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Ornamental Hairpin with Fluttering Phoenix Design
BONA_H014
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This binyeo was worn by the queen and the princess during ceremonies. It is splendidly beautiful, differing from all others in its expression. It has a fluttering, rhythmical bird motif.

History of the Object
A binyeo was used to fix hair and coronets on the head but it was also a decorative ornament. It came in many different materials and forms. A binyeo could first be classified by its material; they were made of, among others, gold, silver, nickel, brass, pearl, jade, amber, coral, wood, bamboo, or animal bone. It could also be classified by the design of its head. People in the Joseon Dynasty liked to decorate hairpins with motives found in nature. The heads of hairpins were fashioned in shapes of, among others, phoenix, dragon, mandarin duck, plum blossom, bird, bamboo, lotus bud, magnolia, pheony, pomegranate or chrysanthemum. A commoner's binyeo was made of wood or animal bones. Only the upper class and the royals were able to use a binyeo made of gold and silver and decorated with jewels all of which had a high intrinsic value. A binyeo was made of various materials and had elaborate motives, which carried symbolic meanings. In many cases a binyeo was worn to symbolize one's authority or to indicate one's social rank.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Coral, pearl, kingfisher's feather, metal (gilded silver) 
Measurements
Width 11 cm. Length 27 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Seoul, Republic of Korea 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century ; Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) 
Function
A binyeo, a long hairpin, was in fashion when women started wearing their hair back into a chignon, after the ban of wearing gachae (hair extensions). Binyeos are both functional and decorative. 
Acquisition
Purchased in Seoul in 1980s 
Copyright
Bona Museum 
Acknowledgements
Bonamuseum Collection, Traditional Ladies Hair Ornaments, Graphicnet, Seoul, 2010 
Owner
Bona Museum 
Museum
Bona Museum 
Credit line
Bona Museum 

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