All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #805655 (stock #0236)
This piece was recently on view at an exhibition at the Korea Society. Genuine 19th Century Ton-kwe (Korean Coin Chests) are becoming increasingly rare on the antiques market. They are highly prized by collectors, as their purpose required that they be the heaviest and most well constructed piece of furniture in the home. Paper money did not exist in Joseon Dynasty Korea, and the coins were of very small denominations. They had to be strung together in large, heavy quantities to have any worth, so a strong money box was a necessity. Here's a funny quote from 1898 on Korean money by Mattie Ingold, an American missionary physician who worked in Jeonju: "If Korean money were proportionately as great in value as it is in weight and clumsiness, the Koreans would be a very wealthy people." This coin chest is a fine and old example. The iron lockplate is itself a work of art. It is in the shape of an inventively rendered swallowtail, and is adorned with wan symbols (the wheel of life in Buddhism and the symbol of universal peace and harmony), a symbol that actually predates Buddhism and originally represented the revolving sun or life. In Buddhism it represents represents the Heart of the Buddha, resignation of spirit, and all happiness that humanity desires. The swallowtail shape is echoed in the iron hinges. The swallow is a symbol of beauty and prosperity in Korea. 36w x 21h x 17.5d inches, 91.5 x 53.5 x 44.5 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Ceramics : Pre 1800 item #850706 (stock #0316)
Late 18th/Early 19th Century Korean Blue and White Porcelain Dragon Jar with Iron Brown Dragon Eyes. The dragon flying through clouds chasing the sacred flaming pearl of wisdom that has the power to grant wishes, very softly and subtly painted in cobalt blue, has a naive charm about it. An added touch of sincerity is given with the dragon's eyes painted brown with underglaze iron, a rare feature. The form is a subtle maebyong high-shouldered baluster shape with a slightly flared, recessed and glazed base and a gently flared neck. 9 inches (23cm) height x 18.5 inches (47cm) circumference.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Ceramics : Pre AD 1000 item #850736 (stock #0318)
5th Century Korean Gaya Kingdom Water Jar. The Gaya were a confederation of tribes in the central southern coast of Korea, with their own unique culture and art. Coil-built and wheel-thrown (built from coils and then completed on the wheel) stoneware with a bulbous body marked with a highly visible rope impressed design, a tall flared neck incised with three equally spaced horizontal bands made of twin turned ridges separating three areas of wavy incised patterns, culminating in a delicately delineated rim. The neck is tall to prevent spilling the water inside while carrying the jar. The color is grayish blue-beige, the modulated gray coloring due to carbon trapping inherent in reduction firing (this is the intentional reduction of oxygen in the kiln). Traces of sugary-appearing incidental natural wood ash glaze deposited on the shoulder of the pot during wood firing. The silica in the wood ash that blows through the kiln causes this accidental but desirable effect. A couple of flea bite (very minor) chips on the rim which do not detract from the overall beauty of the vessel, otherwise Very Good Condition. This jar has a very strong visual presence as well as a sense of ancient Korean history. 8.5 inches (21.5cm) height x 21 inches (53.5cm) circumference.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #871363 (stock #0337)
Rare Antique Korean Spirit Shrine Painting (Kam Mo Yo Je Do). Spirit House Paintings are in the collections of several major museums. This painting would have been placed in a place of reverence in the home, and on the anniversary of an ancestor's death, a slip of paper with the ancestor's name would be placed on the blank space in the open doorway of the shrine in the painting and a ritual would have been performed in front of the painting. Kammo means 'to adore with deep emotion' and Yoje means 'to respectfully address the spirits as if they were at the ceremony', and Do means 'painting'. Ink on paper. Frame: 37.5 x 27 inches, 95 x 68.5 cm; Painting: 31 x 21 inches, 79 x 53.5 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #871550 (stock #0344)
The Honsu Ham (Korean Wedding Chest) was a wife's most proud possession, and was always placed high in a position of visual prominence in her room. This solidly constructed and handsome Honsu Ham is constructed entirely of exotic paulownia wood, and has a rich, striking grain. The iron lock plate is in the shape of a beautifully stylized pullocho, the ancient and mythical longevity plant. It will surely continue to enjoy the ancient tradition of a place of prominence in its new owner's proud home. 24w x 13.5h x 12.25d inches, 61w x 34.5h x 31d cm. This Paulownia Wood Wedding Chest pairs nicely with the Paper on Paulownia Wood Wedding Chest on this site (Stock #0012), as shown in the last photo here on this item.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Sculpture : Pre 1900 item #651901 (stock #0114)
Rare Antique Korean Funerary Figure (Kkokdu) with much of its original pigment still intact. From a renowned and published New York collection. One of the finer examples we have seen. 11.5 inches, 29.5 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Stoneware : Pre AD 1000 item #651906 (stock #0115)
Exquisite Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) Ceramic Figure of a Girl Holding a Bowl on her Shoulder. 8.5 inches (21.5cm) tall. From a renowned and published New York collection.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Sculpture : Pre AD 1000 item #651983 (stock #0116)
Beautiful Han Terracotta Male Stick Figure with a gorgeous face and his hair pulled back into a top knot and braid. A well preserved burial piece with much soil adherent still intact and traces of pigment throughout. From a renowned and published New York collection. 23 inches (58.5 cm) tall. The Han Dynasty was from 206 BC - 220 AD.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Ceramics : Pre AD 1000 item #653565 (stock #R157)
5th Century Korean Silla Kingdom Jar in a striking form on a classic cut out foot. It has a wonderful patina. A similar example is in the permanent collection at Cornell University. A great piece with an impeccable provenance. 9.5 inches (24cm) height, 27 inches (68.5cm) circumference.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #585364 (stock #0053)
The people of Jeju Island have long had a distinctive culture that has given us art and antiques that are, like the island itself, simultaneously rough and beautiful. Treasured by collectors for their vigorous folksy character, antiquities of this quality from this sparsely populated island are rare. This 19th Century piece is a grain grinder made of volcanic rock and wood. With glass placed across the top, it makes a striking table. Diameter: 34 inches (86cm), height 17 inches (43cm).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1280118 (stock #1187)
A very fine example of a Joseon Dynasty Korean tiger hunting painting, that makes use of the best quality pigments and finest silk, and is rendered with the highest level of artistry and skill, likely by a painter from the royal court. A similar painting recently sold at auction in Korea for $5500. Unique to Korea, almost all Korean hunting paintings depict hunters in Mongolian costume. In spite of the Mongols' brutal occupation of Korea in the 13th Century, Koreans maintained great admiration for Mongolian hunting and equestrian skills. This painting is one of a pair. The other painting is on this website (Stock #1186). Scroll: 50 x 17 inches (127 x 43 cm); Painting: 27 x 13 inches (68.5 x 33 cm).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Sculpture : Pre AD 1000 item #652002 (stock #0118)
Beautifully Rendered Han Terracotta Head from a Large Tomb Figure. A well preserved burial piece with much soil adherent and kaolin pigment still intact throughout. 4.5 inches (11 cm) height. From a renowned and published New York collection. Purchased at Antipode in Paris in 1989. The Han Dynasty was from 206 BC - 220 AD.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Chinese : Metalwork : Pre 1800 item #1055317 (stock #0677)
Rare 18th Century Chinese Helmet with Original Dragon Embroidery Intact. Height: 17 inches, 43 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Metalwork : Pre 1900 item #1104341 (stock #0837)
Large Korean Antique Lacquered Sword with Painted Dragons. 58.5 inches, 148.5 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Paintings : Pre 1492 item #1250725 (stock #1162)
Very Rare Goryeo Dynasty Gan Chal Calligraphy by the famous scholar Jeong Yi Oh aka Gyo Eun, born 1347. Frame: 19 x 19 inches, 48.25 x 48.25 cm; Calligraphy: 12 x 12 inches, 30.5 x 30.5 cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Furniture : Pre 1900 item #1307950 (stock #1212)
Rare Persimmon Scholar's Stationery Chest (Mungap) with a beautiful grain and fine detailing. Old mungap are very rare, and persimmon wood, with its two-tone grain, is the wood that is most desired by collectors. 'Mun' means things pertaining to culture, and 'gap' means low chest. These chests were given this name because they were used as a repository for items related to cultural life, such as rolls of paper, brushes, ink sticks and ink stones. One door lifts out, and then other doors can slide over and lift out, to reveal an interior that is as beautiful as the exterior. This is the kind of design that influenced the creators of Art Deco. 43w x 16d x 17.5h inches, 109w x 40.5d x 44.5h cm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Korean : Metalwork : Pre 1900 item #1319402 (stock #1239)
Rare and Exquisite Joseon Dynasty Silver Phoenix Hair Pin and Brooch. The phoenix was a royal symbol of peace, justice and a prosperous future. The use of the phoenix motif was restricted to use by the royal court. 5 inches, 13 cm.
Prehistoric Korean Stone Sword in excellent condition. A similar example is in the catalogue of the Musee Guimet's Korean art collection (where you can read that the best examples are the ones with the with the finest color and the best quality of veins running through the rock, as in the beautiful, museum-quality example that we offer here (see especially photo 2 here). The Musee Guimet catalogue further states that these stone swords have "a particularly pure aesthetic whose modernity cannot fail to enchant today's viewers". The last photo here is from a petroglyph at a prehistoric burial site (Orim-dong megalithic burial no. 5 in Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do), depicting a similar weapon. Further References: Bale, Martin T.; Ko, Min-jung (2006), Craft Production and Social Change in Mumun Period Korea. Asian Perspectives 45 (2): 159-187. Park Je Gwang (2006), History of Steel in Eastern Asia. History of Korea through the Fall of Goguryeo, pages 9 - 10. Chosen Soukantoku Kanbo Soumukyoku Insatsu Jo (1912), Riou-ke Hakubutsu-kan Chozou-hin Shashin-chou Ge, (Prince Yi Household Museum Collection Picture Book Volume 2). Korea Army Museum's Journal #6 (1999), page 40. This sword is identical to the sword that is from the famous collection of Gukeun Lee Yang-sun that is now in the permanent collection of the Gyeongju National Museum and can be seen on page 82 of the museum catalog. These publications date this type of sword to 1500 - 1000 BCE. Another useful book on this subject is the 2002 publication, Collection of Korea Army Museum, that gives examples of the differences between Bronze Age and Iron Age Korean weapons. They are quite a bit different, and this is clearly a Bronze Age Korean sword. There are also numerous examples of early Korean weapons in the article on the subject by John Boots in the December 1934 Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 12.75 inches, 32.5 cm.