Rare Korean Sharkskin Inlay Inkstone Box

1860, chestnut wood, sharkskin/brass wire inlay, found on Kang Wha Island, Kyung Ki Do Province.  8″ w, 14″ d, 11.75″ h.

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This box was used to store inkstone, brushes, and writing papers.  The expensive inlaid material suggests this box was made for a scholar, someone of the elite class who found himself exiled to this island, a prison colony for the Kingdom of Korea for two thousand years.  It was discovered by an esteemed American missionary doctor who went to the prison colony to take care of the sick and dying after the Japanese Occupation.  This box was certified as rare by an appraiser certified by the Korean government in the 1900s.  Writing and doing calligraphy painting was the favorite pastime of the elite class in that era.  This relic deserves to be in an art institute today.

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