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Two-tiered chest with stand
장롱
Place of Origin: Korea
Date: 1800-1850
Historical Period: Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)
Object Name: Furniture
Materials: Lacquer on wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl and metal fittings
Dimensions: H. 54 1/8 in x W. 29 1/16 in x D. 14 1/2 in, H. 137.5 cm x W. 73.8 cm x D. 36.8 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Evelyn B. McCune in memory of George McAfee McCune
Department: Korean Art
Collection: Decorative Arts
Object Number: 1992.30.1-.3
On Display: Yes
Location: Gallery 23

Description

Label: There are two kinds of chests in Korea, nong and jang. A nong, like this work, is made of stackable components, while a jang is a single piece. On the red lacquer, mother-of-pearl is used to depict various scenes. The scholars on the front are playing Go or peacefully heading to an unknown destination. Other scenes depict stories of hermits and their leisurely, reclusive lives. During the Joseon dynasty, a red lacquer chest such as this was for upper-class women. Placed in an inner room, this chest was to store garments or blankets. As a luxury item it was an indicator of the family’s wealth.

More Information

Exhibition History: "Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea", Asian Art Museum (04/29/16 - 10/23/16)
Additional Label: Two- or three-tiered chests inlaid with mother-of-pearl were an integral element of elite Korean women's quarters, which during the Joseon dynasty were separated from the men's. Women's rooms served both as spaces for women and as centers of family activity. Chests for women's rooms, therefore, were made in a warm style with bright colors in order to create a pleasant family atmosphere. While most men preferred simple furniture made of undecorated wood, most women preferred lacquered furniture lavishly inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Women of affluent families tended to favor expensive red lacquer chests like this one over the more commonplace black ones. Similar red-lacquered chests inlaid with mother-of-pearl were used by women at the Joseon court.

The tiers of this chest are embellished with identical designs: landscapes with figures, chrysanthemum motifs, and simplified lotus flowers splendidly inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The tiers can be arranged side by side or on top of each other. Women used chests such as this to store clothing and other personal items.
Label: There are two kinds of chests in Korea, nong and jang. A nong, like this work, is made of stackable components, while a jang is a single piece. On the red lacquer, mother-of-pearl is used to depict various scenes. The scholars on the front are playing Go or peacefully heading to an unknown destination. Other scenes depict stories of hermits and their leisurely, reclusive lives. During the Joseon dynasty, a red lacquer chest such as this was for upper-class women. Placed in an inner room, this chest was to store garments or blankets. As a luxury item it was an indicator of the family’s wealth.
Exhibition History: "Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea", Asian Art Museum (04/29/16 - 10/23/16)
Expanded Label: Two- or three-tiered chests inlaid with mother-of-pearl were an integral element of elite Korean women's quarters, which during the Joseon dynasty were separated from the men's. Women's rooms served both as spaces for women and as centers of family activity. Chests for women's rooms, therefore, were made in a warm style with bright colors in order to create a pleasant family atmosphere. While most men preferred simple furniture made of undecorated wood, most women preferred lacquered furniture lavishly inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Women of affluent families tended to favor expensive red lacquer chests like this one over the more commonplace black ones. Similar red-lacquered chests inlaid with mother-of-pearl were used by women at the Joseon court.

The tiers of this chest are embellished with identical designs: landscapes with figures, chrysanthemum motifs, and simplified lotus flowers splendidly inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The tiers can be arranged side by side or on top of each other. Women used chests such as this to store clothing and other personal items.