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Hyungbae, the embroidered chest insignia in the Korea’s Joseon dynasty period
Hyungbae 34
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Hyungbae was used only in the period of Joseon dynasty, and the patterns showed the wearer’s social rank. The one used for the royal family was called “Bo(補)”. The King and Crown Prince applied the circular Bo embroidered with a dragon(龍文) on their chest, back, and both shoulders. Korean Hyungbae show not only an elaborate beauty with embroidery, but also a splendid and elegant combination of colors.

History of the Object
In1454, the 2nd year of King Danjong’s reign, Hyungbae started to be applied on the official uniform of those who were higher than grade 3 of civil minister and military official, according to Yang Seongji(梁誠之)’s proposal,and the form followed the Hongmu model(洪武體制) from China’s Ming dynasty. In 1905, the 11th year of Prince Yeonsan’s reign, Hyungbae were applied on the official uniform for all from grade 1 to 9, and the patterns used ranged from deer to pig, goose, and wild goose. It was an autonomous change indeed, although this change didn’t last long because of the Japanese Invasion of Korea and the Manchu war. In 1734, the 10th year of King Yeongjo’s reign, Hyungbae were embroidered with cloud and crane for Dangsanggwan (officials higher than grade 3 in the Korea’s Joseon dynasty period). The ones embroidered with white cranes were for Danghagwan (the officials lower than the grade 3 in the Korea’s Joseon dynasty period). In1871, the 8th year of King Gojong’s reign, a pair of cranes(雙鶴) were used for Dangsanggwan and a single crane(單鶴) for Danghagwan who belonged to the civil servants, while a pair of tigers(雙虎) were used for Dangsanggwan and a single tiger(單虎) for Danghagwan who belonged to the military officials. This had lasted until 1910.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Textiles 
Measurements
 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Unknown 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
Late 19th Century 
Function
Hyungbae was a rectangular insignia on the chest and back of the official uniform of the royal family and government officials in the Korea’s Joseon dynasty period. It was basically used to clearly indicate the social class and at the same time, to decorate the uniform splendidly by embroidering various patterns on the same-colored silk with the uniform. The patterns were divided into several types in relation to the function ( civil servant or military official) and the official rank. The patterns changed little by little over time with various dynasties.  
Acquisition
Purchased in Seoul  
Copyright
Bona Museum  
Acknowledgements
Hyungbae, the embroidered chest insignia, Bona Museum Collection, Graphicnet, Seoul, 2010  
Owner
Bona Museum 
Museum
Bona Museum 
Credit line
Bona Museum  

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