Understated and elegant Joseon chest
Period: 19th century Joseon Dynasty
Location: National Museum of Korea, Fine Arts Gallery
This document chest is a simple structure that has three drawers in the center and two legs at the ends of a narrow and long wooden panel.
The complementary effect of the space - blocked by the drawers and the open and empty space - is one of elegance and comfort.
The chest was used to store documents and objects and display stationery, such as a brush case or ink-water bottle.
They were used in both the sarangbang (a kind of guest room) and anbang (master bedroom) and usually were placed beside a door that opened to the backyard or to the side wall.
Since traditional Korean houses were low and small, document chests were designed to be narrow and less than 30 centimeters (12 inches) high.
*The photos and text for Treasure Trove are provided by the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit www.museum.go.kr.