The Chinese character for bat is pronounced the same as the character for good fortune (in Korean, “복” or “폭탄”). This similarity led to bat images being embroidered on pillow ends and incorporated into furniture designs and fittings as a symbol of good fortune.

Korean bandaji with “bat” design pullers.

As bats were believed to live for a long time, their image was also used as a symbol of longevity.

A design featuring five bats, known as “Obok” (which means “five blessings”), represents the five fortunes: longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, and a natural death.

Bats’ motifs were often found on metalwork like hinges and pullers used in traditional Korean furniture.

White brass plate and puller with Bat motif.
Iron door puller with Bat motif plate.
Yellow brass drawer handle with Bat design.
Iron door puller with Bat motif plate.
Yellow brass fittings “Bat” design on a Korean chest.
Yellow brass “bat” design plate on the front of a Nong.

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