brass. Late 19th to early 20th century. 15.2 x 45.1 x 23.5 cm
Document box. Wood, leather, lacquer. 17th – 18th century. 12.7 x 17.8 x 43.8 cm
Box. Painted and cut paper, on paper-mache. 19th century. 10.2 x 20.3 x 33.7 cm
Lacquered box. Black lacquer and mother-of-pearl over hemp cloth on wood, brass fitting. Late 19th – early 20th century. 18.3 x 26.5 x 17.2 cm
Box. Wood, brass fittings, back-painted ox horn panels. Late 19th – early 20th century. 12.5 x 42 x 11.2 cm
Box for official seal. Wood, lacquered sharksin, metal fittings. Late 18th century. 26.7 x 22.2 x 19.1 cm.
Cabinet with drawers. Wood, tortoise shell, brass, red lacquer base. Early 20th century. 61.2 x 64 x 39.8 cm
Tray table. (Haeju-ban). Early 20th century. 28 x 46 x 32 cm
Chest. Wood with paper, lacquer and iron mounts. Early 20th century. 39 x 69.5 x 36.3 cm.
Cosmetic box. Black lacquer and mother-of-pearl over hemp cloth, on wood; brass fitting. 19th century. 31.5 x 39 x 23.6 cm.
Two-unit Stacked Chest. Split-bamboo basketry on wood; brass fittings. Late 19th to early 20th century. 121.9 x 85.1cm
Stacked chest. Lacquer inlaid with tortoise shell on wood. Early 20th century. 125.4 x 74.9 x 36.8 cm.
Bandaji. Wood, metal plates. Late 19th – early 20th century. 71 x 85.1 x 40.8 cm
Tray table. Early 20th century. H. 19cm, Diameter: 39cm.
DETROIT INSTITUT OF ARTS
Table with Floral Scroll Design, 14th century Korean Lacquer inlaid with mother of pearl and twisted wire on wood H. 14cm, W. 50,2cm, D. 27,9 cm. Scholars were collectors of art and arbiters of taste. Small tables were used as trays and pedestals for useful objects. Floral scrolls are an enduring theme on Korean lacquer work. Koryŏ lacquers are noted for their impressive floral designs executed in inlaid wire and mother-of-pearl.
Box with Design of Auspicious Symbols, early 20th century Korean Ink and paint on ox horn panels on wood, ray skin, and metal H. 26cm, W. 52,7cm, D. 31,1 cm. Ox horn decoration, known as hwagak, was unique to Korea and mainly used for sewing boxes, small chests, and clothes boxes of high-born women. Each panel is a self-contained scene of propitious images: the paired dragon and phoenix are emblems of masculinity and femininity; the deer, crane and tortoise symbolize long life; and birds, flowers, and butterflies signify marital bliss. The laborious and time-consuming hwagak technique requires a horn to be soaked or steamed with water, flattened, separated into thin layers, cut into uniform rectangles, painted on the reverse side, and glued to a wooden frame with the painted side facing inward. Finally, the outer surface was polished to a brilliant luster. The finished work shows us an exuberant view of the Chosŏn woman’s world.
Stationery Box with Design of Lotus Blossoms and Scrolls, early 17th Century, Korean Lacquer on wood with mother-of-pearl inlay H. 9,2cm, W. 39,4cm, D. 27,3 cm.
Comb Case with Auspicious Symbols, 19th – 20th century Korean Wood, lacquer, mother-of-pearl, metal H. 31,8cm, W. 29,8cm, D. 29,2 cm.
SMITHSONIAN- NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART.
Box. Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother of pearl and brass wire. 17th-18th century. H x W x D (overall): 21.8 x 32.5 x 20.8 cm.
Key to lock for a chest. Bronze, 12th-13th century. H x W x D: 8.3 × 19.8 × 1.5 cm
Casket with Four Guardian Animals on the inner walls, accompanied by an epitaph tablet dated 1197. H x W x D: 22.7 x 56.7 x 34.1 cm. Burial chest, formed of six slabs of stone mortised and grooved; a separate slab bears an epitaph. Stone. Brownish earth incrustation. Decoration: incised on the inner walls, animals of the four quarters. Inscription: Choe Hyo-jeo 崔孝著 (12th century)
HARN MUSEUM OF ART.
Harn Museum of Art. 3259 Hull Road. Gainesville, Florida 32608
Bandaji. Pine wood with metal mounts. Late 19th-Very Early 20th Century. 46,4 × 60,3 × 25,4cm.
Bandaji. Pine wood with metal mounts. 19th century. 85,7 x 48,3 x 101cm.
Tree trunk-form “honey trunk” hinged container. Early 20th century. 31,8 x 31,1 x 31,1cm.
Tiered Wood Scholar’s Desk. Wood with lacquer. Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), 19th century. 50,8 x 115,6 x 38,1cm.
JORDAN SCHNITZER MUSEUM OF ART.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Oregon campus
Storage Chests on Stand (臺, 받침대, Badchimdae) with Longevity Symbol and Auspicious Character Design. Lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlay and metal fittings. Late 19th century. H. 114,8 cm, W. 82,7cm, D. 43,3cm.
Wood Chest (二層籠, 이층농, Yicheung-nong) with Butterfly-Shaped Lock Plate (one of a pair). Paulownia wood with brass fittings. H. 63,5cm, W. 64,3cm, D. 34cm.
Toilet Case with Mirror (座鏡, 좌경, Jwakyeong). Lacquered wood, mother-of-pearl. Late 19th century. H. 12,2cm, W. 17cm, D. 22,5cm.
Chest ( 반닫이, Bandaji). Elm wood with brass fittings. H. 94cm, W. 78,7cm, D. 38,1cm.
Storage Chest (函, 함, Ham) with Flower, Bird, Butterfly and Auspicious Character Design (one of a pair). Lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlay and metal fittings. H. 44,5cm, W. 81,3cm, D. 45,7cm.
Box (箱子, 상자, Sangja). Lacquer box with mother-of-pearl. H. 15,6cm, W. 46,5cm, D. 31,1cm.
Table (經床, 경상, Gyeongsang). Lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlay. H. 30.5cm, W. 85,1cm, D. 39,4cm.
Sedan Chair (平轎子, 평교자, Pyeong-gyoja). Wood, lacquer, brass. H. 64.1cm, W. 78,1cm, L. 365,1cm.