VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Box decorated with inlaid mother of pearl
GPM-3577
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This is a wooden box decorated with inlaid mother-of-pearl. These inlaid wood artifacts were first-grade and mostly used in the Palace. This box is rectangular with rounded corners resting on four short bracket feet, inlaid with mother-of-pearl pieces of cut shell within a border of circles and scallop-sharped leafs. All four sides are inlaid with a wide band of scrolling flowers. It is fitted with two metal c-shaped side handles, metal hinges and mounts. The interior, with rounded corners, is lined with paper. This is a particularly beautiful box, rendered in fine mother-of-pearl inlay against a black background.

History of the Object
Inlaid technique originated in Egypt and arrived in Korea via China. Inlaid ceramics, metal and wood artifacts made in Korea were kind of hi-tech in the Joseon Dynasty. This kind of box decorated with inlaid mother of pearl indicates a high level of craftmanship and technical know-how.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
wood, shell 
Measurements
Width 40.3 cm. Height 26.5 cm. Length 75 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
14th Century - 20th Century; Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) 
Function
multipurpose box 
Acquisition
Acquired the Gyeonggi Provincial Museum from Christie's inc, New York in 1997. The museum bought it because this kind of inlaid wooden artifact is first-grade craft that was mostly used in the Palace. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum 
Museum
Gyeonggi Provincial Museum 
Credit line
 

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