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Bi-level Euguri-jang (Wardrobe Chest)

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Korean: Pre 1910: item # 389192

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Bi-level Euguri-jang (Wardrobe Chest)
Made of luminous elm wood, this early 20th century two-piece Korean cabinet originated in South Chwengchung Province. The larger top part of the stackable chest, used for hanging overcoats and long skirts, has two wide doors to allow full access to the generous space. The bottom portion has two compartments, one with a hasp that could be locked over the horizontally hinged fold-down door; the other compartment with three deep drawers. The two parts of the cabinet can be used separately. The bottom portion is lined with paper, which was replaced periodically in Korea to refresh the insides of cabinets. Yellow brass fittings complement the richly colored wood, and suggest that this piece was used in the anbang (women's quarters) where furnishings typically were more decorative. The flared hasp backplate on the bottom piece is a traditional swallow-tail shape with a bat-shaped cutout. Bats symbolized happiness. The three elongated hinges are in a graceful gourd shape. Gourds symbolically represented friends and brotherly love. (See similar hardware in "Korean Furniture and Culture" by Yoon Bok Cha, Chi Soon and Park Youngsoon, Shinkwang Publishing, Seoul, 1988, pp. 28, 29.) This chest is in excellent condition. Dimensions of complete stacked cabinet: height 69-1/2" (177 cm), width 45-1/2" (114 cm), depth 21" (53 cm). Height of top portion: 48" (122 cm), Height of bottom portion: 21-1/2" (55 cm).


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