Purse thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Purse

1850-1900 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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 lotus flower. An embroidered coin can be seen in the middle of the rocks. Embroidery was a significant aspect of women's life in traditional Korea and a large number of embroidered objects from the late Choson period (1392-1910) have survived till the present day.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Satin silk, embroidered with silk and gold thread
Brief Description
Purse, silk satin embroidered with silk and gold thread, Korea, late Choson dynasty, 1850-1900
Physical Description
Purse of red silk satin, secured with decorative green knotted cord. It is decorated with multi-coloured embroidery of rocks, waves, lotus flowers and the 'long life' character. Lined with dark blue silk damask (floral 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.
Dimensions
  • Width: 9cm
  • Length: 11.5cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Queen Mary
Object history
Registered File number 1924/5303.
Subjects depicted
Summary
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 lotus flower. An embroidered coin can be seen in the middle of the rocks. Embroidery was a significant aspect of women's life in traditional Korea and a large number of embroidered objects from the late Choson period (1392-1910) have survived till the present day.
Bibliographic References
  • 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.
Collection
Accession Number
T.102-1924

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdFebruary 3, 2000
Record URL