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Chest with Floral Decoration under Oxhorn

Korea, 19th century
H.95.5 cm
Catalpa wood, color on ox-horn

This chest is constructed of wood and has felicitous motifs painted in bright colors on small panels on the front. The panels are faced with thin slices of oxhorn and are painted from the back, which is a special technique of Choson period Korea. On the top level are three small drawers and below them are four cabinetwork divisions. On the front of each level are dragons with the characters for "Good Fortune" and "Felicitations" on the left and right sides of cabinet doors. The oxhorn panels surrounding the doors are painted with tastefully arranged depictions of tigers, lions, elephants and deer in yellow, red and green. The bright and well-harmonized colors of this chest indicate that it was likely made as a betrothal gift for the Korean royal family.

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