Box with Painted Oxhorn

Box with Painted Oxhorn

화각함 (華角函)

1800s

Painted wood with flattened ox-horn inlay

Overall: 16.5 x 28.6 cm (6 1/2 x 11 1/4 in.)

Sundry Purchase Fund 1920.37

Fun Fact

This box is made of small flattened pieces of oxhorn. Since oxhorn is usually rather small, possibly dozens of them were used to fully decorate even a small wooden object like this box.

Description

This box is colorfully decorated with the technique of oxhorn plating. The oxhorn was cut, soaked in water, boiled, and then pressed into thin translucent sheets. Since oxhorns are usually rather small, dozens of them were required to fully decorate even a small wooden object. This box is colorfully painted with the imagery of auspicious plants and animals such as dragons amid clouds, a white tiger under the pine tree, a grazing deer, and more. This kind of luxurious box was probably produced as a wedding gift.

See also
Collection: 
Korean Art
Department: 
Korean Art
Type of artwork: 
Miscellaneous
Credit line: 
Sundry Purchase Fund

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