Korean Art and Korean Antiques
Embroidered Key Ornament w/Longevity and Purity Symbols

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Textiles: Pre 1900: item # 1180400

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Embroidered Key Ornament w/Longevity and Purity Symbols

Old Korean Yulswepae (Key Ornament) with Embroidered Symbols of Longevity and Purity. The day that the Korean housewife would inherit the keys to the house from her mother-in-law would be one of her most proud and happy days, so a beautiful key ornament would be required to adorn her most prized possession, the keys to the gate and all the rooms of the house. The stylized sea waves under the lotus blossoms are a symbol of eternity, and the lotus is a symbol of purity, because it grows out of the mud and blossoms above the muddy water surface to turns its face toward the sky, symbolizing the rising above defilement and suffering in life. The orchids are also a symbol of purity, and the rocks out of which they grow are a symbol of eternity (as is the Sun). When the orchids are paired with rocks like this, they combine to symbolize eternal adherence to principle. The plum blossom tree is a symbol of courage, because it blooms early when winter is not quite finished. The bamboo is a symbol of integrity and wisdom, because in a strong wind, instead of standing firm, it is flexible so that it bends instead of breaking. The pair of butterfly are a symbol of love and happiness. The clouds are a symbol of Heaven. The pair of bush warblers symbolize love. 14 x 10.75 inches, 35.5 x 27.25 cm.

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