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  • Place of origin:

    Korea (made)

  • Date:

    1850-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin silk, embroidered with silk and gold thread

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Queen Mary

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Traditional Korean dress, hanbok, does not have pockets, and a purse such as this one was both ornamental and functional. Used by women it is decorated with Buddhist and auspicious motifs embroidered in gold and silk thread. The character 'su', meaning 'long life', has been embroidered in gold above the central peony flower.

Physical description

Purse of red silk satin, secured with decorative green knotted cord. It is decorated with multi-coloured embroidery of rocks, waves, peony flowers and the 'long life' character. Lined with dark blue silk damask (diaper pattern).

This pouch carried small belongings when a woman was on an outing. Traditional costumes, or hanbok, do not have pockets, so separate pouches were necessary. This pouch has angular corners, but there are round-corner pouches as well. Used for keeping medicines, this pouch is covered in red on the outside and lined in blue on the inside. The outside is embroidered with lotuses, yeongji mushrooms, and waves, and a button and a green-coloured knot are attached to the folded part.

Place of Origin

Korea (made)


1850-1900 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Satin silk, embroidered with silk and gold thread


Width: 10.2 cm, Length: 12.3 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1924/5303.

Descriptive line

Satin purse, gold and silk embroidery, peony pattern, Korea, late Choson dynasty, 1850-1900

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Beth MacKillop. Korean Art and Design. V&A: London, 1992. pp. 140-1, Plate 63.
Horlyck, Charlotte. 'Colour in Korean Textile' in Arts of Asia, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2003, pp. 110-117.
National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. Daejeon: National Research Institue of Cultural Heritage, 2013, p. 295.


Silk (textile); Silk thread; Gold thread


Satin weave; Embroidered

Subjects depicted

Rocks; Wave; Peony


Embroidery; Textiles; Clothing; Accessories


East Asia Collection

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