Bear and Raven Antiques

Vintage Korean Embroidered Panel of Pheasants on Silk Mid 20th C

Vintage Korean Embroidered Panel of Pheasants on Silk Mid 20th C

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Pre 1960: Item # 1381839

Please refer to our stock # FA-1847 when inquiring.
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A real tour de force of Korean embroidery art, performed by a master. The workmanship is tight, intricate, so very minute and fine, and the piece is massive.

A large rectangle of silk has been embroidered with in satin stitch using silk threads. The design is of a wild autumn meadow with flowers and grasses. In the foreground is the embroidery of a ring neck pheasant in all of its glory with the female pheasant by his side. The scene takes place in spring with a myriad of blooming plants and the male pheasant in all of its radiant plumage. The artist made the stems and flowers come alive with scintillating reflective light. They have also made textures by embroidering in layers. The silk background itself has a gradation of color from turquoise to a russet.

The work engages the use of Chasu, a traditional form of Korean embroidery. The silk thread used takes the place of the conventional paint to create artistic masterpieces that appear to be oil on canvas painting when viewed from afar but the close up of the painting shows the detailed artistry of the embroidery.

There is a three character signature in the right corner done in Korean using satin stich.

Provenance: This item was a gift to Dr. Edwin McMillan, 1951 Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry as a thank you for donating a large number of Physics Today magazines to a library in Korea. She remembers the artist’s name as Madam Yung Hi Sub, although we have still been unable to find any reference to her using the references. The signature reads Seo Yeonghui. According to Dr. McMillan’s daughter, the piece won the Korean embroidery of the year award and was then subsequently given to Dr. McMillan.

The piece was professionally framed in the late 1950s/early 1960s and attached to hardboard direct using and adhesive. A matting covered with machine-woven brocade was put over the embroidery and then placed in a black wood frame covered with glass. The piece has now been removed from the frame but has NOT been removed from the hardboard.

***Please note: The panel has been removed from the frame and confirmed that it has been attached to a hardboard using some sort of adhesive. The border peels back pretty easily, which makes me believe that you could remove the entire embroidery without damaging it. You would likely want to have it cleaned, but then most likely you would anyways before you remounted it using more modern methods using archival materials. We would be happy to ship you the embroidery either with or without it’s frame. The shipping cost quoted here include the frame, but if you choose to have us ship you the embroidery without the frame, we will reduce the shipping cost. ***

44 1/2" x 23 1/2 (33 x 53 framed) Weighs 24 lbs 15 oz (11. 3 kg) with frame

The silk has no unraveling threads, rips, or tears. There is minor stains to the ground from humidity and some fading from sun. The colors are still quite bright. The brocade mat is unraveling some along the top and has been partially peeled back to inspect the embroidery.

This embroidery is a grand and important example of a Korean art form that has a long and distinguished history.