“Double Happiness” Wedding Chest with White Brass

!870, chestnut and pear wood, found on Kangwha Island, Korea.  Certified.

This beautiful chest has the “Double Happiness” motif made of pear wood inlaid over a chestnut  frame.  The glowing color of the pear wood on a dark ground, with the now extinct white brass metalwork make this chest stand out magnificently.  The ground of the front, sides, and top are  inlaid with a diamond design, signifying richness.  The body of the chest is attached to a carved wood stand with modified hoof feet on side floor stretchers.  This chest was likely given as a wedding chest for a member of the royal family or member of the elite class, who got into disfavor with the imperial court and sent into exile on this political prison colony for the Kingdom or Korea.  It was discovered by an esteemed American missionary when he went to the prison to treat the sick and dying after the Japanese Occupation.  He was allowed to remove any furniture as furniture was not valued by the elite class or the government in that era.  The chest survived in excellent condition and was certified by a Korean Professor of Korean History and Culture in the 1900s.  Furniture with white brass is not supposed to be allowed out of Korea today unless approved by a state department as white brass is extinct and rare.

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