!870, chestnut and pear wood, extinct white brass ware, 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 wealth. 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 later got into disfavor with the imperial court and sent into exile on this political prison colony for the Kingdom of Korea for two thousand years. The chest was discovered by an esteemed American missionary doctor 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. Furniture with white brass is valuable as it has an alloy that is now extinct. This piece was certified by a Korean Professor of Korean History and Antiquity in the 1900s.