Silk folding screen embroidered with floral design and auspicious phrases thumbnail 1
Silk folding screen embroidered with floral design and auspicious phrases thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Korea, Room 47g

Silk folding screen embroidered with floral design and auspicious phrases

Folding Screen
1880-1910 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This folding screen was originally composed of eight panels, each embroidered with 16 floral arrangements in antique vases and pots alternating with 16 Chinese characters. According to the embroideries’s template found at the National Palace Museum of Korea, the first, second, seventh and eighth panels belong to the V&A, while the whereabout of the remaining four panels are currently unknown.
Here, the flowers are simply but elegantly rendered, suggesting the collaboration between professional court painters from the Royal Office of Painting (Dohwaseo) and embroiderers from the Joseon Royal Court Bureau of Embroidery (Subang). Glossy, colourful, twisted silk threads were delicately sewn onto a yellow-dyed plain satin-weave silk background.
The Chinese characters form a poem praising the king’s virtue and wishing him a long and peaceful reign (taepyeongseongdae). Its four lines of four characters may have formed narratives (changsa) sung or recited during court dances (jeongjaemu) performed at celebratory banquets at the royal palace.
Two similar folding screens with eight panels were awarded by King Gojong (1852-1919) to American missionaries who made outstanding contributions towards Korea.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleJasu hwachogilsangmun meori byeongpung (published title)
Materials and Techniques
plain weave silk, satin stitch embroidery
Brief Description
Folding screen, 4 panels, silk with coloured embroidery depicting flowers and Chinese characters, Korea, 1885-1910
Physical Description
A bedside folding screen composed of four silk panels embroidered with floral bouquets alternating with auspicious characters (Hwachogilsangmun).
Dimensions
  • Height: 113.00cm
  • Length: 275.00cm (Note: each embroidery panel is 32.2x59.3 cm)
Style
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and Inscriptions
panel 1 (right) 有隕自天 無量福地 殷祿百遒 魯壽三朋 panel 2 (second from the right, former FE.32-1991) 天保九如 山崇三呼 和風甘雨 瑞日祥雲 Panel 7 (second from the left, former FE.31-1991) 國安盤石 道隆明珠 化行六德 歌騰四重 Panel 8 (left panel, former FE.30-1991) 吉祥如意 福祿無疆 地出丹芝 天淸黃河 (Panel 1 (right) 하늘로부터 내려오시어 끝없는 복을 땅에 베푸시네. 성대한 복록이 모두 모이고 장수하며 함께 벗하리라. panel 2 (second from the right, former FE.32-1991) 하늘은 구여를 보전하고 백성들은 만세 부르며 임금을 찬양하네. 온화한 바람에 단비내리고 상서로운 해와 구름이로다. Panel 7 (second from the left, former FE.31-1991) 나라의 안정됨이 반석과 같고 도리의 융성함이 명주와 같다네. 여섯 가지 덕이 행하여 지고, 네 가지 중한 일 힘차게 구가하네 (여러 사람이 입을 모아 칭송하며 노래하다). Panel 8 (left panel, former FE.30-1991) 매사(모든 것)가 상서롭고 뜻과 같아 (원하는 바와 같이 되고), 끝없이 복록을 받으리. 땅은 상서로운 영지를 내고 (영지가 나고), 하늘은 황하를 푸르게 하도다 )
Credit line
Conservation work financially supported by the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation and Mir Dental Network of Korea
Object history
Purchased. Registered File number 1991/1823.



Embroidered screens of this type adorned the living quarters of queens and princesses in the late Chosôn period in Seoul. Executed by the court governess in charge of embroidery, the multi-coloured designs on each panel typically illustrate a four-line verse in Chinese characters of a song performed during court celebrations.
Production
The hanji lining of panel two was unusually covered with neat Chinese characters that remain to be deciphered.
Subject depicted
Associations
Summary
This folding screen was originally composed of eight panels, each embroidered with 16 floral arrangements in antique vases and pots alternating with 16 Chinese characters. According to the embroideries’s template found at the National Palace Museum of Korea, the first, second, seventh and eighth panels belong to the V&A, while the whereabout of the remaining four panels are currently unknown.

Here, the flowers are simply but elegantly rendered, suggesting the collaboration between professional court painters from the Royal Office of Painting (Dohwaseo) and embroiderers from the Joseon Royal Court Bureau of Embroidery (Subang). Glossy, colourful, twisted silk threads were delicately sewn onto a yellow-dyed plain satin-weave silk background.

The Chinese characters form a poem praising the king’s virtue and wishing him a long and peaceful reign (taepyeongseongdae). Its four lines of four characters may have formed narratives (changsa) sung or recited during court dances (jeongjaemu) performed at celebratory banquets at the royal palace.

Two similar folding screens with eight panels were awarded by King Gojong (1852-1919) to American missionaries who made outstanding contributions towards Korea.

Bibliographic References
  • Wilson, Verity, 'Celebrating Twenty-five years in the Far Eastern collection of the V&A' in Orientations, 1995, p.532
  • Huh, Dong-hwa (Ho, Tong-hwa), Classical Korean Embroideries, Seoul(?):Korea-Britain Centennial Committee : International Cultural Society of Korea, 1984, chapter 7
  • Huh, Dong-hwa (Ho, Tong-hwa), The Collection of Traditional Embroideries in Korea Kyoto: Dohosha, 1982, pp116-125
  • Kim, Rosalie, 'Hwachogilsangmun embroidery panels in the Victoria and Albert Museum', in 'The 1st International Symposium Conservation and Restoration of Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage', 2019, pp.128-139.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.29-1991

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record createdFebruary 3, 2000
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