Ca 1870; pear wood, iron fittings; found on Kang Wha Island after the Japanese Occupation; certified.
This box was found on Kang Wha Island, a political prison colony for the Kingdom of Korea for two thousand years. It was found by an American missionary doctor who went there to treat the sick and the dying after the Japanese Occupation. Furniture was not important to the ruling class, so the box could be taken away.
The surface of this box is completely covered over pear wood with hand-made relief carving of the T-fret design, a repetitive ornamental pattern symbolizing blessings in abundance. It has an original round iron lock-plate and handles on the sides. It is a wedding box made for storing important personal items for a member of the elite class who later found disfavor with the Royal Court and was sent into exile. The box is certified rare by a Professor of Korean History and Antiquity, one of only thirteen certifiers approved by the Korean government in the 1900s.