Gilt silver (body) and brass (trefoil-shaped ring)
Length: 21.7 cm (8 9/16 in.)
J.H. Wade Trust Fund 2022.38
This 12th-century silver-gilt knife sheath is meant to be a pendent to a belt as a luxury ornament.
Made by rolling a flat piece of silver plate, this knife sheath is decorated on each side with oval panels, including two larger middle panels showing an image of rising dragons with ring-punched scales. The circular upper panels bear the image of seated phoenixes. The flat bottom is engraved with a pair of fish, symbolizing harmonious unity. The trefoil-shaped ring attached to the tip of the sheath allows a string to connect it as a pendant to a belt. In medieval Korea, a miniature sheath such as this was considered an important fashion item, especially for elite members of the ruling class.
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