Title: Box with Design of Auspicious Animals, Plants, and Flowers
Date: late 18th–early 19th century
Culture: Korean
Dynasty: Joseon dynasty
Medium: painted ox horn (hwagak) and lacquer on wood, with brass fittings
7 1/16 x 11 13/16 x 7 7/8 in. (18 x 30 x 20 cm)
Credit Line: Asian Art Purchase Fund and funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Liddy and Mr. and Mrs. John Peters MacCarthy
Object Number: 12:2008
Place made: Korea
Current Location: On View, Gallery 227
This box is decorated in the typical Korean technique known as "hwagak" (flowery horn). Ox-horn pieces are flattened through soaking and heating and then glued onto a wooden core. Colorful designs, including most of the "sipjangsaeng" (Ten Symbols of Longevity), were painted on the underside of the transparent ox-horn. The most important motifs are on the lid: two dragons, two phoenixes, and two cranes carrying the fungus of immortality, all shown amidst multicolored clouds.

The box was likely made as a wedding gift for a high-ranking lady of the Korean aristocracy, who would have used it to store her jewelry, hair ornaments, and finger rings in jade or amber.
Signed: unsigned (per viewing by P. Hu, February 16, 2010)
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